Something to consider ... I don't know where the OP is from, but if he is in a community property start, a bankruptcy for just the wife is going to be a very complicated affair, let alone if she took out credit cards in the OPs name without his knowledge. Talk about a tangled web.
As has been suggested, first thing I would do is the freeze.
Second is I would take over the family finances from her. Not criticizing your wife or offering life advice, but there is an accountability issue here. As is said here many times, ultimately we ARE responsible for our debts, and in your situation, you're responsible, even though they were taken out without your knowledge.
I would create a spreadsheet and list the accounts, the amounts, the limits, etc. You NEED to get orgainized first. I noticed there were several 1st and 2nd accounts with certain creditors ... if you pay one of them down to zero, chances are you'll be able to combine the two into one, which would make it a little more manageable. You need to contact each creditor and explain the sitiuation. You absolutely must make your payments on time. They may give you a little leeway on this if you explain the situation honestly.
Another source of income would be ideal. You need to pay these off. I'm of the "avoid BK if you can" mindset (and I'm dealing with a boatload of my wife's debt too). We're in a community property state, plus there are other financial issues involved in our situation, so a BK is not as neat and tidy as it would be in other states.
Lastly, you need a full accounting of every hard card, every online account, everything. You need to take control of those cards. You'll need to log into those online store accounts and change the password on them, and you cannot give that password to her. You MUST be deligent about this. Again, not offering marital or life advice, but you're dealing with an addict. You must take every possible temptation away from her.
My best to you
Defenitely Freeze all credit.
Also spending $50k leads toowning alot of stuff you can sell. I would hit ebay and sell anything non essential it will probably help you find out if the debt is manageable or if Bk might be the right options.
Hopefully with your $10K and extra many you make from the sale oif items, this might save you from BK
Since everyone is offering their opinions about bankruptcy, I'll offer mine. It's not a get-out-of-jail-free card.
And while your scores can rebound pretty quickly after your case is closed, it will take 10 years for that bankruptcy to fall off your report. And there are some companies who just won't touch you with a bankruptcy on your report, even an old one. It generally won't stop you from getting a mortgage or an auto loan, and it is possible to recover pretty quickly, but if you have other options, I'd pursue them and consider bankruptcy a last resort.
Some credit card companies will work with you on a plan to pay off your bills and lower your interest rate while you do so.
Credit counseling isn't worse than bankruptcy. Any reputable credit counselor will take your cards from you, help you work out a plan for paying everything off while reducing your interest rates, and then help you enact that plan.
Thanks everyone for the advice. The reason why I'm not so thrilled with bankruptcy because financially, things change with my income throughout the year. So technically (knock on wood) I can do the 401k loan now at 10,000 and in July take my 5-6 thousand bonus to the debt and then in October, I would get a 6-7 thousand bonus I can put towards it (completely cut out Christmas). My problem with that plan is, on paper, we can't eat. I honestly have NO CLUE how the hell she managed to pay all these bills on time and we still went out to dinner, bought groceries, etc. I checked both our credit. She isn't hiding any more debt. I'm thinking, this is what made her kind of lose it the constant juggle and stress of it all pretty much daily. Anyway I'm glad she can finally breathe now that the secret is out. and yea, now i'm totally stressed out about it but in the grand scheme of things, no one is dying! She can get help, I'll be there to help her. Passwords were all changed today and requested the credit freeze and I felt bad but had her close her personal bank account simply because I can't have any more secrets. We still have a joint account. I just need everything to be transparent until we can get her illness under control and our finances. Does anyone have any info on a good credit counseling service? I was looking at Consumer credit since it was on the goverment page of qualifed counseling services.
You did the hard part. It is not fun. You would be suprised when pushed you can do. Durring that terrible period of 2006 to 2009 we got rid of cable, dinner was a $1 tv dinner, I got a 1 day a week job paying $25 /hour for 8 hours a week. Our business had enough cash to pay for the lights and rent. Dw and I got paid $50a week by the county to put on a class for people facing foreclosure and eviction.That was our entire income. We also ran a church group for no pay. Our regular biz contracts almost dried up for 8 months. The cash we saved we chased credit limits down . Have faith and a plan. Good Luck There may still be Debtor Anymous or something similar.
I'm glad she's getting the help she needs and y'all are working thru this. I can't imagine the stress this has caused her...And now you. There's a light at the end of this tunnel and it's not a train. Although credit is important, as you stated, nobody's dying. I'm not sure about the credit counseling services available or what they'll do to your credit and scores. Someone posted within the last 2 days about a service they used and the good experience they had with the company. If I find the post I'll put the link on here.
As far as your expenses, you'll be amazed at the ways to save money. When I was paying off my Ch. 13, it was a struggle. I was a single mom with 2 growing boys and man could they eat and outgrow some shoes! We ditched the cable, switched to Netflix, got rid of the home phone, went with $15 internet service and really learned to conserve energy. My boys learned how to find the best deals at the grocery store and to use coupons. It was a great learning experience for us all and , I think, taught them about spending habits and using cash for large purchases. I hope you both grow together throughout this journey and wish you well!
+1...Don't loose hope!!
I would pull the paper shredder out and start to shread up the majority of the cards, and making phone calls to voluntary to close your accounts for internet acccounts.
I see alot of accounts with the same bank. May not hurt to call and see if you can combine these into a jumbo account and close the ones you combined. I see 5 cap1 accounts. THis could save over $100 a month if your over the limit. Im not sure if this is allowed, but never hurts to ask.