Good credit score of past not so good now

With historically low rates, many homeowners are watching closely for the right time to refinance their mortgages. Those with good credit may well recall being showered with praise by a mortgage broker during the initial purchase for that solid credit score.Ch. 4: First-time homebuyersGood credit not enough to buy home4 tips for the homebuyer credit4 questions on $6,500 credit5 questions for the first-time homebuyer6 truths about the tax creditBest mortgage for your lifestyleVIDEO: Find the best mortgage for youVIDEO: First-time homebuyersChapter12345ALLThat was then. This is now.

A few years ago, a score of 620 or higher was good enough. That increased to 680 in early 2008. Then it jumped to 720 in April last year and 740 in August, says Rodney Anderson, senior managing partner of Plano, Texas-based Rodney Anderson Lending Services.

In the past, any score of 700 or higher would get a double thumbs-up from credit experts. [Read the full article]

Dear Bankruptcy Adviser,I have 2 cars: my car and my wife’s. My car is a 2007 and her car is a 2008. My car payment is $600 a month and I still owe $26,000 or so on it. My wife owes about $10,000 on her car loan. We are thinking of filing for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. I am wondering how this will work because I would like to keep both cars. Can we get a reduced loan payment?– Greg

Dear Greg,In general, you can file bankruptcy and keep both cars. The reduced loan payment or any change in the terms of the car loan is also possible inside a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. You have five options when you file bankruptcy with outstanding car loans.

1. Surrender the vehicle. You can turn in the vehicle directly to the lender. Get something in writing to prove you surrendered it. Until then, make sure to keep your car insurance current while the car is in your possession. You don’t want to compound your financial troubles with a post-bankruptcy-filing car accident. [Read the full article]

Now the only state that doesn’t allow information to be scanned from drivers’ licenses, Nebraska may soon let store clerks do more than just look at them when selling alcohol, tobacco and lottery tickets.

On Monday, state lawmakers gave first-round approval to a bill (LB261) that would allow retailers to electronically scan the bar codes on the backs of state-issued drivers’ licenses to determine buyers’ ages. Supporters say it will make it easier for clerks to ensure they don’t sell to kids. Opponents worry that residents would lose control of personal information that could be used to take advantage of them.

“There’s more and more information out there on us, it’s scary,” said Sen. Dave Pankonin of Louisville, who recalled a major data breach last year that required a bank where he is a board member to issue new debit cards to customers. [Read the full article]

SEATTLE (AP) — Five activists filed a ballot initiative Monday that would legalize all adult marijuana possession, manufacturing and sales under Washington state law — one of the most sweeping efforts at marijuana reform playing out around the country this year.

Its sponsors include two Seattle lawyers and the director of Seattle’s annual Hempfest. They call themselves Sensible Washington, and say that in a time of dire budget woes, the state’s government should stop spending money on police, court and jail costs for people who use or produce marijuana.

Douglas Hiatt, a lawyer who represents medical marijuana patients, told The Associated Press the proposal would remove all state criminal penalties for adults who possess, grow and distribute pot — no matter how much. Criminal penalties for juveniles who possess marijuana and for those who provide the drug to juveniles would remain in place.

Driving under the influence of the drug also would still be against the law. [Read the full article]

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