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Thursday, July 21 2011

Moving to a new home can expose you to the risk of identity theft, so take precautions to guard your personal information as you finance your new home, close and open new bank or utility accounts, pack, and move.

“Identity thieves are pervasive and creative in finding opportunities to steal information, and something as simple as forgetting to forward mail can put a consumer in jeopardy of identity theft,” said Steve Schwartz, executive vice president of Intersections Inc., a consumer identity protection firm.

Schwartz offers these nine tips for keeping identity thieves at bay during and after a move:

  • Submit your change of address form at the post office. Then watch for a confirmation from the Postal Service confirming that your new information was correctly updated. Mail should start coming to your new address within 7 to 10 business days after filing; follow up at the post office if it doesn’t.
  • Shred sensitive documents that you’re not taking. Don’t be in such a rush that you toss papers with personal information into the recycling bin.
  • Monitor financial statements. Watch your bank and credit card statements for suspicious activity.
  • Use reputable moving companies. Do your homework before you hire a mover. Read online reviews, research the company, and ask trusted friends, family, or real estate agents for recommendations. Check the mover’s reputation with the Better Business Bureau. Make sure it’s registered with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and has a U.S. Department of Transportation number before you sign any agreement or even get an estimate.
  • Keep documents with you. Transfer all important physical documents that will be making the move, such as wills, stock certificates, bonds, etc., to a safe and secure place such as a locked box. Keep physical documents with you during the move and do not leave any secure receptacles for movers or others to transport.
  • Lock down your computer. Devote time and resources before your move to make sure all computers in your home are hack-proof and packed and out of sight before movers arrive.
  • Supervise the move. Make sure you are present for the entire duration of the move. Your presence could deter potential theft from occurring and ensure that the movers take good care of your personal belongings.
  • Check your credit report. Take a look at your credit report for several months after you’ve moved. Any suspicious activity on the report may be a sign that your information has been compromised. If that happens, immediately contact the police, your banks, your credit card issuers, and have the credit repositories put a fraud alert on your credit profile.
  • Verify mail is being delivered. After the move, verify that you’re receiving all mail from the list of senders you identified and contacted beforehand.

Source: Intersections Inc.



Read more: http://www.houselogic.com/news/articles/9-tips-protect-your-identity-during-move/#ixzz1Sa5GJvaL
Posted by: Rolando Trentini AT 08:00 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Monday, March 07 2011

You're about to relocate and along with that comes the task of moving all your goods. Now is a good time to decide what you will keep and what you wish to leave behind. A moving sale can reduce the weight of your shipment and the cost of your move. Also, of course, a moving sale can generate additional funds that may offset other expenses.

The key to a successful moving sale is determining what you no longer use, have outgrown or what you can easily replace at your new home. Remember, what may seem worthless to you is another person's treasure.

And who knows, if you haven't sold your home yet, a moving sale may even attract the right buyer!

How To Begin

Ask your family members about items they wish to sell, they may desire to sell more things than you imagined. Or, you might organize a "neighborhood" sale and pool the efforts of other famlies on your street.

When To Have Your Sale

Set a date and a time as soon as you can. Fridays and Saturdays are usually best; however, try to avoid holiday weekends. Establish a rain date if you think it may be necessary. Determine the hours, such as 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Many shoppers like to be first in line, so be prepared for early arrivals.

Where To Hold Your Sale

Check with local authorities about restrictions for sales in your area. Once you have a location, decide if the sale will be in the garage, yard or basement. Make sure there is ample parking and space for people to move about.

Publicize Your Sale

A good source of publicity is your local paper. Contact the Classified Advertising department to find out:

  • How they calculate costs — by column inches, number of lines or number of words?
  • What is the cost to run the ad Friday and Saturday vs Saturday only?
  • What is the additional cost for a bold headline?
  • What is the deadline for submitting an ad?

Mention the most popular items in your ad, such as furniture, appliances, tools, electronics, etc. Consider including your phone number so people can call for more information about sale items or for directions (this is especially useful if you live in an obsecure area).

Another publicity technique is to display flyers around the neighborhood. Note in large letters the type of sale, date, time and location. You may also place signs in high-traffic areas on the day of the sale with arrows and directions. (Please note that there may be restrictions on the posting of flyers and signs. Your local Chamber of Commerce can assist you should you have any questions.)

  Set up a cashier's desk (a card table will do fine) with a calculator, scissors, tape, string, markers, a cash box and plenty of change.

