Moving To Another State And Liability

by Ron
(Cornville, AZ, USA)

I have lived in Missouri for all my life, except for the last 2 years. I have been married for the last 25 years. I had credit card debt in Missouri that was mine and mine alone. My wife and I always maintained separate accounts for everything. Since I agreed to my credit cards in Missouri, based on my information alone, then the laws of Missouri should govern my credit card agreement, since it was a Missouri Contract. My wife had none of my cards, nor was she signed on any of them, nor did she get the benefit of any of the charges that I made.

Now, 2 years ago, I moved to Arizona, with my wife. I stopped paying on my cards while in Missouri, and also had my house there foreclosed on, so we decided to move. I never made any payments in Arizona on my credit cards. Now, Capital One (my card) sues me and Jane Doe spouse for my credit card. They later found out my wife's name and changed the suit to include her full name and claim we are "common-law" since we now live in a common law state (AZ). They were able to obtain a Summary Judgment against me and my wife, against all my objections. (Frontier justice)

Why is Capital One allowed to have it both ways? Why does AZ law now take precedence and allow Capital One to sue us jointly in Arizona when they could not sue us jointly in Missouri? Just because we moved to AZ, our marriage is now common-law? What about the other 23 years that I lived in Missouri?

If I move back to Missouri now (which is not common-law), then I suppose Capital One will be allowed to sue us jointly in Missouri also, because we moved from Arizona and it was a common-law state.

This is a ridiculous twist of conflicting laws and leaves a BIG question to be answered on Contract Law.

I have searched every site on the internet for the last year, and also have talked with several attorneys here and in Missouri, and NOBODY can explain to me why Capital One can have it both ways. Missouri attorneys say my wife is not liable for my separate debt and AZ attorneys say she is.

They could not sue my wife in Missouri, but they can sue her in Arizona. This is the craziest injustice and misapplication of laws that I have ever seen.

This has since been remedied by me. I filed a Chap 13 in AZ in November, and that protects BOTH my wife and myself. Isn't it crazy that I had to go to these extreme measures to get REAL JUSTICE? Just so I can now thumb my nose at Capital One! This type of circumstance really needs some clear guidelines, but nobody has been able to explain why a creditor can have it both ways. NOBODY! This is one case for the record!! Just try explaining that.

Comments for Moving To Another State And Liability

Click here to add your own comments

Feb 21, 2011
Debt in another state


Wow, thanks for sharing your story. Your story is a great example of how confusing the patchwork of state laws can be. On the one hand, states can enact laws that are more favorable to consumers than federal law or other states, but it can go the other way.

Maybe an attorney will weigh in on this issue to share their insight.

Feb 21, 2011
unqualified advice
by: Ron

This is from the previous Poster (Ron in Cornville)
Please---no unqualified advice from attorney wannabes. If you don't know the laws, then please don't post a comment or advice.


Click here to add your own comments

Return to Debt Collection Questions.

Learn how debt collection laws can help you!
This website does not provide legal advice.
All information is for educational purposes only.
Copyright 2007 - 2021 by Mary Reed and Gerri Detweiler.
All rights reserved..
Read our Privacy Policy here. Do not sell my information.