can my wife's debt collection affect my tax return and credit?

by Eric
(Colorado Springs , CO USA)

My wife had 3 hospital bills that she hadn't paid before we got marry. She currently doesnt have a job and shes not able to afford to pay any of those bills and my income is not enough to pay for her bills either. Now She got a notice that she has been sent to collections. Does that affect my good credit report in any way?. Is it gonna affect my tax returns for this year?. Is it possible for her debt collectors to come after me since she cant pay for this bills?

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Dec 14, 2011
can my wife's debt collection affect my tax return and credit?

The debts that your wife incurred before you were married are her debts alone. Therefore the fact that she has not paid them will affect her credit history and FICO score, not yours. The debts will not affect your tax returns (or her's) in any way either.

However, the fact that she owes past due debts could affect you in the following ways: 1. If the two of you apply for credit together, the collection accounts may mean that you will be denied the credit or you may be approved but the credit will not have attractive terms. 2. If you apply to rent a home or apartment or try to purchase insurance together, the negative information in her credit history could also work against you. #. If your wife is sued for the money she owes and the hospital gets a judgment against her, it may get permission to take money from her bank account to pay the judgment and if the two of you have a joint account than the money would come out of it. Also, if your wife does get a job at some point, the hospital may get permission to garnish her wages to collect on the judgment. Having money taken out of your joint account or having her wages garnished would affect you as well as her.

Can you afford to pay any portion of the hospital bills? I ask because you may want to try to negotiate a payment plan so you can pay off the debt over time in installments. Settlement may be another option. Settling a debt involves negotiating an agreement that allows you to pay the debt in full for less than what is owed on it. Given that her debts have been turned over to collections, your wife would need to negotiate a payment plan and/or a settlement with the collector/s. For more information about debt settlement, listen to our
debt settlement podcast.

It is also possible that your wife may be a good candidate for bankruptcy. If that is an option she wants to consider, she should go here to schedule a free consultation with a bankruptcy attorney.

Finally, I recommend that you and your wife read the information here about medical debt, medical debt collection.

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