Ten Essential Preparations

  1. Look at your list of items for sale. Visit secondhand shops, retail stores, etc. to determine prices for each.
  2. Record the price on a tag or sticker and place on the item in an easy-to-see location. Use different colored stickers or an identification code on the tags if more than one family is involved in your sale.
  3. Start saving shopping bags and cartons to make it more convenient for customers. Have tissue paper or newspaper on hand to wrap glass, knickknacks and other fragile purchases.
  4. Bundle or package all sets, groups, or units together so customers know what they are getting. Put loose game pieces in a sealable bag and secure inside the box.
  5. Set up the yard, garage or basement so that all "For Sale" items will be separated from items not for sale.
  6. Display items in groups according to type, such as kitchen utensils, sporting goods, tools, etc. If possible, hang clothing on a clothesline or rack for easy viewing.
  7. Set up a cashier's desk with a calculator, scissors, tape, string, markers, a cash box and plenty of change.
  8. Be prepared for the weather to change at any time. Have several large sheets of plastic handy to quickly cover everything.
  9. To keep the kids busy, buy a few varieties of soft drinks and bottled water. Ice them down in a cooler the night before. Tell the kids that the money they earn selling drinks is their reward for helping. On a hot summer day, a cold drink will be a welcome relief to shoppers.
  10. Assign everyone a responsibility for the day, like cashier, clerk, organizer, etc.

Now You Are Ready For A Successful Moving Sale!

Source: http://www.atlasvanlines.com/how-to-move/moving-sale/

Posted by: Rolando Trentini AT 08:00 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Saturday, January 22 2011
Atlas gives you some tax information and tips related to moving.
If you are moving to a new home, you undoubtedly have a lot to think about, including whether you can deduct your moving expenses from your taxes. This brochure helps to explain who can deduct moving expenses and what expenses you can deduct.
Who Qualifies
Even if you don't file an itemized return, you can deduct moving expenses if your move meets these three conditions:
·         It is closely related to the start of work
·         It meets the distance test
·         It meets the time test
Move Related to the Start of Work — Generally, you can deduct moving expenses incurred within one year from the date you first report to work.
Distance Test — You may qualify for a deduction if your new job location is at least 50 miles farther from your former residence than your old job. For example, if your previous job was located three miles from your former residence, your new job must be at least 53 miles from your former residence. (See Federal Tax Form 3903 to see if you qualify.)
Time Test — You may qualify for a deduction if you work full-time for an employer in the general vicinity of the new job location for 39 weeks during the 12-months following your move. This condition is waived if you: 1) cannot satisfy it because of death, disability, or termination for reasons other than for willful misconduct, and 2) it is reasonable to expect that you would have otherwise fulfilled the condition.
If you are self-employed, you must work in the new location (as a self-employed person or as an employee) for at least 39 weeks in the first 12 months and 78 weeks during the 24 months following your move.
Keep in mind:
·    If you pay the expenses in one tax year, but do not satisfy the working requirements by the filing deadline, you may still deduct the expenses if you reasonably expect to satisfy the condition in the succeeding tax year. However, if you fail to satisfy the requirements in the next year you must either: 1) report an equal amount of income, or 2) amend the prior year's return.
·    Foreign moves and moves by military personnel are subject to some exceptions. In these situations, seek the advice of a professional tax advisor.
·    You may not deduct expenses in excess of a reasonable amount.
Deductible Moving Expenses
The non-reimbursed cost of moving household goods and personal effects to a new residence is permitted as a deduction in determining federal adjusted gross income. This includes the actual cost of transportation or hauling from your old residence to your new one; the cost of packing, crating and unpacking; storage-in-transit and valuation (each limited to 30 consecutive days). Report non-reimbursed moving expenses on Federal Tax Form 3903.
Deductible expenses include:
·    The cost of shipping your automobiles and boats
·    The cost of transporting your household pets, including dogs, cats, tropical fish, etc.
·    The moving related cost associated with connecting and disconnecting utilities
·    The cost of moving your personal belongings from a place other than your old residence (such as a summer home or relative's home), but not in excess of what it would have cost to move them from your old residence
·    The family trip to the new residence is deductible — this includes lodging but not meals
Resources
IRS Publication — 521 Moving Expenses
IRS Problem Solving Line —   1-800-829-1040
IRS Web Sitewww.irs.gov
Select Libraries — audio and video recordings for help with Federal Tax Forms.
For tax publications, forms and instructions, call the toll-free IRS Tax Form  800-TAX-FORM  (800-829-3676).
Posted by: Rolando Trentini AT 08:00 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Tuesday, August 10 2010
If you're planning to buy a house, rent a different apartment or relocate your family anytime soon, chances are you didn't think that moving could make you the victim of identity theft.

