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Law Offices of John A. Guthrie - Family Law Attorney

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Back child support and purchasing a home

A California parent who owes back child support is considered to have a derogatory credit event in their credit history. This child support arrearage could actually impair the chances of getting a loan approved to purchase a home. However, there are steps a parent can take to address the issue.

They should first verify what is being reported on their credit report, which can be obtained from any one of the three main credit reporting agencies. A prospective homebuyer should then note their FICO score and determine if it is within the guidelines established by the mortgage lender. It’s also wise to use a home affordability calculator to determine if making monthly mortgage payments is feasible when overdue child support is owed as well.

In July 2017, the three main credit reporting agencies modified the manner in which they disclose tax and civil liens. The modification also applied to how the judgments related to overdue child support are reported. Therefore, a parent who owes overdue child support payments may find that the arrearage is not listed on their credit report. Thus, it will not influence the calculation of their credit score.

A parent with overdue child support obligations who needs a loan to purchase a home should know that Fannie Mae does not directly address child support delinquency. The factors that the agency takes into account when considering financing include down payments, credit scores and debt-to-income ratios.

A family law attorney may help a client resolve divorce legal issues, including matters related to child custody and support. The attorney could advise the client of their legal options regarding modifications to existing court orders. If the client is owed support, the court may be asked to begin child support enforcement procedures to obtain overdue payments.


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