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New Member
Posts: 7
Registered: ‎08-16-2010
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Post Divorce Cleanup/Corrections?

Hi all!

 

It has been ~2 years since my divorce from my husband.

 

I recently requested and reviewed my credit reports and I noticed that some items are showing up that are listed as "joint" instead of individual. The problem is that I never applied on any of his trade lines as a co-signer, and some of these accounts are listed as negatives due to them having been turned over to collections at one time or another. All of these accounts appear to be medically related and have all been paid to a zero balance.

 

Seeing as how I never co-signed for anything he was ever involved with financially, I'm wondering how these items have appeared on my CR's? Are medical bills automatically considered to have joint responsibility when you are married?

 

What steps do I need to take to get these items removed from my CR's?

 

Thanks in advance for the assistance!

Valued Contributor
Posts: 1,671
Registered: ‎05-24-2007
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Re: Post Divorce Cleanup/Corrections?

The specific answer to this is beyond my knowledge. However, I am sure that more info will be required for you to get a good answer.

 

In what state did you live when you were divorced?  If the state of recidency at the time of divorce and currently are different, you might want to include that info.

 

When were the medical charges made?  Were they before or after the divorce was final?  Were they after separation according to the divorce decree?

 

 

 

 

Senior Contributor
Posts: 3,626
Registered: ‎10-13-2009
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Re: Post Divorce Cleanup/Corrections?


Bug1984 wrote:

Hi all!

 

It has been ~2 years since my divorce from my husband.

 

I recently requested and reviewed my credit reports and I noticed that some items are showing up that are listed as "joint" instead of individual. The problem is that I never applied on any of his trade lines as a co-signer, and some of these accounts are listed as negatives due to them having been turned over to collections at one time or another. All of these accounts appear to be medically related and have all been paid to a zero balance.

 

Seeing as how I never co-signed for anything he was ever involved with financially, I'm wondering how these items have appeared on my CR's? Are medical bills automatically considered to have joint responsibility when you are married?

 

What steps do I need to take to get these items removed from my CR's?

 

Thanks in advance for the assistance!


The medical related accounts aside, could it be that you are an authorized users of some of your ex-husband's accounts?  If an AU, you could dispute those accounts as not yours and they should be removed.  If you were never a co-applicant nor an AU, it is likely an issue of living in a community property state.  There are various scenarios under which an otherwise innocent spouse may be held liable for the other's debts.

 

Unfortunately, many times a spouse can be held liable for the other's medical expenses even if they are not in a community property state. 

 

The situation you described has the potential to be very complex.  I would consult a local attorney on the matter.

IAALBNYL
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Posts: 7
Registered: ‎08-16-2010
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Re: Post Divorce Cleanup/Corrections?


GregB wrote:

The specific answer to this is beyond my knowledge. However, I am sure that more info will be required for you to get a good answer.

 

In what state did you live when you were divorced?  If the state of recidency at the time of divorce and currently are different, you might want to include that info.

 

When were the medical charges made?  Were they before or after the divorce was final?  Were they after separation according to the divorce decree?

 

 

 

 


I live in the same state now as when the divorce took place, which is GA. The dates of the accounts in question occured while we were still married. My ex suffered a back injury while we were still married, and these "joint" accounts I am referring to seem to be related to that injury. We did not have health insurance at the time of this injury, but I do remember that he made arrangements with the hospital to pay them monthly payments until the amount was paid off. They all show zero balances according to the info on my reports.

 

In essence, I was not aware that these accounts had been listed on my credit reports due to the hospital making this agreement to accept monthly payments, and we were never contacted by a collection agency, nor made payments to one in connection to these accounts. I'm in the position now of getting remarried soon, which is the reason I decided to pull my credit reports, and finding these on my reports has me wondering if there is anything I can do to get them legally removed since they were not mine to begin with. All the accounts were paid and show a zero balance on my reports, so I'm just unsure as to whether or not I could just dispute these "joint" accounts with the CRA's, or contact the actual hospital with some type of "goodwill" letter in an attempt to get them removed.

 

As far as I know GA is not a community property state, so how these accounts got linked to my credit reports is beyond me unless my ex put my information on the admission forms at the time of the accident as his spouse. Any guesses on this?

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Senior Contributor
Posts: 3,626
Registered: ‎10-13-2009
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Re: Post Divorce Cleanup/Corrections?


Bug1984 wrote:

GregB wrote:

The specific answer to this is beyond my knowledge. However, I am sure that more info will be required for you to get a good answer.

 

In what state did you live when you were divorced?  If the state of recidency at the time of divorce and currently are different, you might want to include that info.

 

When were the medical charges made?  Were they before or after the divorce was final?  Were they after separation according to the divorce decree?

 

 

 

 


I live in the same state now as when the divorce took place, which is GA. The dates of the accounts in question occured while we were still married. My ex suffered a back injury while we were still married, and these "joint" accounts I am referring to seem to be related to that injury. We did not have health insurance at the time of this injury, but I do remember that he made arrangements with the hospital to pay them monthly payments until the amount was paid off. They all show zero balances according to the info on my reports.

 

In essence, I was not aware that these accounts had been listed on my credit reports due to the hospital making this agreement to accept monthly payments, and we were never contacted by a collection agency, nor made payments to one in connection to these accounts. I'm in the position now of getting remarried soon, which is the reason I decided to pull my credit reports, and finding these on my reports has me wondering if there is anything I can do to get them legally removed since they were not mine to begin with. All the accounts were paid and show a zero balance on my reports, so I'm just unsure as to whether or not I could just dispute these "joint" accounts with the CRA's, or contact the actual hospital with some type of "goodwill" letter in an attempt to get them removed.

 

As far as I know GA is not a community property state, so how these accounts got linked to my credit reports is beyond me unless my ex put my information on the admission forms at the time of the accident as his spouse. Any guesses on this?


Often even in non-community property states a spouse is legally liable for medical debts incurred by the other spouse.  Other than the CRAs buying your dispute or the hospital(s) showing goodwill, there is likely nothing you can really do.

 

 

IAALBNYL
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Re: Post Divorce Cleanup/Corrections?

[ Edited ]

Smiley Sad

 

If I were you, I'd first try the hospital, explaining that they never notified you about these bills, and you had no way of knowing. You might need to have a copy of your divorce decree with you, especially if it contains the date that you and your ex first started living separately, which might have been long before the date of the final decree. Since they did finally get paid some amount, by your ex via the collection agencies, maybe they'll be willing to help. But I don't think that they alone would be willing to pull back the collections on your reports, since your ex did go to collections. If they did, the collections would come off his reports as well. What you might hope for is for the hospital to contact the collection agency (-ies) and ask that your name be removed from the collections, and that the CA's update your records so that the collections are no longer reported.

 

Otherwise, you'll have to try getting the medical collections off both your records via a HIPAA-based request. One reading of HIPAA says that collection agencies no longer have the right to report medical collections once they are paid. (That's a very boiled-down version.) There's debate about that back and forth, but in fact, many people have gotten paid medical collections removed from their reports in this manner. The trick is that you'll probably need to have your ex cooperating with you on this. He might want them off his reports too, of course.

 

Check the "Recovering from Medical Debt" board down in the Archive section of the forums for more info on the HIPAA issue. You can also find further info on the Rebuilding Your Credit board.

 

Hope that helps. It seems supremely unfair that you have his collections on your reports, when you never knew about them.

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