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Discussion in 'Credit Talk' started by SLH, Jan 25, 2001.
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What, exactly, does the divorce decree say? In most cases and states, a divorce from your ex does NOT divorce you from the liability of a joint account. You should have removed yourself from the account (his 'assuming liability' is quite a gray statement and order). You should have written to the CC company, told them you wanted to be off the account, then they would have sent a form to be signed by both of you.
You may be hosed. But as I said, your situation, location and court order could help you out.
Again, a divorce doesn't release you from liability from a joint credit card. A divorce court can not tell a credit card company that you're no longer liable -- you and your ex (should have) addressed it directly with the CC company.
I'd talk to your lawyer again.
The time to deal with this is BEFORE you go to court. In the process of the proceedings leading up to the execution of the property settlement all joint financial entanglements should have been untangled. Your attorney should have advised you of this. I know that mine did, right at the initial consultation.
Be that as it may, I would suggest that the only thing that you can do now is drag you ex-husband back into court and make him come up with the money to pay off the card. Bankruptcy does not absolve one of obligations such as alimony or child-support stemming from divorce.
The other tack you could take with the credit card company is that you were only an 'authorized user' and demand that they mail you a copy of the application and/or credit card agreement that you actually signed. Authorized users may use the card, but are not obligated on the account.
If this happens, they will still report you to the CRAs and you have to dispute it off your credit file.
If they do come up with a signed application, you are stuck and the only this you can do is go after your ex-husband for failing to live up to the terms of the property settlement and divorce agreement.
This happened to my friend. Her ex went bankrupt on his business 4 years after they separated (he had a plan). Little did she know, the home was attatched to the business for collateral. He stoped making payments and the home went into forclosure. She inherited a home so she moved out. They were divorced one year when the bill collectors started hounding her for the deficit on the home after sale. They put a judgement on her for $13,000. She had to pay, shes been struggling with lawyers for a year now his keeps telling her he'll sue her for harrassment. Their settlement said he was to pay and finish the kitchen he tore out..He was a cabinet maker. Left it bare. I'll let you know how it turns out. Right now, she's out 13K, had a paid judgement on her file. And he's off the hook.
Credit card companies are not "A PARTY OF THE DIVORCE" so they could care less what any agreement says.
Unfortunately, the divorce court has no power over a third party creditor. So, if your deadbead ex dosen't pay citibank, citibank may sue you, and your remedy is suing your ex, who couldn't pay the debt in the first place, for contempt. The best way to deal with this situation is to agree to assume the debt during the divorce in exchange for a greater share of another asset. That guarantees that you have control over whether the joint account is current. THERE IS NO CLEAN REMEDY ON DIVORCE WHEN PEOPLE BORROW MONEY JOINTLY WHILE MARRIED.