Do Credit Repair Services (After Bankruptcy) Actually Work?

Credit Card Companies May File a Proof of ClaimIn this age of information it can be tough to discern which tasks we are capable of handling ourselves and which tasks we should leave to the professionals.  As bankruptcy lawyers we have clients who contact us on a regular basis and ask if they should hire a credit repair company to rebuild their credit. In short, we don’t think so.

In the case of repairing your credit after bankruptcy, an individual is perfectly capable of resurrecting his or her own credit score.  Research is all what it comes down to and having the time to fill out forms and make certain phone calls.  Six months after filing, we suggest pulling your credit report from all three credit bureaus: Equifax, Experian and TransUnion (you can pull your credit report for free once a year by going here).  You should examine these reports to make sure all debts listed in your petition have been discharged through your bankruptcy.  If a credit or collection agency has failed to report correctly, it will be up to you to be your own advocate.  First, you should send, in writing, a letter to the creditor stating when you filed bankruptcy, your case number, when you were discharged from all your debt and a request that they correct the entry with all three bureaus.  Next, go to the individual credit bureaus websites and determine the process of filing a dispute against the creditor that is not reporting correctly.  If the battle continues and you need a legal hand, you should contact your bankruptcy attorney: they should be able to fax over the necessary information to clear up any matter.

If a creditor still fails to accurately report the discharge of your debts to the credit bureaus then they could be sanctioned for violating federal laws. You could also report them to the Federal Trade Commission.

As in everything, it is important to document as you communicate with these companies.  Although they are required to document as well, it is nice to have your own personal reference, especially if you are dealing with a difficult or large company.  Make sure to stand your ground and know your rights!

How Do I File For Unemployment Benefits in North Carolina?

Dad & Son PlayingIf you have been fired or laid off from employment due to no fault of your own, you are potentially eligible for unemployment benefits.  Filing a claim for unemployment benefits may be confusing and frustrating.

In order to be successful in filing a claim, you should choose the best course for your unemployment application.  You may apply online, over the telephone, or by person.  The estimated time to file a claim online is less than 20 minutes.  Filing online lets you create and save an account to expedite the refiling of weekly claims.  Before you begin, you should make sure you have your last employer’s information, which can usually be found on a pay stub.  You will also need to have handy your employment information, such as start and end dates and the pay rates associated with these time frames.

Knowledge is power and we greatly encourage any claimant to review and research the North Carolina Department of Commerce, Department of Employment Security website. This is the main source of your research and how to apply online.  Once on the homepage, click Individual Services, then File a Claim.  Definitely take the time to read the 10 Things You Should Know.  Number 10 will give you the most current and convenient contact information for help during the process.

Once you have gone through the process of filing a claim online you will also need to register for work at the North Carolina Job Connector.  This website has a wealth of information and has been prepared to help those who are unemployed to not only receive benefits, but also find new employment or new training courses to help promote an individual as a commodity in the ever-shrinking job sector.  After your initial claim, you will be required to file a weekly claim in order to keep your benefits coming.  You will also be required to be actively seeking employment each week.  Your case worker may request to see a written record of the potential employers you have met with during the week.  To remain eligible, you must correspond with at least two different potential employers each week or at least show proof that you are seeking gainful employment.

With our work as bankruptcy lawyers we commonly talk with people who have lost their job due to declining economy. We also have clients who have workers’ compensation claims with our office that need to file for unemployment. If you have lost your job be sure to apply for unemployment benefits and follow the required steps to ensure you continue to receive your unemployment benefits.