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Discussion in 'Credit Talk' started by Cheryl, Jul 11, 2000.
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RE: Divorce and credit card li
First a little background info. A divorce decree is NOT binding on outside businesses/creditors. Ex: Husband and wife have a Visa and a Mastercard for which they are both liable, meaning they can try to collect from either person. Divorce decree says "he gets Visa, she gets Mastercard"...they are still both liable.
Here is the only safe way to "divorce" from a credit standpoint:
Option 1 (BEST): Pay off and close ALL jointly held credit cards/debts (car loans, mortage, credit cards, personal loans, ets.) This may mean selling assets such as the cars, house, stock, etc., but it is still the best way to go. Liquidate everything, pay all debts, cancel all cards, then split whatever is left.
Option 2 (BETTER): Attempt to get all joint debts "refinanced" under either husband or wife, thus "releasing" the other person. Creditors are not under any incentive to do this (why should they let one person off the hook?) This probably is only an option for the house, assuming one person can qualify for the mortgage by themselves.
Option 3 (LONGSHOT): Try to get the creditors to agree (in writing) to release one of the parties from further responsibility. (Again, why should they let one person off the hook?)
Option 4: (WORST, BUT MOST COMMON): Trust the ex-spouse to do the right thing and keep payments current. You are on the hook until the debt is paid.
At this point, all you can do is the same as any other person with a bad debt - try to negotiate a payment in exchange for removal of the bad credit information.
If there are ANY more joint accounts like this, CANCEL THEM NOW.