October Newsletter: Rebuilding Credit After Bankruptcy, Domestic Violence, and Credit Report Skeletons

These articles were featured in our October Newsletter. To sign up to receive our monthly newsletter, please sign up here.

In this month’s newsletter, our attorneys tackle the topics of rebuilding credit after filing bankruptcy, protection orders in New Jersey, and old judgments and debts coming back to haunt you.

Rebuilding Credit after Bankruptcy

So you’ve received your discharge and got rid of most, if not all of your debts. Now what? Where do you go from here? You know the bankruptcy will be on your credit report for the next 7 years, but does that mean your credit score is shot for the next 7 years? How do you rebuild your credit score?

The easiest way to rebuild credit is to use credit. This can be a scary concept for many, but remember credit is just a tool. It can be used to build, but it also can be used to destroy. By using credit wisely in a planned and calculated manner can improve a credit score. Make your payments on time each month. Don’t overextend yourself. Have a cell phone, make sure the bill is paid in full and on time each month. Maybe use a credit card to pay for a recurring monthly expense – i.e. putting gas in the car, groceries, etc., but make sure you pay it off in full at the end of each month.
If you have secured debts, such as car loans or mortgages, make sure to continue making payments on time each month.

It will take some time, but good habits will be rewarded through improvement in your credit score.

Don’t forget to keep tabs on your credit report! Remember, you are entitled to receive one free report from each of the reporting agencies each year at www.annualcreditreport.com.

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month

While October is drawing to a close, if you or someone you know is the victim of domestic violence, there are resources to help.

In New Jersey, victims can obtain protection through law enforcement and the courts in the form a temporary and final restraining order. Final restraining orders are entered by a judge after conducting a hearing. If the judge determines that the precipitating events rise to the level of domestic violence, the final restraining order will go into effect, including protections such as exclusive occupancy of a residence, child support, and parenting time provisions.

Remember, domestic violence does not always involve physical violence. If you feel you are in danger, do not hesitate to contact your local police department or visit your local courthouse.

Are you in need of legal advice concerning a domestic violence matter? Give one of our attorneys a call today.

Don’t Leave Skeletons in your Closet….Or your Credit Report!

It’s not the zombie apocalypse, but zombie judgments are a real thing. What is a zombie judgment? When you file bankruptcy, you receive a discharge/elimination of most, if not all of your debts. Remember certain debts, such as student loans, child support, and some taxes cannot be eliminated. If you had any pre-bankruptcy judgments for a dischargeable debt, the bankruptcy discharge eliminates the underlying debt – meaning you don’t have to pay – but does not eliminate the judgment from the record (even though there is no money owed).

Zombie judgments can often be eliminated by filing a request with the state court. However, you must wait a year after receiving your discharge to apply for such relief. Think you might have a zombie or two of your own? Give us a call today!