Sunday, June 26, 2011


I was selling at item on Craig's List. I don't know if you've ever sold anything but it's pretty straight forward. You negotiate with a buyer by email and usually meet face to face to exchange the item for cash.

In this case, the buyers were from overseas... so they sent a check by federal express. By email they told me that their employer would be purchasing the item for them, but the check was going to be for more than the cost of the item. This was supposedly a mistake and the difference should be refunded to them by me immediately upon receipt of the money. This is the first time I thought something is suspicious.

When the check arrived it wasn't certified as was stated in their email. It was written on a normal business check in the name of an LLC. The fedex package came from yet another company (LLC) from a different address. Now I'm really starting to get suspicious. The following day I received instructions to wire the money to yet a different person in another state, because they said the money shouldn't take more than 24 hours to clear. This is no longer suspicious- this is downright sounding like fraud.

They continued to pressure me into wiring funds, but I continued to state clearly that I have to wait for the check to clear since it is from out of state. I brought the check to the same bank in which the check was written. This way the bank can see if the funds are available and if the check is legitimate at all. After going into the system, the bank manager felt that the account appears to be legitimate, but she scanned the check I had deposited. Upon further review, the manager found the account to be closed. Now imagine if I had wired money to a stranger and didn't realize my mistake until after it was too late. Please be careful anytime you come across a scenario similar to this. Watch Out for FRAUD!

Andy Williams
Abacus Regional Mortgage
484 695 5972

Sunday, June 19, 2011


I have been in the business for 25 years and learned to read credit reports way before there were credit scores. We were taught to carefully assess the credit risk of a buyer based on their pattern of payments, number of late accounts, how recent the delinquencies, type of debt, etc. This training went by the wayside when credit scores were derived.

Today, a loan officer looks at the score to determine the ability for a borrower to obtain a mortgage. With this simplistic approach it has made it much easier to determine a buyers ability to get a loan, but it doesn't help a loan officer to properly council someone with less than stellar credit on how to boost their credit score. I have the experience and am better adept at assessing a person's credit report and showing them ways to improve their credit scores.

There are a few myths about credit which are commonly known yet misunderstood. One of the most common myths which I know not to be true is that most people believe that you must open a charge card, charge it up,pay it off, and close it to establish credit. While it is true you must open an account to establish credit, you don't have to use it at all! When you look at a charge card on a credit report it will show the payment patterns for the past 24 months. If the account has never been used it will still show excellent payment patterns as if the card has been actively used. This is an excellent way to build your credit without ever having to use it. You can open a Mastercard or Visa and cut up the card. This will boost your credit score immensely.

Another common myth is when people tell me they paid their late credit card off in full and closed the account. Unfortunately, this doesn't help your payment history. It is true that by paying off the account will bring it current, but the last few months payment history on the account will display the last few late payments for a long time. It becomes an old account and will no longer rate. It is much more effective to pay the account current and continue to make timely payments for at least 24 months to clean up the recent history on the account.

"I've heard that a bank can turn you down if you have too many unused credit cards...they feel that you have the potential to charge them up?"
This is very untrue. I council people how to improve their credit scores by lowering their credit card balances. If you have revolving charge balances below 50% of the limits you will increase your credit score. If you don't have the money to pay down the balances, perhaps you can have the creditor increase your credit limit to obtain the same objective. For instance, if you have a $500 credit limit and a current balance of
$475, by raising the limit to $1,000 you will be able to artificially be able to reach the same goal. Don't close the unused accounts. They are helping you amass a higher credit score.

For a free assessment and credit counselling please contact me at

Andy Williams
Abacus Regional Mortgage
484 695 5972

Monday, June 13, 2011


This concoction is one that I came up with over the years that tastes fantastic yet is super healthy. Here are the ingredients:

1 cup of fresh strawberries
1 tablespoon of Lowfat Vanilla Yogurt
1 tablespoon of Lowfat Cottage Cheese
1 teaspoon of Wheat Germ
1 teaspoon of Vanilla Granola
1/4 cup of whole walnuts

Slice the strawberries and mix with all of the ingredients. It stores well in a container to pack for lunches and makes a fantastic snack. It is half the calories of ice cream yet contains Omega 3s and packs alot of protein to increase metabolism and fat burning.

Sunday, June 12, 2011


There are three main strategies to improving your credit and boosting your score. The first and most obvious is to continue paying all debts on time. If you have the money, but are sloppy with paying your bills, try utilizing your bank's on line banking system. You can automatically set up your account so that each bill is paid on the same day each month electronically. This method will ensure the timeliness of your payments. The second strategy is to payoff any existing collection accounts, either by negotiating a partial settlement with the creditor, or paying them in full. Once all judgments and collections are paid your credit scores will improve quickly. Many of my customers' scores have improved 20-40 points within weeks of clearing their debts. The third and probably the most important strategy is to pay down any outstanding credit card balances to less than 50% of the credit limit. By having a balance near the maximum limit makes it appear that you may be living on credit to sustain yourself and could be a candidate for impending bankruptcy. If you don't have the money to pay down these balances, try contacting each credit card holder and increasing the credit limit. This strategy is especially effective to raise the scores because an artificial inflation of the credit limit will do the same thing as lowering your balance. These are all effective and rapid ways of improving your credit scores.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Who Says You Have To Starve Yourself To Lose Weight?

There are many foods you can eat which digest slowly in your system. By eating slow digesting foods, you can curb your appetite and minimize hunger between meals. Oatmeal is one of the best foods you can eat because of the length of time it takes to fully digest it. It is a complex carbohydrate that fills you up but lasts in your system for a long time and keeps your hunger satisfied. There are many other low calorie foods that you can eat which give you important nutrients and suppress your appetite. Eating apples and bananas will satisfy your hunger and yet aren't loaded with a lot of calories. Couple these with a good amount of water on a daily basis will curb your appetite, keep you full, and allow you to lose weight.