Lawyers are experts at the law, not financial issues, including the importance of credit reports and credit scores, and the effect such changes can have on the value of economic decisions. The right financial expert can be crucial in helping the lawyer and the court understand the importance of credit related changes and putting a dollar value on spouse inflicted damages, especially regarding joint accounts of any kind.
Good lawyers know their limitations and will refer their client to a financial or credit issues expert.
It is important for the lawyer to know when that expert should be an accountant, a CPA – if there are tax obligation(s) considerations, a certified divorce financial analyst (CDFA) or an independent credit damage evaluator (ICDE). Of these, only the ICDE is trained or experienced dealing with identifying and assessing the actual economic damage that is caused by violations of the temporary restraining order (TRO) issued by the court when it accepts the divorce petition.
Even before the divorce petition is submitted to the court, it is vital that the lawyer be able to recognize the stress caused by financial issues so they may be properly presented in the divorce petition to the court. Failure to do so may increase legal costs.
Such stressful developments regarding joint accounts certainly may include bill collector calls and letters, reduction of available credit, cancellation of joint credit cards, increase of credit interest charges, repossession of vehicles and home foreclosure.
Breach of fiduciary responsibility is an important long held principle which has recently had important new meanings added. If your general practice attorney is not current with the new fiduciary definitions this may cause you to be settle for less than you are entitled to.
These damages may include loss of credit accounts, especially joint credit cards. The failure of each party to provide prompt mortgage payments may lead to credit score erosion or eventually foreclosure. Even the notation of ‘starting foreclosure’ can injure credit reputation.
Georg Finder, a court accepted Independent Credit Damage Evaluator since 1995, limits his practice to economic damage in contract, tort and family law. His office is located in Southern California and he practices nationally. For a free consultation call (855) 879-6253.