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New Credit Scoring Calculation Will Improve Access to Homeownership
REALTORS® welcome the recent announcement from Fair Isaac Corp., or FICO, that it will no longer penalize borrowers for certain debt-collection activities when calculating credit scores.

Beginning this fall, FICO will no longer weigh medical debts -- which account for about half of all unpaid collections on consumers' credit reports -- as heavily as it did previously. Also, FICO will ignore any collections that have already been paid.

According to the National Assocition of REALTORS® President Steve Brown, "This move will ultimately make a real difference in the lives of millions of Americans, who have been shut out of the housing market or forced to pay higher mortgage interest rates because of flawed credit scores. Since the housing crash, overly restrictive lending has been the greatest obstacle to homeownership."
Roanoke Named a Best Small City on the Rise

The Roanoke Region landed on another Top Ten list last month. The travel site named Roanoke, Virginia as one of "America's Best Small Cities on the Rise ."

The site cited Roanoke's revitalized downtown area as one reason for its ranking. The new Elmwood Park amphitheater, pedestrian plaza at the City Market and Center in the Square were all named as factors as well. The outdoors was also a significant reason for Roanoke's recognition.

Roanoke joined cities such as Chattanooga, TN, Greenville, SC, Asheville, NC and Traverse City, MI. Thanks to the Roanoke Regional Partnership for sharing the good news!

Roanoke County Wins Digital Government Award

Roanoke County received first place in the 2014 Digital Counties Survey Award, in the category for populations up to 150,000. The award was presented earlier this month by the Center for Digital Government and the National Association of Counties.

The award cited Roanoke County's use of digital projects such as its new Geographic Information System portal and use of data-driven crime prevention. Four other Virginia counties placed in the top 10 including Franklin County seventh place and Montgomery County tenth place.

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