Credit Card debt in divorce question

Old 03-12-2008, 01:24 PM
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Credit Card debt in divorce question

I am an 'authorized user' on several credit card accounts that are in my exh's name. They are not joint accounts, I am just an authorized user. The judge ruled that we are to share the payoff, which is fine with me.

My question is, how do I get my name taken off the account altogether? Do I have to wait until the accounts are paid in full? Does he have to take my name off as the accounts are in his name? Because he is most likely not going to do anything that he perceives as beneficial to me. I don't want my name on anything that he can add debt to now. A couple of these cards have very large credit limits. Any advice is welcome.
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Old 03-12-2008, 01:41 PM
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Co-debts even if he caused all the debt is the law in most places.
I would call AND write a letter to each card company.
The fastest way I would think things could work (may not be the easiest though) Pay up your total half while standing in front of a judge and ask that your name be removed from each of them.
Court ordered... he would need make the call and have your name removed.
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Old 03-12-2008, 01:56 PM
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good idea anvil.
i would also call the credit card company without giving them my name or account number and ask their advice on what can be done.
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Old 03-12-2008, 02:10 PM
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Even though I was divorced (amicably) I'm am no expert on this. My ex paid her half and that was it.

I notice, in the newspaper classified section, "responsible for my debts only" ads in the legals. Might that be a way? I would definitely seek legal advice, either by hire, or on a related website. An occurrence that common should have an easy answer, I think. Did you have an attorney for the divorce?

This happens a zillion times/day. It must have an easy solution. Divorce should end any fiduciary relationship/responsibility after the decree.

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Old 03-12-2008, 03:37 PM
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Can your attorney be of any help here? She may have been through this before.

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Old 03-12-2008, 04:11 PM
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Originally Posted by GiveLove View Post

Can your attorney be of any help here? She may have been through this before.

I'm sure she can, I just keep thinking of things I should have asked her in court. Thanks!
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Old 03-12-2008, 05:58 PM
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Unfortunately, in my state (IL) any credit card debt supercedes a divorce decree. This means any cc debt we incurred (in both names) we are both responsible for. I'm paying off all credit cards because my credit will be ruined if I don't pay it. However, I think if he removes your name as an authorized user, you may not be responsible. If you are a co-applicant on the cc's you most likely would be responsible.

Hope this helps.

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Old 03-13-2008, 01:18 AM
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Like Jen said.........but to just a bit collections, especially with credit cards.....they don't care who pays; if they can't get the money from him, they'll come after you.....I've had friends who were stuck paying off their (ex)husband's credit cards (at least the money's owed from the time of the marriage)....some in amounts greater than $50,000. The wives weren't signers on the accounts, but the credit card companies don't care....They were married at the time the debts were incurred, and that's all they cared about.....

Absolutely, talk to your most states, credit card collections don't care about divorce court orders.....they just want their $$.....

Best of luck.....(I am soooo grateful I wasn't

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Old 03-13-2008, 05:38 AM
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My divorce attorney "worked" to make sure the credit card debt (unknown to me at the time) was the responsibility of ex.. as Noelle stated- you should have seen my face when the credit card companies told me they do not recognize divorce decrees.
By the way- My attorney never "worked" to get attorney fees!!
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Old 03-13-2008, 12:16 PM
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Hi Duet

I worked for a credit card company here in California for one year, and I know only the authorized user can make changes on the card!

They may all be different this was Wells Fargo Bank; therefore, may be best if you just call up and ask that as a "generic" question, as they sure won't give you any information on the account even though you know everything there is to know about it!

I, frankly, am surprised that the judge ordered you to pay your half because normally the person whose name is primary on the card is the one responsible for the payments. If he authorized you to use it, then he is still responsible for the payment. Things change all the time in credit card companies, and it's been a few years since I worked for them, so God knows what th deal is now. Just call them!

Besides, what if you pay your share and he decides not to pay his??? Your credit will take the hit anyway! There's another question to ask.

Hugs, Devastated
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Old 03-13-2008, 12:40 PM
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I can understand why credit card debt incurred or accrued while married becomes joint. What I cannot understand is why a divorce decree does not end that obligation. In fact, it seems like your ex should be the one worried, as you theoretically might use HIS card legally (as an approved signee on HIS acount!).

My state is a community property state. Thus, when people divorce, all assets and liabilities are treated as such. which is why my ex will get a piece of my retirement when I do retire. Although I earned it, it is treated as community property during the period we were married.

Once the issue of assets/liabilities is settled, the divorce legally filed and adjudicated, that ends any further financial responsibility that is not part of the decree.

Thus, neither I nor my ex can make the other responsible for anything. We no longer have a legal relationship. No different than you and I. If you gave me signing privileges on YOUR credit card and I used it (legally) it would be YOU and not me who is liable for payment.

It would be different if it is a "joint" account. According to you it is not. I cannot imagine a credit card company contacting me regarding someone else's account.

I am licensed to give NO legal or fiduciary advice. I am simply applying a layperson's understanding of law. If I am wrong I'd be pleased to learn.

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Old 03-13-2008, 04:50 PM
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Oh Duet, this is exactly what I have been fighting for 2 years.
Only the original owner of the card can have you removed from the account! If the account is past due, they will not remove your name.
Here's the best way to take care of it:

Run all three credit reports. (Free yearly reports at
Dispute anything that lists you as an authorized user. You can dispute right online!
The credit card has 30 days to return an answer to the credit reporting agency (equifax, experian, transunion) This is all done electronically.

It is worth a shot at this. If it doesn't work, and they refuse to remove it from your report, then there's other things you can do. The laws regarding AU's has changed too.
Feel free to contact me.
visit creditboards dot com
They are quite comprehensive with a lot of very smart, experienced folks there!
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Old 03-14-2008, 07:07 AM
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If I understand my state correctly, it doesn't matter whether I'm on the card or off, a user or a joint holder, I'm legally half responsible for any debts incurred while I was married, unless the divorce decides otherwise. Still, the only way the divorce can decide this is to order payment to the card company for my "half".
Sounds bizzarre, but one could never guess who charged what and why.

It seems the more important thing here is that the cards are frozen and payed off. I would have thought the judge would have ordered that. I would give it a shot anyway. Ask your ex if at the very least he would be willing to call them, ask that the card be frozen, and a new card issued just for him. I doubt they will take you off the old card, and if I were that card holder, I would think it was an attempt to not be responsible regardless of what the judge ordered.
Good luck!
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