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Ex Did a Terrible Thing... Is My Credit Ruined?

New Contributor

Re: Ex Did a Terrible Thing... Is My Credit Ruined?

What are the bankrupcy rules anyway?  If you are still technically married, can he file bankrupcy single?

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Message 21 of 34
Valued Contributor

Re: Ex Did a Terrible Thing... Is My Credit Ruined?

It's possible for one spouse to file BK, no relief there.


These are joint accounts, if the husband files BK they don't just become chargeoffs, the creditor(s) will simply pursue the other joint debtor (the wife).  NFCU is mentioned, they are generous with credit but tenacious in collecting.


OP needs to get with a good divorce lawyer and a BK lawyer yesterday.  To avoid having to file BK she is going to have to be ruthless in immediately suing for divorce and seeking to be made whole regardless of where it leaves him.  This may be compliacted by the fact she has moved to PA but may have to file in VA.


Another question for the lawyers - if the husband agreed to pay these off and did, and later began suffering from "deficits from a brain tumor" and PTSD, was he competent to incur these debts?  That could be a defense against collection.


OP needs to get off all joint or AU debt right away, to the extent she can.

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Message 22 of 34
Valued Contributor

Re: Ex Did a Terrible Thing... Is My Credit Ruined?

There's no concern about either of us filing spousal or anything like that. If anyone was going for spousal, it would have been me, when I left almost 3yrs ago & he was still making $145K, while I went down to $20K.

He was diagnosed & had surgery to remove the brain tumor 2.5 yrs into the marriage (12/2007).

He did a lot of rehab & was retired from the USMC in 8/2008.  He secured a fabulous job, plus his retirement & disability. Total income for him was over $145K.

Things not being the same, and serious emotional problems he was having led me to leave in 2/2010.

We've had separate homes, lives & finances ever since.

He didn't quit working until 2/2012.

Even if he had some outside case for spousal support almost 3yrs after legal separation, he wouldn't do that - neither of us would.  We get along very well & support each other. We're still family, just the brain tumor changed things to where we're friends not lovers.


It may help him that his finances started really falling apart once I left. When I was with him, I took care of ALL finances. He was doing strange things, like going through the check-out line twice, but only remembering one set of purchases. Buying 2 gym bags in one month, because he forgot he'd bought one. So, I basically continually wrangled him and was trying to keep him reigned in. Once I left, he began taking out cards all over the place and really screwed up the credit we worked so hard to have. I almost wonder if that can be used to show how incompetent he is. He didn't have the financial inability BEFORE the brain tumor. (along with a lot of other problems he developed).

Message 23 of 34
Valued Contributor

Re: Ex Did a Terrible Thing... Is My Credit Ruined?

In my state the major difference between a Legal Separation and Divorce is mostly the word "Divorce". Most people that think they are legally separated are not, they are just in the process of getting a divorce. The court will issue temporary orders and may go back to a certain date and call it Date of Separation where some of your assets, debts, etc are divided. Other asset, debts, etc. are divided at the very end regardless. If you actually are Legally Separated, which in my state means a Judgement of Legal Separation was filed, then you may have some protection.


Unless your laws are very different than mine, that won't help on a joint debt and there is nothing that says the two joint owners of a CC are married, living in the same state, etc. In other words, if the account is joint, it is your debt. If the debt is joint or if you don't have a filed Judgement of Legal Separation, then there would be little stopping a creditor from getting you to pay the debt. You probably don't want to assume that there is no concern about spousal support unless your attorney has told you that. I could easily see the creditor or your ex's BK judge getting the Family Court to order you to pay Spousal Support so the debt could be paid. Same for any house or car you buy. If proving his incompetence is a good idea and wouldn't result in making your position worse, I could still see your legal bills exceeding the debt. When you start paying attorneys to argue about $20K, the only person that wins is usually the attorneys.


Having a Family Court Judge force the parties to sell a house or file BK is not even unusual. I've personally watched where the husband got $150K and the wife kept a house with $150K in equity. The husband wasted the money and didn't pay the bills. The judge ordered the house sold to pay the bills at which point the broke, out-of-work husband still had debts but now "owed" the wife $150K, which he couldn't pay so he just filed BK.

Message 24 of 34
Regular Contributor

Re: Ex Did a Terrible Thing... Is My Credit Ruined?

distantarray wrote:

Creditaddict wrote:

You had 3 joint accounts that he was to pay but you all did not go in and close the 3 accounts and now recently this year ran them up and then stopped payments?

If he **bleep** you are not juts auth.?

So yes if he **bleep** for you!

but if he is currently not paying and you just now got info? credit monitoring hadn't been updating you of missed payments?

If you could bring them current and CLOSE THEM!!! and try to **bleep** to paying.

***bleep*** haha but anyways if it's in a joint name it's technically the OP's fault for not closing out the account and not making sure. Regardless it's best to try to set a resolution with the credit card company. Try explaining your situation to the credit card companies if they could close the account in good standng if you bring it to current. it's a long shot but as best as you can do.


+1 I agree. This might be your best bet. Good luck.

Message 25 of 34
Moderator Emeritus

Re: Ex Did a Terrible Thing... Is My Credit Ruined?

This is just a sad sad situation. I'm so sorry things have gotten this bad for you. I think definately a divorce lawyer and bankruptcy lawyer are in order otherwise you will be fighting off judgements for the next 5 years. You don't need that stress. Good luck!

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Message 26 of 34

Re: Ex Did a Terrible Thing... Is My Credit Ruined?

Availability wrote:


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: According to the attorney mentioned in that article filing jointly would save money -- but you would likely want to do this as a Chapter 7; otherwise, with a 13 your tied to him (financially speaking) for a minimum of 36 months... Which most likely would not be good considering the contentious nature of the debt and subsequent filing.

Message 27 of 34
Frequent Contributor

Re: Ex Did a Terrible Thing... Is My Credit Ruined?

God Bless You! This situation is unfortunate the damage is already done the best thing you can do now is focus on you and the kids start over with your credit u did it once before u can do it again you will bounce back!

Message 28 of 34
Established Member

Re: Ex Did a Terrible Thing... Is My Credit Ruined?

I was separated from my ex husband for 1 year and went through a 1 year divorce. During this time, he ran up gambling expenses and tried to hold me liable. He hid his assets by placing them in a lock box. I hired detectives and made sure i was not going to be had.


I had documentation of what we had together prior to the separation. Thank GOD!  I immediately joined myfico starting September 2011. I watched that he could not steal from me. If there were any inquirers or charges on any of my personal accounts. The difference was placed in the divorce degree. He tried to financially harm me. I placed all his charges in the divorce degree. After the divorce, he refused to pay. I just took him to court and the judge found him in contempt of court. He had to play court cost besides the costs he incurred.


The best thing you need to do while getting divorce is monitor everything mortgage, IRS liens, property taxes, real estate taxes, credit card debt ... Etc.


Marriage is a great when both individuals want to better there union but when a person tries to destroy you financially and emotionally. What was this person in for?

Message 29 of 34
New Member

Re: TRe: Ex Did a Terrible Thing... Is My Credit Ruined?

At this point in time, when the divorce goes through, the most you can do is call up the companies or CBs and let them know of the situation, and if there is any way to fix it. They'll probably tell you to challenge the information by sending in the divorce paperwork, and they will probably take you off all together. I had a similar situation when i found out my ex-fiance was carrying someone else's child. Lucky for me, i have the credit, she has the child!!!!!

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Message 30 of 34