Re: Ex Did a Terrible Thing... Is My Credit Ruined?
11-17-2012 07:58 PM
**IMPORTANT NOTE -- WE ARE STILL LEGALLY MARRIED. SEPARATED FOR 3YRS, BUT DIVORCED HAS NOT COMPLETED.**
When my STB-ex & I separated 3yrs ago, it was decided that he would bear responsibility 4 the $20k in credit cards we had together - as he makes 7 times what I do. He consolidated the balances on the two cards, onto a third card in his own name, and he said (he may have even believed) that he also completely closed the two prior joint credit cards as well.
I never gave it another thought. I opened up one credit card in my own name, and have nurtured it for the past two years.
I have kept credit monitoring, but never even looked in the "credit card" section, because I knew what I had and always made timely payments. I only kept an eye on the collections section ... (I have a daughter who was ill for the past few years, first with Lyme disease, and then a year of illness before also being diagnosed with Crohns Disease, so it has been a very trying time, and with doctors in three states involved, tracking and paying all the bills has been stressful, and sometimes we miss one - or maybe they donn't even send a bill?? til it ends up in collections.)
This past year, my ex remembered or realized he had access to $20k in credit lines, and ran up the entire amount in 3 months time from April-Jun. Then, he didn't make payments on them.
I have been getting ready to purchase a home 4 the #1 time, and that is how I learned about this. The credit monitoring service I use, I never looked under the cc section b4, bc I knew I only had one little card in my own name, and always made payments. When planning w the lender we intend to use, she looked at the whole report and asked me about the maxed out cards, and missed payments in July-Aug-Sep. Whaaaaaattt??! So he not only ran up $20k in 3mo, he then didn't make any payments.
He'd already told me last month he's going **bleep** in cc debt.
He's destroyed his credit and my own, in about six months time.
I have not lived in the same state as him, never seen a statement, never accessed the account, since Mar 2010. I didn't even know about it. They all went to his house, in his state. The charges are clearly all his (including a $10K pmt to the IRS 4 his unpaid taxes - paying taxes on a cc, the epitome of irresponsibility), and he is willing to say so, to whomever needs to hear it, were that to help save my credit. if that would even make a difference, since I was joint regardless, AND we are still technically married.
Is there ANY way I can be absolved 4 responsibility 4 what he's done????
Do I have ANY other option, other than filing bankruptcy myself???
If you had a legal separation typically the judge is going to say as of x/xx (date of separation) any financial obligations incurred by the other party past that date are their own to pay, for credit reporting reasons you would have a mess to deal with; however, I believe your divorce attorney should be able to bring this up in court. The judge will be none too happy to see that your ex has used/defaulted on accounts in your name jointly after the separation date... This should definitely be a part of the legal settlement -- I believe it would be considered to be contempt for violating a legal separation order if this was in fact specified at the time of the legal separation.
Secondly, if he files for a bankruptcy individually the creditor is likely to come after you for the obligation. It would be discharged for him and not for yourself. Read more on the topic here: http://www.brickslaw.com/bankruptcy-divorce-file-b