Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Protecting Your Credit During Divorce

Protecting your credit during divorce should begin when you first separate or start thinking about getting a divorce.

Since your financial future depends in part on a good credit standing, how you handle yourself during the actual divorce can make a big difference. Below you will find tips for handling your finances that will go a long ways towards protecting your credit:
Handling Joint Debts

Since joint credit accounts are the responsibility of both spouses, you need to find out just what you are liable for. One way to get a clear idea of your joint debts is to order your credit report. Not only will you discover the debts that belong to both you and your spouse, but also those accounts that belong solely to you.

You need to pay special attention to your joint credit obligations that your spouse has access to. These can include mortgages, home equity lines of credit, finance and auto loans, credit cards, and bank loans. If you are worried that your spouse may open credit cards in your name, you might consider using a credit monitoring service. These services will notify you anytime there is a change to your credit history, whether it's new accounts being opened or large charges on old accounts.

Close Joint Accounts If Possible

Ideally, you should close all your joint credit accounts that don't have an account balance. To close a joint account, call the bank or creditor to request that the account be closed. Take notes of your conversations, including times, dates and contact names, and write down any instructions the creditors gives you. Make it clear that you will not be responsible for any further charges as of the day you call.

You will also want to follow up with a letter stating that you want the account closed, and keep a copy of the letter for your own records. If the creditor lets you close the account, ask that they report that the account was closed at your request to the credit bureaus.

Freezing Accounts that Can't Be Closed...

To read this article in its entirety, please click here.

For more information, contact the Family Law Offices of Renee M. Marcelle at (415) 456-4444, or online at http://www.familylawmarin.com/


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