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Ways to Protect Your Credit During Your Divorce

Posted by Christopher Holwell | Jul 06, 2018 | 0 Comments

So you are in the middle of a divorce. You don't have the energy to worry about one more problem during this time but there's one you should not neglect; your credit.

Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but one day in the not so distance future after your divorce, you will care about your credit. You may be applying for a new loan, a job or a new house and it is going to matter quite a bit. Protecting what you have now is much easier than rebuilding your credit after it is damaged after a divorce.

The Power of Your Divorce Decree (or lack thereof)

Your creditors don't care about your divorce decree! They are not bound by it. Your spouse may be ordered to pay a bill but if it doesn't happen, the creditor won't care. If it's in your name, they will come for you!

There are Options to Put You in Control

1. Sell joint assets. If your divorce is somewhat civil, you may be able to agree in selling jointly financial assets like houses or vehicles. this can prevent a lot of credit problem from happening in the first place.

Once you sell the asset, the loan gets paid first. If there is any equity leftover, you can split the remainder or use it to pay down other debts. You might be able to buy the asset from you soon to be ex in this process as well.

2. Refinance. Its possible to refinance, for example, a home if the parties are somewhat agreeable. While doing the refi while you are still married, you may be able to convince your spouse to refi with the new loan without your name on it. It shows good faith and you can reciprocate by doing the same in other areas of debt.

3. Make the Payments Yourself. No one likes this option but it is a reality. If your ex won't make payments on a joint debt, the late payments and fees, default, charge-offs or collection might severely damage both your credit scores. Making payments even if minimal, will protect your credit.

4. Last but not Least; Bankruptcy. You cant afford to pay the minimums on your joint account debts, your ex won't refinance or work with you to sell joint assets, then maybe you consider filing for bankruptcy. Your credit score will take a hit but you will have some protection from your creditors. The same protection will be afforded for your ex.

About the Author

Christopher Holwell

Christopher W. Holwell Attorney/Principal 9 years with Holwell Group, LLC/Law Offices of Christopher W. Holwell 19 years as a trial attorney for Divorce, Real Estate, Insurance Coverage, and Injury. One of my biggest accomplishments in a divorce case was getting a multi-million dollar settlement from a spouse that was not disclosing several million dollars in assets. In addition, I was able to get the other spouse to fully fund the one child's college education as part of the settlement. Another of my biggest accomplishments in an injury case was procuring a several hundred thousand dollar settlement for my 14-year-old client who suffered a knee injury during an after school athletic program. I was able to get all interested parties to set aside funds for the client's college fund in case his athletic scholarship was affected. I am constantly attending Continuing Legal Education seminars to stay up to date on any changes in the law that might affect any of my clients. My primary areas of practice are Divorce, Family Law, Real Estate, and Insurance Litigation. Most of my clients are concerned with what to do or what not to do when the first come to see me for a consultation or appointment. Their next concern is usually financial; what are they going to do now? How are they going to survive? I tell each client, based on their unique situation, what their options are and what will happen next. I am there for them from start to finish. The best part of my job is doing the work the client is too upset to do. While I understand the emotional roller-coaster clients go through, my experience allows me to step outside the emotion point of view, and use the law and facts to benefit my clients to the best of my ability. I was born in Oak Lawn, Illinois, was raised in Bridgeview up until college and now live in Lake County, Illinois with my family (my wife and three children.) I still have family in Bridgeview, Oak Lawn, and Orland Park. A little-known fact about me is that I love astronomy and anything to do with the stars and planets. In my free time, I tend to read a lot, usually late at night and play with my children and new Newfoundland puppy, Indy (Indiana Jones) I am admitted to practice law in Illinois and all Federal Courts including the Supreme Court of the Untied States of America. I treat my clients like friends. You can reach me at: (312) 648-6115 [email protected] [email protected] Linkedin: Christopher W. Holwell Facebook: Holwell Law Group, LLC


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