But during a move, homeowners and renters alike are particularly susceptible to identity theft -- a crime which is especially prevalent during the summer, since half of all moves in the United States take place between Memorial Day and Labor Day.

So in addition to packing and coordinating with the moving trucks, you also need to safeguard yourself from fraudsters.

"Regardless of what people say, you can't prevent ID theft. But you can be a lot more aware and take some strong precautions," says Steve Schwartz, executive vice president of consumer services for Intersections Inc., an identity protection company.

Schwartz provided a rundown of simple steps that you can take to minimize your risk of identity theft and maximize your safety and security before, during and after a move:


Top 10 Safety Steps for Homeowners and Renters on the Move


1. Write everything down

Before you move, make a list of all the personal mail you routinely receive. Tell your banks, financial institutions, creditors and others of the move and redirect all correspondence, statements and sensitive mailings to your new address.

Be sure to notify:
a. Retirement accounts/banking institutions/credit card companies
b. Utility companies (electric, gas, water, cable, etc.)
c. Insurance companies (medical, property, renters, fire and auto)
d. Local government agencies, federal agencies & the IRS
e. Healthcare providers
f. Schools
g. Publications to which you subscribe (magazines, newspapers, etc.)
h. Clubs you have memberships in

Alternatively, consider switching to online statements. According to the 2010 Identity Fraud Survey Report from Javelin Strategy & Research, consumers with electronic statements needed less time to detect fraud and paid lower consumer costs ($116 vs. $274) than those monitoring paper statements.


2. Submit a change of address form to the U.S. Post Office

Once your form has been filed, double-check the confirmation from the Postal Service to make sure that they list your new address correctly. Your mail should start being delivered to your new residence within seven to 10 business days after you submit a change-of-address filing.


3. Shred all sensitive documents that you won't take with you

Don't leave behind any paperwork, including credit card offers, that con artists can use if they go through your trash. Instead shred them yourself. A good shredder will cost just $50 or so.


4. Thoroughly research your moving company

Mover fraud is on the rise nationwide. To thwart this crime, properly investigate local moving companies by getting recommendations from trustworthy friends, family members, and real estate agents. Also, check a mover's rating with the Better Business Bureau. Finally, only pick a mover that is registered with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and that has a U.S. Department of Transportation (USDDOT) number. The most reputable ones will supply you this information on request.


5. Remain present during the entire move

This may not always be possible, but just being there with the movers could help deter potential identity theft. Plus, you'll get to oversee any remaining packing or moving activities to make sure things are being handled properly.


6. Transport important physical documents properly
Transfer all sensitive documents – like wills, insurance policies, stock certificates or bonds – to a safe and secure place, such as a locked box, and keep these items with you personally during the move; don't hand them off to your moving company. You can also transfer sensitive documents to an online secure vault.


7. Lock down your computer

Don't make the mistake of leaving your computers (desktops and laptops included) readily accessible to your movers. Instead, secure those items before the movers even arrive. Take all computers, hard drives and other external storage devices with you during the move.

During his last move, "I packed my computers myself and they went in my car," says Schwartz, adding, "That's not a box you want to go with the mover."


8. Monitor bank and credit card statements

After your move, watch for unexplained charges or suspicious activity on your debit and credit cards. But also be aware that credit-related fraud "accounts for only about one-third of identity theft," Schwartz says. Non-credit related problems actually make up the bulk of problems, with thieves stealing your personal information in order to open new cell phones or bank accounts, establish utility services, or even get payday loans and fake driver's licenses in your name.


9. Verify all mail, post-move

Use your previously-created checklist to make sure that everyone you notified about your move has, in fact, started sending your mail to your new address. If something is missing, follow up immediately to make sure mail isn't still being routed to your old address.


10. Create a secure zone

After your move, even though there may be loads of boxes and furniture everywhere, carve out a secure zone – preferably one that's off-limits to movers and others. This is where you'll store computer items, check your data files or do personal financial record-keeping, like balancing your checkbook or reviewing credit card statements.


Regardless of whether you're relocating across town or clear across the country, a move can be hectic and stressful. But by taking some or all of the steps above, you'll help ensure that one important thing – your identity – doesn't get overlooked during your busy transition.
Posted by: Rolando Trentini AT 08:00 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
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The Trentini Team
F.C. Tucker EMGE REALTORS®
7820 Eagle Crest Bvd., Suite 200
Evansville, IN 47715
Office: (812) 479-0801
Cell: (812) 499-9234
Email: Rolando@RolandoTrentini.com


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