Monthly Archives: November 2013

Learn to Dispute Charges on Your Credit Report for After Shopping Season

Check credit after holiday shoppingAfter all is said and done with holiday shopping, even if you were very careful with credit card usage, staying close to budget and being a responsible borrower, there is still a chance for errors to end up on your credit report. Some of this may be errors, or it could be fraud, and it is important to know how to report and resolve the issue. The credit and finance experts at Equifax share information about what to do when you find errors on your credit report, after the holidays or otherwise, in the new article, “

How Do I Dispute Information on My Credit Report?”

First, you want to carefully look over your credit report for all activity. If you spot something off, you need to dispute it with the credit reporting agency right away. The dispute is free of charge, and depending on the agency, you may have to call or send in the dispute by mail. Equifax offers free and easy online disputes. If you send in a dispute and it is resolved, the one credit reporting agency will notify the other two agencies of the corrected information. If you want to have the most up to date information though, in the case of needing to have a spotless report for an application for a mortgage in Atlanta or the like, you should contact each agency independently and immediately.

After you report your dispute, the credit agencies are legally required to investigate within 30 to 45 days, and before the time has elapsed, the credit agency will inform you of their findings. From there, the disputed item will either be removed or the reporting agency will explain that the findings of their investigation lead them to keep it on.

Even if the disputed item wasn’t removed, you should keep a close eye on your credit report going forward and dispute as necessary. If you are concerned about activity on your credit file (due to identity theft or potential identity theft), you may want to sign up for a credit monitoring service like the Equifax Complete plan.

For more information about protecting your credit score and more

personal finance advice, check the Equifax Finance Blog.

Luxury Home Market Expanding for Mortgage Lenders

new construction home

It is still a buyer’s market in the luxury home market per the Institute for Luxury Home Marketing (ILHM), with a Market Action Index (MAI) at 28. The MAI measures available supply relative to the current level of demand. However, the current index is very close to 30, which is considered a seller’s market. As reported by the IHLM on Nov. 10, 2013, home prices have remained stable over the last few weeks with a median price of $1.27 million, which represents close to a 10 percent increase since the beginning of 2013. These statistics support upward pressure in this market as house prices rebound and buyers and sellers are reevaluating their goals.

The jumbo market may also expand in volume if Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac reduce the loan maximums from the current level of $417,000. This has been suggested by Edward DeMarco, acting director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency, as part of a strategy to lessen federal involvement in mortgage lending.

Overall, Starkey Mortgage sees the jumbo market consisting of financially-savvy borrowers who expect full service at the lowest cost. Generally, these borrowers do not pay cash because the cost of funds is still lower than what they earn on their investments. A smart marketing strategy for listing and buyer’s agents is to align with lenders, such as Starkey Mortgage, who offer a full array of jumbo products and understand how the mortgage fits into an individual’s financial plan. With the luxury market expanding, lenders are expanding their product diversity to accommodate this growth.

Starkey Mortgage is a strong jumbo lender with programs that cover lending for unique properties, accommodate complex income scenarios and offer asset-based lending. Asset-based lending includes pledged assets as collateral and asset depletion is used in income calculations. In addition to product diversity, lenders must possess the ability to offer exception underwriting, which is often referred to as “common sense lending”. It is important that today’s jumbo borrowers understand there are more viable options in the marketplace for them to accomplish their goals.

Starkey Mortgage provides in-house processing and underwriting and prides itself on timely closings and competitive rates. Starkey exercises controlled growth and works closely with home buyers and builders to give them an assured experience.

For more information on Starkey’s East Region Builder Services Division, please contact North Carolina’s senior vice president and regional manager, Debra Watt, at, 704-246-0132 or visit

Equal Housing Lender. WR Starkey Mortgage, LLP NMLSR# 2146, 10800 Sikes Place, Suite 110, Charlotte, NC 28277. Branch NMLSR #93518, Branch License #L-112550-102, SC License #MLB-93518. Phone: 704.849.2125.