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-   -   Do I have to pay off his debt? (http://www.prisontalk.com/forums/showthread.php?t=219087)

Larry's Wife 08-12-2006 03:41 PM

Do I have to pay off his debt?
 
I was wondering if anyone could give me some advise on the following situation. Larry and I divorced two weeks before he went to court because we new he was facing some prison time, we just did not no how much time. He also wanted to protect me from the person he wrecked into. Anyway.....he has a credit card in his name and I am a holder on it. I have been paying it, but it is killing me. I had called this company before are divorce and they told me at this time that I would not be held responsible for it as I was just a holder on the account. When I called them a month ago & told them he was in Prison all a sudden I am responsible for this debt. Go figure!!!! We have excellent credit, and are getting remarried as soon as he is a free man, so I did'nt want to wreck our credit. Anyhow....when I went to see him this last time he told me not to pay it & let it go. I tried to make a deal with them when I called, but they said they did'nt do that. Has anybody been in this situation?

Don Quixote 08-12-2006 04:04 PM

You should pay the charges you made on the account (because even if you are not the "responsible party" you would be unjustly enriched by refusing to pay). But you are under no obligation to pay the remainder. Make it clear which items you are paying off and that once those are paid off, you will consider any future calls harassment (cut up the credit card with your name on it and return it. You can also return his credit card.)

If you are planning to be together later, his not paying his credit card will be a problem for his credit. And it might be a problem for yours until or unless the "who's really responsible?" question gets resolved.

Check your state laws for how credit cards and unsecured debt is treated.

Doc's Sis 08-13-2006 10:50 AM

Even if you are only a card holder, are the charges made by you? If so, you should pay off the items that you purchased. Yet, legally, if your name is not shown as a responsible party to the account, you could write to the company telling them that you and the account holder divorced and that you no longer plan to use that card. Cut it in half and return it to them (maybe). Rather than any more phone calls, I would write them a letter so you have proof of what you tell them. I'd not mention that he's in prison as it isn't any of their business. All they care about is that he pay the bill and if you are out of the picture, they can try to collect from him.

Yet, you'll have to consider the fact that when he gets out this debt will show on his credit report.... Perhaps speak with an attorney to find out what your obligations are legally and then go from there.

Greengirl6773 08-13-2006 12:00 PM

When you were divorced, how was the debt handled in the decree? I work for a family law office and, at least in our state, I think debt made while married is marital (joint) debt. It's usually split in the decre as to who has to pay what. If he was ordered to pay for that credit card in the decree, then you shouldn't be responsible for it, but as a disclaimer, you should probably talk to an attorney about it. I know the attorneys I work for are very good about taking questions over the phone, so you could probably call one up in your area (make it a small practice, not a large firm) and they will probably tell you if there's anything they could do for you or if you're stuck paying it.

dwfighterva 08-13-2006 03:52 PM

I have this same situation. A big debt run up by my ex. He opened it, it is his main debt, but he put my name on it so it became marital. I have been able to prove he ran up most of the debt, including cash advances to himself. I don't have a ruling on it yet, so I can't tell you if I was successful or not. But I do know that he is strying to settle it with them. He can't do it without my agreeing.

Here is what I would do. If it isn't that high, just tell them to close it and see if they will lower the interest rate so you can pay it off. I did this with one of mine. Each month the minimum due goes down and I have been able to save $100 a month on it. If it is high, I would contact them with the same information. You can't pay it, he is in prison, what can be done?

Bottom line, it will hurt your credit rating and his if you don't try to pay it off. I had excellent credit for years until my ex decided to tank it. I am working very hard to get a good reputation under my name.

ALL credit card companies would rather get some money than none. Even settling for 40 cents on the dollar gives them something. I would write, be nice, and see what they say. Good luck

dw

misscrys 08-13-2006 04:23 PM

maybe you can tell them that you are willing to try and pay off a debt that is not legally your responsibility if they can make you a deal like stop charging intrest or something like that and just tell them that and im sure they would be happy to get some money


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