Month: February 2015

Credit and Divorce

Recovering from Harm to Your Credit after a Divorce

As if divorce itself was not traumatic enough, some clients complain that their credit cards have been cancelled or they are receiving calls and letters from collection agencies following a divorce. Some clients even face foreclosure and consider filing for bankruptcy due to damaged credit scores resulting from divorce. The good news is there are ways to recover from the harm to your credit reputation following a divorce.

How can your credit reputation be harmed?

Harm to your credit reputation typically occurs when negative remarks appear on a credit report that causes an individual or business to lose access to credit as a result. Impairment includes an increase in out-of-pocket costs, loss of credit capacity and expectancy. This harm is caused by the actions of an ex-spouse. Financial harm occurs when spousal negligence or willful behavior results in late payments or default on joint credit obligations.

Arguing for Credit Reputation Harm

In order to be successful in arguing harm to your credit reputation, it is crucial that you establish a clear picture of your credit before and after the divorce. The best approach is to offer expert testimony in order to support your analysis of the monetary harm. The good news is that more and more courts are now accepting damage to credit reputations as a special injury. If argued well, credit impairment can be a sizable portion of a party’s damage award following a divorce.

Can credit harm be prevented?

One good preventative measure during a divorce is to require both spouses to either pay off or refinance all marital debts once the divorce is final. This way neither party can take actions that will harm the other party’s credit. It is also a good idea to obtain credit reports at the outset of the case, and then again at the conclusion, in order to provide for accurate comparison.

If you are concerned about your credit or finances being affected by divorce, it is important to get legal advice as soon as possible. If you have questions regarding any type of divorce issue, contact attorney Brad J. Latta online, or by calling (205) 998-5570.

Facebook Crime

Be Careful: Posting on Facebook Might Lead to Your Arrest

The invention of the internet, the World Wide Web, and numerous social media sites can be both a blessing and a curse. While these great technological advances allow for widespread communication in ways we never thought possible 20 years ago, they can also be an unfortunate source of evidence of criminal activity.

Careless Posting on Facebook

A Jefferson County man found out the hard way that the privacy settings applied to Facebook accounts need to be carefully reviewed before sending out invitations to an underage party. An article in The Birmingham News described a 24-year-old man who planned to have a house party and invited teenagers from local high schools by posting on Facebook. Under normal circumstances, it may seem like a good idea to use Facebook as an efficient medium for sending out invitations. However, when you describe in those invitations all of the illegal conduct you expect to take place, you may be in trouble.

Illegal house party

Steven Carroll, a 24-year-old from Mulga, planned an open house party for local high-schoolers and posted an invitation on Facebook. The problem was, the invitation indicated that he intended to provide Jell-O shots, beer and other types of alcoholic beverages. Of course, providing alcohol to minors is a violation of Alabama’s underage drinking laws. The invitation was seen by a lot of people, including a few parents of the high school kids. One of these parents reported Carroll to the police.

Under Alabama law, an adult who hosts a party knowing that minors will be consuming alcohol but fails to take reasonable action to prevent them from doing so, can be charged with open house party. This is a Class B misdemeanor, punishable by up to six months in jail and a fine of up to $1,000.

Your Facebook posts are not private

While Facebook and numerous other social media sites on the internet are great tools for staying connected, too many people have the misconception that there is some form of privacy attached to their posts. Even with all of the privacy settings that may be available, the content is still visible to virtually anyone. You can never be sure that the person you send a post to will not show it to anyone else. So, be sure to consider what you post on the World Wide Web – potentially incriminating or not.

If you have need assistance with your criminal defense or any other criminal law questions, contact attorney Brad J. Latta online, or by calling (205) 998-5570.