Question about spouse\’s credit card debt

August 25th, 2007 by Questions

My husband has a huge amount of credit card debt. In mid 2005 we split up our debt load because we were fighting so much over finances. I got my own bank account and assumed my own debt load and I paid my husband out my share of the existing credit card debts. We both signed an agreement at that time detailing how the debt load was split up and my pay outs satisfied (mostly by assuming other debts in exchange). I now pay, from my own bank account, my half of the house bills and my own credit accounts. My husband does the same. Since 2005 my husband has more than doubled the total monies owed on the original card accounts and owes around $38,000.

He is now at the point that he is current and making his monthly payments but has $0 left each month to live on — gas for the car, groceries, etc. I have had to cover the mortgage on my own several times because he falls behind and doesn\’t have enough money. We bought a house at the end of 2005 and there is approx. $35,000 in equity. However, $10,000 of that was a living inheritance (gift) to me only from my parents, and then my 1/2 equity would likely leave nothing left over for him to give to his creditors.

My question is — He has given me a supplemental card on some of his credit accounts. I have only made very small expenditures on these cards and have always promptly paid the money owing to my husband. I just realized from reading the blog that I could end up responsible for the entire debt he has on these accounts. If my husband cancel my supplemental cards right before filing for bankruptcy does that protect me from being responsible for any of this unsecured debt? If my husband is unwilling to do this, can I protect myself by showing our signed agreement in 2005 and also proof of payment to him for the very small charges I have made since 2005?

I\’m extremely worried!


One Response to “Question about spouse\’s credit card debt”

, Barton Goth GCO Bankruptcy Trustees said:

In most instances when you are listed as a supplemental card holder you only invoke legal responsiblity for puchases you have made. Therefore it is doubtful that you would be held responsible for any of these debts.

You can always try to have the supplemental cards canceled prior to filing for bankruptcy. However the bank will likely only do so if they have no legal right to seek payment from yourself. So whether or not this will be useful is questionable, but it never hurts to try.

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