I recently got divorced after 40 years and I am trying to get my credit cleaned up after he made a mess of it. I was surprised to find that there was a credit card with over $50,000 on it! In the divorce settlement, he was to take over all debts for the exception of one. Now, how do I get this off my credit, obliviously it was opened in the 90's when we were still married and he put my name on it also. Can anyone help me? I think the bank will just say too bad, your name is there. I talked with him and he said he doesn't have the money to pay it off and it will go into default or whatever it is called.
Woowow from MI
When my parents divorced my dad was supposed to pay all past medical bills. He too said he didn't have the money to do so. My mom's lawyer told her she would have to pay them to keep her credit from reflecting the late payments. In order for my mom to get her money back she would have had to taken my dad to court to sue him for the money.
Unfortunately, there's no easy answer to this one. You were married when the debt was established and that makes you liable. I'd make sure that I posted a letter with all three credit reporting agencies stating that my husband made the bill without my knowledge, include a copy of the part of the divorce stating that he was responsible for the other bills. Immediately call the company, talk to a supervisor, explain the dilemma, to see if they'll write part of it off. Then make special arrangements to pay it off, and make payments monthly without fail. This will at least show that you are a responsible person to anyone who checks your credit. And the consistent monthly payments will show that you are a person of your word. Chalk it up to a life-lesson.
Call the credit card company and ask them to take your name off the card, ask what they need to do that. Quite often with the information from the divorce decree plus possibly a notorized statement from your husband asking for you to be removed and showing that you are not the one responsible for the bill, they will be able to remove your name from it. The advice about the credit agencies is a good one, too but deal with the credit card company first. Until they have proof that he is the one responsible for the bill, they will continue to come after you both.
Susan from ThriftyFun
Make sure you GET YoUR NAME OFF THE ACCOUNT! or you can still be responsible for charges made after this
Have you name removed from anything you had jointly
run your credit report Free
it is freecreditcheck.com I think
this will show you all your accounts
Also, try reading and listening t Dave Ramsey. He has some great ideas
My mother went through a divorce back in the 1950's. To get the bills paid, she cashed in some of the life insurance policies.or just used the equity in them. Check to see if you can pay some of the debts you are involved in this way, or maybe you can just get a little breathing room using these. God Bless you!! I know that what you are doing is very, very difficult.
Thank all of you for your helpful information for trying to deal with this problem..they are all good suggestions and I will try one by one. Anymore ideas would be greatly appreciated. This site is great,,someone just happened to stumble on to it and told me...Again thank you for your prompt responses......woowow
It all depends as to whether that part of the settlement was included in the Final Divorce Order. If yes, I would recommend you taking the Final Order, or certified copies thereof (if a certified copy is considered a legal document in the US), to the bank and asking them whether they could and would recover the debt from your ex-husband. The reason is that he is in contempt of a Court Order, which is a criminal offence, in SA at least. If the bank is not willing to help you, try to find a lawyer, maybe through Legal Aid, to advise you as to your rights and responsibilities. The lawyer who represented you in the divorce matter should be your first point of help, but if you cannot afford him, do try other options for free or cheaper legal advice and assistance.
You need to find out more information.
1. Is the account in your name as a joint account holder, or is your name just on the account as an authorized user? If you are just a user, you probably aren't responsible for the debt, but that doesn't mean creditors won't call you trying to find your husband. But if you are just a user, you aren't liable for the debt and you should tell the creditors to leave you alone.
2. Check your credit report and see if the debt is even on there. I think if you look up equifax, experian, or tansunion online, those sites let you get a free credit report once every 12 months or so. If the debt isn't there, then you're ok. Your spouse's debt doesn't affect your credit score unless it's a joint account.
It would also be a good idea to contact a professional about this. We on this site really want to help but we're no substitute for professional advice!
I too went thru a divorce in 1975 and was left with credit card bills my ex husband had made. I paid them off one by one by payments. Took me 5 years but cleared my credit up. Bad deal but that happens. Good luck to you
Allison's advice sounds right on the money. If you did not jointly open this account, never used it and were added only as an authorized user, they should not be able to hold you accountable for the debt. Now, the debt collectors will try to intimidate you into thinking it is your debt and laws may vary state to state. Definitely get your credit report, everyone should do this once a year, every year, especially now that they are free! http://www.annualcreditreport.com Once you check your credit, follow Susan's advice and get your name off of everything that isn't your own individual credit. And don't sweat it ... you'll get there. Best of wishes.
I went through the same situation back in the early 90's.
I ended up filing bankruptcy because of the debt which I hated to do BUT IT WAS A BLESSING IN DISGUISE REALLY. After 7 years it was taken off my credit report which is now shown as excellent as far as credit ratings go.
You must be over $20,000 or better in debt in order to file bankruptcy but check it out in your particular state.
Good Luck on your dilemma.
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