Spouse checking account

by jp

I live in Ohio and have several unpaid debts that were incurred before our marriage. Can my creditors garnish her bank account to pay for my old debt? I sign over my paychecks to her for deposit.

Reply from DebtCollectionAnswers.com:

JP - What types of debts are you talking about? How old are they? Are there any judgments against you?

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Oct 25, 2011
by: Anonymous

Mostly credit card debt but there is also a loan for a significant amount. They are about 5 years old now and not sure about any judgments. Could not find any judgments on my credit report that I pulled about a year ago or in the county in another state I use to live in. Thanks.

Oct 30, 2011
Spouse's bank account and debts
by: DebtCollectionAnswers.com

JP -

We cannot offer legal advice specific to your situation. But generally, creditors cannot go after the individual assets of one spouse to collect another spouse's individual debts, unless they live in a community property state.

However, it sounds like you are getting worried that the creditor are going to try to take legal action against you. For that reason, it would be be a good idea for you to at least get a consultation with a bankruptcy attorney to find out specifically what these creditors can and cannot do to collect from you. An attorney should be able to give you an idea of what property you may own may be at risk, and what your options may be for dealing with these debts.

You don't state how much you owe, or how much you can afford to pay. But another option you may want to look into is settling these debts with the collection agencies so you can put them behind you.

Learn more in our debt settlement podcast.

Nov 01, 2011
Community property
by: Anonymous

Interesting thing about the community property laws here:

Five years ago, my dad co-signed a car loan for my stepsister's best friend. Fast forward to last year, the car was wrecked, and the woman not quit paying on it, she put none of the insurance payout towards the cost. (Later we learned the payout would more then have covered the remainder of the the loan.)

Dad had remarried just under a year before the collections company filed suit. According to the WA state community property laws, my stepmother owes no money on the loan because her name is on none of the paperwork (Dad didn't even know her at the time) and the original debt was incurred before their marriage.

It's really worth checking out exactly what the laws in Ohio say.

Reply from DebtCollectionAnswers.com:

That's a good point. Sometimes we feel like a broken record saying, "Talk with an attorney," but often there are nuances in people's situations that make a difference in whether they are still liable for the debt or not. And an experienced consumer law attorney can usually hone in on those pretty quickly!

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