Will I be held responsible for a debt linked to my ex?
I have heard through the grapevine that my ex-husband plans to file chapter 11 next week. We have been divorced for almost four years.When I pulled up my credit history it shows one credit card that is still in both of our names, and it has activity on it.
I called the bank this card is with and they would not take my name off the account, but what they did do was put a stipulation on it that he, my ex, could not raise the limit of credit without my permission.
I cannot call my my ex on this for personal reasons there is no need to go into, but my question is, will I be responsible for this debt once he files his chapter 11, and, if so, does the bank (credit union) by law have to get in touch with me to let me know about the debt falling to me, if it does end up falling to me?
Part two of my question is, if I end up with this debt after all is said and done, can I close out this account on my own after I pay it off or will my ex still have rights to this account?
Thanks,...I currently reside in the state of Wyoming and my ex resides in the state of Oregon. The debt,as far as I know, currently stands at about$2500.00.
Reply from DebtCollectionAnswers.com:
Ugh! It doesn't sound like a good situation.
First of all, if it is a joint account then you are equally responsible to the credit union for the balance. However, there is no reason they can't close that account to future charges now.
While you may be on the hook for current
balances, there is no reason you should be on the hook for any future purchases he might make on the card. You may want to send them a certified letter telling them you want to close the account now and that you don't want to be responsible for any new charges on the card. Unless there is some reason you think this could backfire on you with your ex, you may want to be proactive here.
If he files for bankruptcy, it may get tricky because he will be protected by the automatic stay. We've heard from some joint account holders that they have been unable to get account information when their ex files for bankruptcy on a joint account.
However, as far as the credit union getting in touch with you to tell you that you are responsible, that really isn't a requirement that we are aware of. If you think about it, you already are responsible, so they wouldn't necessarily have to tell you that he's not paying and you should be, since according to the agreement you both should be making sure it gets paid. If you wait until they find you, the account may be delinquent or in collections, which will hurt your credit.
Since you are a joint account holder, can you set up online account monitoring to check if it is being paid each month? If it's not, you may have to step in and make payments to protect your credit.
Sorry we don't have an easy solution to offer you. But it's good you are being proactive about it. If you have a divorce attorney, it would be good to ask him or her for advice.