Monday, May 12, 2014

Faces at TRIP: Theresa Newton

Theresa Newton:  Director of Rental Operations

Theresa Newton has been the Director of Rental Operations at TRIP since 2001. 

Theresa oversees the management of TRIP’s portfolio of 301 apartments.  She works with TRIP staff, private owners of apartment buildings and she helps area landlords on management issues.  She also oversees small development projects.  A typical day would include writing reports for lenders, working with project owners and landlords, budgeting programs and planning for improvements and long term use.

Theresa states that her goals at TRIP focus on providing better apartments for hardworking families and seniors.  

She enjoys working in Troy as her family roots are here and she has become attached to many other families in and around TRIP’s neighborhoods.

In her spare time she is an avid cyclist and triathlete.  She recently competed in the Patriot Half Ironman.

Healthy Home: Ants

Getting Rid of Ants

There are some easy, natural ways to rid your house (home, condo, or apartment) of ants. Here are a couple of suggestions:
  • Vinegar - this is effective because ants do not like the smell of vinegar and the vinegar also removes scent trails that ants use to get around. So blend a 50-50 mixture of vinegar and water to wipe down counters, cupboards, and other places you’ve seen ants. Do this regularly (maybe even 2-3 times per day) to improve its effectiveness.
  • Herbs and Spices - several work. Try cinnamon, mint, chili pepper, black pepper, cayenne pepper, cloves, or garlic. Sprinkle your choice where you’ve seen ants as well as around your home’s foundation. Like vinegar, ants do not like the scent thatis given off by the herb or spice. 
  • Borax - this is another 50-50 mixture. Blend the borax with jelly or syrup and place it where the ants will find it. This works because the borax in the consumed mixture damages the ants’ digestive system and outer skeleton causing death.   Borax has no toxic fumes and is considered safe for the environment. Remember that it can cause skin irritation, the dust may cause respiratory irritation and ingestion may cause gastrointestinal issues. Wear gloves, a dust mask and probably best not to use this repellent remedy if there are small children in the house.
  • Talcum powder - you can use chalk, baby powder or talcum powder (which is found in chalk and baby powder) and sprinkle it where the ants are entering into your house. Talcum powder has been reported as a natural ant repellent. 
Excerpted from NeighborWorks America’s Construction and Rehab Newsletter, 
May 2014. 

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Child Identity Theft

Is your child a victim of identity theft? 

Right about now is the time when many of us are searching for scholarships and financial aid for our college-bound kids. Or maybe Junior is interviewing for his first job - or Muffy is buying her first car. In the middle of the paperwork, you might get a nasty surprise: your child’s credit report shows unpaid bills and a loan default. What? My child’s credit report? Children and young teens aren’t even legally able to open credit accounts on their own; you wouldn’t expect them to have a credit report. So what happened? Most likely, it’s identity theft.
A child's Social Security number can be used by identity thieves to apply for government benefits and tax refunds, open bank and credit card accounts, apply for a loan or utility service, or rent a place to live. The best way to know if your child’s information is being misused is to check for a credit report. Even if you don’t suspect identity theft, it’s a good idea to see if there is a credit file on your child. Do a check at their 16th birthday. And if needed, take action immediately. That way, if it has errors due to fraud or misuse - you’ll have time to correct it before Junior applies for a job, a loan for tuition or a car, or needs to rent an apartment.
Contact each of the 3 nationwide credit reporting companies.
  • Equifax 1-800-525-6285
  • Experian 1-888-397-3742
  • Transunion
Ask for a manual search of the child’s file. The companies will check for files relating to the child’s name and Social Security number, and for files related only to the child’s Social Security number.
The credit reporting companies may require copies of:
  • the child’s birth certificate listing parents
  • the child’s Social Security card
  • the parent or guardian’s government-issued identification card, like a driver’s license or military identification, or copies of documents proving the adult is the child’s legal guardian
  • proof of address, like a utility bill, or credit card or insurance statement
Remember to keep copies of any letters you send, and record the dates and details of any calls.
If your child’s information was misused, call each credit reporting company to ask them to remove all accounts, account inquiries, and collection notices from any file associated with your child’s name and Social Security number. Send a letter confirming that request. Explain that the child is a minor and include a copy of the Uniform Minor’s Status Declaration [PDF]. Ask each company to put a fraud alert on your child’s credit report. Contact one company; that company will contact the other two.
You’ll also want to contact every business where your child’s information was misused. Ask each business to close the fraudulent account and flag it to show it resulted from identity theft. File a report with the FTC online or call 877-438-4338. Your complaint can be used as an Affidavit to create an Identity Theft Report that gives your child some important rights when clearing up identity theft!

Written by Carol Kando-Pineda
Attorney, Federal Trade Commission