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Regular Contributor
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Registered: ‎01-29-2010
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What the FTC has to say about your credit and divorce.

I provide this pamphlet to our family law clients so I thought I'd share.

 

http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/pubs/consumer/credit/cre08.shtm

 

Excerpt:

 

Credit and Divorce

Mary and Bill recently divorced. Their divorce decree stated that Bill would pay the balances on their three joint credit card accounts. Months later, after Bill neglected to pay off these accounts, all three creditors contacted Mary for payment. She referred them to the divorce decree, insisting that she was not responsible for the accounts. The creditors correctly stated that they were not parties to the decree and that Mary was still legally responsible for paying off the couple's joint accounts. Mary later found out that the late payments appeared on her credit report.

If you've recently been through a divorce - or are contemplating one - you may want to look closely at issues involving credit. Understanding the different kinds of credit accounts opened during a marriage may help illuminate the potential benefits - and pitfalls - of each.

There are two types of credit accounts: individual and joint. You can permit authorized persons to use the account with either. When you apply for credit - whether a charge card or a mortgage loan - you'll be asked to select one type.

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Registered: ‎03-04-2010
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Re: What the FTC has to say about your credit and divorce.

You have to watch,  when the court puts the bills in writing and what party is suppose to pay,  that person doesn't write the credit bureaus and just simply report that they are not the main signor on the card, bill etc.  If  the person, is not its just not his or hers problem anymore.  The bureaus come after the main signor, believe it or not.  But you can take the party, back to court to make him owe up to the court ruling and order.  

New Member
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Registered: ‎06-13-2008
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Re: What the FTC has to say about your credit and divorce.

The laws need to be changed regarding civil procedures (Divorce) and the credit card laws. Case in point: my ex (doctor making enough money) and me (40K per year at the time). He agreed to pay his credit card bills and a few joint ones. His credit card bills consisted of what he cranked them way up to start off his practice. I took my own bills and our joint car loan (since i needed the car). Fair? I thought so. I gave him the house and equity in it as i coujld not afford the mortgage as long as he took over the house. He agreed.  After our acrimonious divorce, all was done. Until about 1.5yrs later when all of a sudden i am being contacted by all of HIS credit card companies telling me i have to pay. Turns out that he filed bankruptcy (after of course putting all his assets in to his practice). Since he had added me onto his credit card when we separated but were not divorced, i somehow or another became a 'joint holder' on his cards. When he reneged on the divorce agreement i ended up with over 400K in bills and a mortgage that he was willing to throw out or foreclose upon. I was NEVER notified of his BR and when i found i owed all of his bills AND my own bills (which I was current on), on my salary, i couldn't even make basic payments. Now why his BR went thru without my knowledge or without me having one chance of going to court and fighting what he was doing i will never know. I suspect he forged my name and i suspect he gave OUR old address as my address so when the BR filing info was supposed to be sent to me in another town, it got sent to HIS address (our old one) and it got roundfiled. So, i ended up having to file BR when i had no problems with MY OWN bills, but with his 'doctor salary' bills, i was drowning. Ladies (and you men out there too!) if divorce is looming, you have to clean up your credit and who are signers, etc before you split. Better yet, as i teach my daughter: Keep you own credit separate from your spouse. You just can never believe that if you break up,  what the other person will do, many times in the face of anger and desire to hurt you. I would give my eye tooth to read his BR paperwork and find out what he actually put on his paperwork. I would bet it is fraudulent but nobody ever checks that out when crooks like him pull stunts like this. Signed, burned

Senior Contributor
Posts: 3,626
Registered: ‎10-13-2009
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Re: What the FTC has to say about your credit and divorce.


LegalNursePRN wrote:

The laws need to be changed regarding civil procedures (Divorce) and the credit card laws. Case in point: my ex (doctor making enough money) and me (40K per year at the time). He agreed to pay his credit card bills and a few joint ones. His credit card bills consisted of what he cranked them way up to start off his practice. I took my own bills and our joint car loan (since i needed the car). Fair? I thought so. I gave him the house and equity in it as i coujld not afford the mortgage as long as he took over the house. He agreed.  After our acrimonious divorce, all was done. Until about 1.5yrs later when all of a sudden i am being contacted by all of HIS credit card companies telling me i have to pay. Turns out that he filed bankruptcy (after of course putting all his assets in to his practice). Since he had added me onto his credit card when we separated but were not divorced, i somehow or another became a 'joint holder' on his cards. When he reneged on the divorce agreement i ended up with over 400K in bills and a mortgage that he was willing to throw out or foreclose upon. I was NEVER notified of his BR and when i found i owed all of his bills AND my own bills (which I was current on), on my salary, i couldn't even make basic payments. Now why his BR went thru without my knowledge or without me having one chance of going to court and fighting what he was doing i will never know. I suspect he forged my name and i suspect he gave OUR old address as my address so when the BR filing info was supposed to be sent to me in another town, it got sent to HIS address (our old one) and it got roundfiled. So, i ended up having to file BR when i had no problems with MY OWN bills, but with his 'doctor salary' bills, i was drowning. Ladies (and you men out there too!) if divorce is looming, you have to clean up your credit and who are signers, etc before you split. Better yet, as i teach my daughter: Keep you own credit separate from your spouse. You just can never believe that if you break up,  what the other person will do, many times in the face of anger and desire to hurt you. I would give my eye tooth to read his BR paperwork and find out what he actually put on his paperwork. I would bet it is fraudulent but nobody ever checks that out when crooks like him pull stunts like this. Signed, burned


Unfortunately, the scenario you have painted is not uncommon and your advice all too salient.  Keeping those times when you must apply for joint credit to an absolute minimum is, unfortunately, very wise advice.

 

Changing the laws, however, will not happen.  The only way to prevent credit problems exacerbated by divorce is to change the entire US Constitution and I just do not see that happening within the next, say, 100 years.

IAALBNYL
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Posts: 28,098
Registered: ‎04-01-2007
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Re: What the FTC has to say about your credit and divorce.

No one wants to go through the hassle of closing accounts and everything else during the turmoil of separation and divorce. But it really must be done.

 

There are just too many instances of this sort of behavior to risk relying on the ex doing the right thing.

* Credit is a wonderful servant, but a terrible master. * Who's the boss --you or your credit?
FICO's: EQ 781 - TU 793 - EX 779 (from PSECU) - Done credit hunting; having fun with credit gardening. - EQ 590 on 5/14/2007
Valued Contributor
Posts: 2,702
Registered: ‎08-13-2009
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Re: What the FTC has to say about your credit and divorce.

I think the BK paperwork IS public record.   

 

You might be able to peak at it....   maybe file for stolen ID?

 

I would be very upset if that happened to me (what happened to you guys).  Have had similar problems with people trying to piggy back on my credit.

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