Before we get started today…  I’m taking a little time off and thus the Cheat Sheet will as well.  Today’s entry will be the last until August 21st.  The Cheat Sheet will return at that time.  Thanks for reading & listening!  Also for the complete audio library of all Cheat Sheet entries via iHeartRadio click here:



Cheat Sheet Q&A:  2 quick hitters: Tracking kids & deficiency judgment changes-


I wanted to tie up a couple of loose ends on topics we’ve recently covered on the morning show.  Today’s first entry is with regard to GPS bracelets for kids.  Yesterday Jim and I discussed a new GPS product designed for you to keep track of your kids.  It’s a bracelet that your kids would wear that would enable you to see where they are via an app or website.  A listener reached out with this note:


Regarding GPS bracelets for kids…  My kids, when in their early teens, carried cell phones with Sprint’s tracking sys app. The rule was I pay for the phone (they had to use it)? It could be tracked at will and without your knowledge or consent. I had to use it a few times for good reason.


Bottom Line:  He brings up a great point.  With so many kids having smart phones these days – you wouldn’t need a bracelet to keep up with their location.  Virtually all smart phones and providers have the capability to enable us to do this.  Good thought (btw, I agree with the right and the potential need to be aware of where your children are in today’s less than innocent society). 


Next up:  Deficiency judgments:


This is an update and correction to yesterday’s entry regarding deficiency judgments in a foreclosure or short-sale situation.  I mentioned that a lender has up to five years to begin to pursue you for deficiency after a foreclosure redemption or short-sale situation.  A local real-estate attorney alerted me to a recent change in Florida law.  The change has significantly shortened the length of time a lender has to begin to pursue the deficiency process to just one year. 

Thanks for the update! 


If you have a topic or question you’d like me to address email me:


Audio Report: 




How many of us now carry credit card balances & what types of cards to avoid:


Bottom Line:  So let’s get right to it.  Do you carry credit card balances on a regular basis?  I was hearted to see that…:


  • Only 40% of credit card users carry balances on a regular basis


I’m glad to see that most users of credit cards are paying them off each month – reaping the benefits:  consumer protection vs. a debit card if your number is compromised, establishing and enhancing credit and rewards programs, etc.  That being said if you are part of the 40% who do carry balances on a regular basis, there is a huge difference with regard to which cards you use. 


  • The average of the low interest rate credit cards (these are often no or low rewards cards that feature low interest rates are currently:  10.3%



  • The average of all credit cards is an interest rate of:  15%



  • The average of store branded credit cards is currently:  23.2%



So clearly you need to be wise if you carry balances & whatever you do – avoid the store branded credit cards.  It’s tempting because the stores that issue credit cards will entice you with huge discounts on the purchase you’re about to make but, if you will carry a balance, they’re going to more than make the money back on you and what they’re offering is anything but a good deal. 

Audio Report: 




We just hit a new, positive, benchmark for delinquent mortgages & it could make the difference in you be able to obtain a mortgage going forward:


Bottom Line:  For the first time since the great recession the total number of mortgages nationwide that are delinquent (90 days or more behind) is under 5%



  • 4.8% of mortgages are delinquent vs. 5.9% at this time last year



That number is still far higher than is ideal, 2% or lower, but there’s a story that explains why it’s still as high as it currently is:



  • 75% of all delinquent mortgages were originated in 2007 or earlier!



Just 6% of all delinquent mortgages were underwritten after 2010.  So clearly it’s almost entirely still a hangover from the housing boom days.  With more recent mortgages sporting very low delinquency rates, we’ll likely continue to see mortgage lenders ease standards as we continue to work through all of those older delinquent mortgages (provided that the more current mortgages are maintained as well as they currently are being managed by homeowners). 


Audio Report: 




Are you in financial distress?  Are you better or worse off than 5 years ago?:


Bottom Line:  The Federal Reserve has been studying those questions.  Here’s what they found:



  • 25% of Americans say they are “just getting by” financing



  • An additional 13% say they are in distress and/or are struggling



So 38% of Americans are in a pay check to pay check or worse situation.  That likely isn’t all of that surprising.  The answer to the other question may surprise you.  5 years ago we were dealing with the fallout from the Great Recession.  So naturally far more of us would be better of financially today than five years ago right? 



  • 30% of Americans say they’re better off today than five years ago






  • 34% of Americans say they’re worse off today



So more of us are worse off today than five years ago….  That truly speaks to just how weak the recovery really has been.  Recently I’ve demonstrated that in terms of earnings the average person is no better off today than five years ago and that the rate of part time jobs as a percentage of the overall workforce has increased from 13+% to nearly 20% today.  When you begin to look at those underlying factors is understandable how half a decade after the 2nd worst recession in our country’s history more Americans are actually worse off today.  There is a lot of work to do and much of it needs to occur in a voting booth. 


Audio Report: