PLANO, Texas, Dec. 8 /PRNewswire/ -- When the Federal Reserve announced its plan to invest up to $600 billion in mortgage backed securities owned by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and Ginnie Mae, mortgage interest rates dropped to their lowest point since February 2008. However, few borrowers may actually qualify for these savings. In addition to tighter lending standards and declining home values, borrowers are also being plagued by the nation's credit reporting system.
According to Rodney Anderson, the country's top producer of FHA/VA loans and the fourth highest producing loan originator, 45 percent of the 1,701 loan applications he received between June and September 2008 had borrowers with at least one medical collection account. "In evaluating these loans, we uncovered a huge injustice against the American public," says Anderson. "The tragedy is that the collection accounts, even those that have been paid in full, are lowering these individuals' credit scores, often to the point that they either can't qualify for a loan, or will have to pay higher interest rates if they do."
A nationally acclaimed mortgage and credit expert, Anderson regularly appears on WFAA Channel 8 Good Morning Texas, and the Evening News of CBS 11 and TXA 21. He also has a weekly radio show to discuss the mortgage industry and provide consumer advice. He explains that medical collections are particularly problematic because of four main issues:
-- Medical billing is a notoriously error-prone arena
-- Many individuals with medical collection accounts never received the bill in question
-- Medical collection accounts customarily remain on a credit report for seven years after the individual has settled or paid the account in full
-- Medical collection accounts can reduce a credit score by as much as 100 points, sometimes more.
"The issue of medical debt plagues the patient-physician relationship, to the detriment of the health of the patient," says Texas-based cardiologist Fred Maese, MD, FACC. "The way the system is set up, there's no incentive for patients to settle their accounts quickly. Once the collection account hits the patient's credit report, that consumer is held hostage for up to seven years, whether they settle the account or not."
"Based on our extensive research, we can surmise that nearly half of Americans have at least one medical collection debt that's lowering their credit score," says Anderson, who uses analytical software to evaluate credit reports and determine how borrowers can best improve their own credit scores. In doing so, he found that medical collection accounts are routinely reducing borrowers' credit scores by 60 to 100 points or more. "This is disastrous news for loan applicants, especially since earlier this year Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac started requiring higher credit scores to qualify for loans, and loan servicers of FHA and VA loans have implemented additional credit score-based premiums," he adds.
Anderson, a vocal advocate and educator in the credit arena, has initiated a petition to create a federal law mandating the permanent removal of a paid or settled medical collection account from the consumer's credit report within 30 days of settlement.
"I've seen many hard working, conscientious individuals who diligently address their monthly obligations, but because they unwittingly incurred a medical collection account, are forced to settle for a mortgage rate that's half a percent higher than if they'd never had that collection account," adds Anderson. "That half point can translate into thousands of dollars in wasted money, and that's only for a home loan. They can also expect higher rates for auto financing, credit cards and insurance. That's a hard pill to swallow for the many individuals who were never notified of the initial billing and who have since paid the collection account in full. In this market, where interest rates and low home prices present the ideal time for buying, we need to make sure that individuals who deserve credit, get it."
More information on the Credit 911 Medical Relief Bill is available at http://www.rodneyanderson.com/credit/medical_collections.php .
About Rodney Anderson
Rodney Anderson is the executive director and senior managing partner of Rodney Anderson Lending Services in Plano, TX, a division of Supreme Lending, a nationwide broker/banker with over 100 branches nationwide. Rodney has over 25 years of experience, and is the #1 FHA/VA lender in the country, the top originator in the state of Texas, and the #4 originator in the United States. A renowned mortgage and credit expert, Rodney hosts a weekly radio show and frequently appears on WFAA Channel 8 Good Morning Texas, and on the Evening News of CBS 11 and TXA 21. For more information on Rodney Anderson, please visit www.RodneyAnderson.com or call (972) 985-5208.
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