Archive for May, 2010

What determines your credit score?, by Inwest Title a Utah Title Company

Thursday, May 20th, 2010

The economic climate in recent years, coupled with record high unemployment rates nationwide, has made it difficult for many Americans to meet their monthly obligations to creditors.  Increased mortgage defaults and historic foreclosure rates have taken their toll on many consumers’ credit scores as well.   Whether you have had recent credit struggles, or are just trying to build up enough credit to qualify for a mortgage to purchase or refinance a home, here are some helpful tips.

Your credit score is calculated on information obtained from your personal credit file.  This information is then analyzed in five different categories to produce your three-digit FICO® score.

Credit Score Breakdown

 

1.            Payment History: 35% of your score is based on paying your credit related accounts on time. Late payments or slow pays can drop your score quickly.

2.            Credit Utilization: 30% of your score is based on how much credit you have and how you are using it.  If you are close to utilizing the entire amount of your credit limit on a credit card or line of credit, it can reflect negatively on your credit score.

3.            Length of Credit History: 15% of your score is based on good payment history over a period of time.

4.            New Credit and Inquiries: 10% of your score is based on the number of recent inquiries and opened accounts coming from creditors. If you want to minimize the damage from credit inquiries, make sure that when you shop for a mortgage you do so in a fairly short period of time. The FICO® score treats multiple inquiries in a 45-day period as just one inquiry and ignores all inquiries made within 30 days prior to the day the score is computed.

5.            Types of Credit: 10% of your score is based on having a variety of credit accounts such as a home mortgage, auto loans, credit cards, etc.

Overall the best way you can improve your credit score is to:  Correct errors. Pay your bills on time. Pay down your debt. And apply for credit sparingly.

Outsourcing Title Orders Offshore- Are you supporting Utah and U.S. job loss?, by Inwest Title a Utah Title Company

Friday, May 7th, 2010

With the changing scenery of today’s technology, more and more companies in the Real Estate related market are turning to offshore outsourcing to complete jobs once performed by U.S. employees. Outsourcing is an arrangement in which one company provides services for another company that could also be or usually have been provided in-house. Offshore simply means “any country other than your own.” Most often those companies on the “outsourcing bandwagon” are reporting lower wages, savings on operational costs such as payroll, administrative cost, utilities and insurance. When companies outsource the idea is to save money if they can keep the prices of their product lower than competitors. However, in the case of title companies outsourcing offshore, in our opinion these companies do not pass on those savings to their customers by decreasing fees or title insurance policy rates.

Be sure that you and your staff are not using a title company that has been searching, reviewing and handling title searches offshore in India, China, Sri Lanka, Manila, Philippines, etc.,. As a Real Estate Broker or Mortgage professional, how do you feel about: Your property located in Tooele, Utah being searched, reviewed and cleared in a third world country by an individual unable to identify the location or the proximity to other Utah cities. This individual is unfamiliar with title issues, easements, encumbrances associated with its location and is merely performing a “data-research” job function. In essence these companies are reducing their minimum title searching standards in exchange for a cheaper search. In order to perform these searches an individual’s personal information is necessary so this information must also be sent offshore. This begs the question about privacy protection and security of personal information. With the rise of identity theft and other personal data scams, it is unclear as to what legal recourse one would have if their information was compromised because of mishandling off U.S. soil.

With so many U.S. and Utah residents out of work and seeking employment, it is difficult to understand why companies would outsource jobs and work to third world countries. In March 2010, Utah reported a 7.2% unemployment rate, and the U.S. overall had a 9.7% unemployment rate. A highly referenced 2002 report by John C. McCarthy with Forrester Research, was quoted as saying that by the year 2017, there would be 3.3 million U.S. service industry jobs and $136 billion in wages would be moved offshore to countries like India, Russia, China and the Philippines.

What can you do to avoid supporting offshore outsourcing and contributing to the loss of U.S. jobs? Are you a Real Estate or Mortgage professional fed up with title vendors that engage in this practice? There’s good news, if you use title companies, such as Inwest Title Services, that perform their own Title Search functions, clearing, policy and secure file storage in Utah, you can be assured that you are not supporting this offshore outsourcing movement. In fact, Inwest Title Services employs over 100 Utah residents at its twelve (12) statewide office locations.

Local Utah banks, credit unions, real estate professionals and builders should be concerned with offshore outsourcing and how it affects the local Utah economy. Economic development, home sales, and general health of the economy are all diminished by companies that outsource Utah jobs. Combined with putting U.S. resident’s private personal information at risk, when a Real Estate Agent or bank makes the choice to use their services, they are compromising not only the security of the data but supporting job loss to U.S. citizens.

Ask your current title company if they participate with searching, clearing and file storage in offshore locations and if the answer is yes, make a wise decision to investigate a safe, Utah title and escrow alternative. Contact Inwest Title Services today for a preliminary title quote and set up your online account for title order and tracking – as well as Instant Fee Quotes for your GFE. www.inwesttitle.com