Bucks County Opportunity Council announces new ED

The Board of Directors of the Bucks County Opportunity Council (BCOC) has announced the hiring of Erin Lukoss as its new Executive Director. Mrs. Lukoss has over 14 years of experience working at the BCOC, most recently as the Director of Client Services. This background, in addition to her connections with government agencies and other non-profit organizations throughout Bucks County, will help lead the BCOC into the future.

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Consumer Troubleshooter

submitted by Bucks County Consumer Protection Agency

Q.  I recently applied for a small loan through my bank in order to pay off some credit card debt. As is their usual practice, the bank pulled my credit report and, according to them, my score was 500. However, when I pulled my credit report via TransUnion, it showed my score to be over 200 points higher. Why would there be such a difference? How do I know which report is most accurate? C.C. Langhorne.

A.  As you may be aware, there are three national credit bureaus; Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. Through any one of these bureaus you can find your credit score. The scores from each of these credit reporting organizations is solely based on the data that they have on file for you at their agency. That is the reason that your credit score may be different at each one of the main credit reporting agencies.

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Consumer Troubleshooter

submitted by Bucks County Consumer Protection Agency

Q. I came home from work yesterday and checked the messages on my phone. One of the calls was from the IRS informing me that I owe money. They went on to imply that if I did not pay immediately, that they would be sending the police to arrest me. I know I do not owe the IRS any money but this phone call frightened me. What should I do? S.A. Doylestown.

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Consumer Troubleshooter

submitted by Bucks County Consumer Protection Agency

Q. I have been receiving nasty telephone calls from a collection agency. They are looking for my adult daughter who no longer lives with my husband and me. I have spoken several times to them explaining that she doesn’t live here but they refuse listen. I have told them repeatedly to stop calling us but, not only do they still call but then they go on to tell me that my daughter is a “deadbeat” and that I should pay her debt for her. Am I responsible for her debt?  K.H., Langhorne.

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Why selling your home yourself is a BAD idea

submitted by Lynne Kelleher, Prudential Fox & Roach, Realtors – Newtown Office

Probably for the same reason they say that attorneys who represent themselves have fools for clients – and attorneys are educated about the process and presumably, understand the law! Below are some reasons that becoming a “For Sale By Owner” may not be the best idea:

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Stephanie Ripka named LBCCC’s Vice President

Stephanie Ripka, of Yardley, was recently promoted to Vice President of the Lower Bucks County Chamber of Commerce.

Starting out in retail, Stephanie managed card and gift stores in Massachusetts and Pennsylvania for over a decade. Later she transitioned into the construction industry, working for both general and mechanical contractors, where she excelled in project management, accounting and cost-control. With proven proficiency in finance and client service, she utilized her skills for over 20 years in construction.

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Bucks County small business ‘optimistic’ for 2015

Sixty-six percent of Bucks County business owners polled said they were “optimistic” about the local economy, according to a recent survey conducted by SCORE Bucks County. The local small business survey findings point to an air of optimism for 2015 and, in many instances, echo similar findings of a recent Gallup survey.

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Rosemary Caligiuri, CASL™, RICP® awarded Five Star Professional

Harvest Group has announced that Rosemary Caligiuri, President of Harvest Group Financial Services, has been awarded the Five Star Professional Award for the third consecutive year.

The Five Star Wealth Manager award program is the largest and most widely published award program in the financial services industry. The award is based on a rigorous, multifaceted research methodology, which incorporates input from peers and firm leaders along with client retention rates, industry experience and a thorough regulatory history review.

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Expect growth in the housing market

submitted by Lynne Kelleher, Prudential Fox & Roach, Realtors – Newtown Office

Momentum in the housing market is expected to continue into 2015, driven by low interest rates, tightened inventory, declining foreclosures, normalizing price appreciation and an improving economy. Nationally, new home sales have lagged behind the recovery, with barely an increase over 2013 and the share of first time homebuyers fell to the lowest level in over 20 years, according to the National Association of Realtors. This is largely due to the decrease in homes for sale and tightening lender standards, which are expected to ease ever-so-slightly this year.

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Bucks County Opportunity Council ED to step down

Allen Childs has decided to step down as Executive Director, CEO of Bucks County Opportunity Council (BCOC) effective June 15th, 2015. Under Allen’s leadership, BCOC expanded the impact of its programs serving those in poverty in Bucks County, partnered with world renowned Chef Jose Garces for a unique fundraising event, and sharpened its focus and organization structure to more effectively serve its clients.

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