sued twice on a debt

Can A Creditor Sue You Twice?

You’ve been sued by a debt, and the lawsuit is dismissed.

Can they come back at you again?

It depends on how the first case was handled.

In this 21 minute episode of Money Go Roundtable, Jay and Gene outline the ways in which a debt collection lawsuit can be resolved – and when you should be worried about the debt collector rising from the dead to sue you a second time around.

Why Interest Rates Don’t Matter

Can you save money by moving balances with high interest rates to accounts with lower interest rates?  Our two questions today are:

Should I take out a home equity loan to pay off high interest rate credit cards?
If not, how do I pay off high interest debt?

money go roundtable 97

MGR 97 – Getting Back On Your Feet

Summer’s almost here, which means people nationwide are thinking about buying a house.  Our questions today are:

  1. Can I get a mortgage after filing for bankruptcy?
  2. How quickly can I start to rebuild my credit once Chapter 13 bankruptcy has been filed?

You can get a mortgage after bankruptcy, but the timing depends on which type of case you’ve filed and what the status is.

We talk about FHA guidelines for getting a mortgage after your bankruptcy case has been filed, as well as why you may need to get an additional approval before you take out the loan. All of that once you make a decision as to whether it’s a good financial idea to take out a new mortgage.

You’ve also got to get to the point where your credit is good enough because your credit is largely frozen while your bankruptcy case is going on. How fast can you get back on your feet, anyway?

money go roundtable 96

MGR 96 – Fear and Loathing of Negative Credit Reporting

Double your pleasure with two questions about credit reporting as Gene and Jay explore

  1. Will a bankruptcy hurt my credit score?
  2. How long does negative information stay on my credit report?

The Federal Reserve dropped a bombshell by releasing a major report comparing credit scores of people who filed for bankruptcy against those that did not. In fact, as little as one month after filing showed an increase in your credit score. Does that make sense, or is is against common sense? Gene and Jay dissect the report and discuss the real reason why filing for bankruptcy may be the best thing to ever happen to your credit score.

Speaking of credit scores, the bankruptcy is still considered negative. There are lots of different types of negative information, all of which can make an impact on your credit record.

Different things stay on your credit record for different amounts of time. Here’s a breakdown:

  • Late payments: 7 years
  • Bankruptcies: 7 years for completed Chapter 13 bankruptcies and 10 years for Chapter 7 bankruptcies.
  • Foreclosures: 7 years
  • Collections: Generally, about 7 years, depending on the age of the debt being collected.
  • Public Record: Generally 7 years, although unpaid tax liens can remain indefinitely.

But the real question is how long the negative information impacts your credit report. For Jay’s thoughts on the matter, listen to the show. But first, watch Eddie Murphy explain it (NSFW):

money go roundtable 95

MGR 95 – Belt and Suspenders

For our 95th episode Money Go Roundtable goes twice weekly, lightening your daily podcasting load without skimping on the answers you need to help keep your personal finances in order. On today’s episode we answer the following questions:

  • Do I need to reaffirm my mortgage when I file for bankruptcy?
  • I’m in default on my federal student loans. The late fees are outrageous – can I get these fees adjusted and can I modify my loan?
  • A creditor has a judgment against me – what can they do to me?


When you file for bankruptcy, your mortgage lender may ask you to sign an agreement that says you will be bound by the original contract as if the bankruptcy never existed.

Sounds like a good idea for the mortgage company, but you don’t need to sign the agreement if you want to keep the house – just make sure you keep paying the mortgage.

So is reaffirmation a good idea for you?

Student Loans

Before your federal student loans go into default, there are no collection fees – just late fees that accrue as you miss payments. Those late fees can’t get adjusted.

When it comes to default you’re talking about collection fees that can reach up to about 20% of the loan balance due. If you try to bring your defaulted student loans current through rehabilitation, a strong student loan advocate may be able to help you negotiate them down.

As to modification, we’re talking about something else entirely.

Debt Collection

A judgment is a court order against you. If you don’t pay the judgment, the creditor has a variety of ways to force you to pay.

Those mechanisms vary state to state, so it’s a good idea to talk with a local attorney who deals with those sorts of things. Gene gives some insights about how enforcement of judgments happens in Connecticut so you can get a sense of some of the options.

Photo Credit: Torley/Flickr

Can A Potential Employer Get Your Credit Report?

Looking for a job is stressful, even if you’re already employed. You’ve got to get the right fit, negotiate a salary, and prepare for a learning curve at a new company.

The last thing you need to worry about is whether the new employer is peeking at your credit report. Especially if you’ve got some problems lurking in your credit history.

Can a potential employer see your credit report and, if so, under what circumstances? On today’s show, Gene and Jay talk about the Fair Credit Reporting Act and how the concept of permissible purpose stands front-and-center in the quest to keep your personal information private.

debtors prison

Can You Be Arrested For Not Paying Your Bills?

Ever notice how there weren’t any characters on HBO’s drama The Wire who were serving time for past due debts?

That’s because debtors prisons were outlawed in the United States nearly 200 years ago. And in the 1983 case of Bearden v. Georgia, the U.S. Supreme Court said that courts can’t send people to jail just because they are too poor to pay their court fines.

So you can’t go to jail just because you don’t pay your debts … right?

The answer isn’t quite what you think it is. Listen to today’s episode of Money Go Roundtable to learn more.

tax refund offset

Losing Your Income Tax Refund For Defaulted Student Loans

Under federal law, the U.S. Department of Education can request that the Internal Revenue Service take your tax refund for repayment of your defaulted federal student loans.

The U.S. Department of Education is required to give you prior notice of the proposed offset and an opportunity to review loan/grant records, to demonstrate why the loan/grant is not in default or is not enforceable, and to avoid offset by arranging to repay the loan/grant. Notices are sent to you using the best address available to the Department, from all legally available resources, including the most recent address used by you in your most recent federal tax return.

The notice contains deadlines. If you elect the opportunities in the notice after the deadline passes, offset will not be delayed until resolution of your objections.

Federal tax refunds payable to joint filing couples are subject to offset, but that portion of the refund owed to the non-debtor spouse can be recovered by that individual by filing an “injured spouse” claim with the IRS.

On today’s episode, Gene and Jay dive into this subject more deeply. Take some notes so you can be sure to protect yourself.

landlord foreclosure

When The Landlord Falls Behind On The Mortgage


Why pay your rent if the landlord is in foreclosure?

More important – who gets the rent if the bank is in the process of taking back the property?

And what if you’re the property owner, struggling for dear life to hold on in the face of foreclosure? That rent money is probably all that’s keeping the lights on and the electricity flowing.

On today’s episode of Money Go Roundtable, we’ll walk you through your options as a landlord. And for tenants, use this as an opportunity to see what’s going on behind the scenes.

self-employed budget

How To Budget Your Income When You’re Self-Employed

They say that the best part of self-employment is that you are allowed to work whenever you choose.

Unfortunately, with any benefit comes a burden. And for many self-employed people, budgeting is the massive burden to working for yourself.

In today’s episode, Gene and Jay discuss some of the best ways to budget when you’re self-employed