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  1. #1
    eerae is offline Junior Member
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    Can creditors come after spouse?

    What is the name of your state? Illinois

    Hi, we live in Illinois but my wife accrued credit card and student loan debt in Ohio, before I met her. I have very good credit. However in the last year I bought a house, bought her a car, got married, and now have about $13000 in credit card debt. We have buckled down and are now steadily paying off my bills because my credit is still good. We'll pay hers off after mine. Everything is in my name only--the bank account, the cars, house, credit cards. She doesn't have anything in her name. Because she didn't work at all for 2004, I would like to file taxes as married filing jointly. My question is: If I file taxes as married filing jointly, can her old creditors find out, and can they now come after me? Will it affect my credit? We've never gotten a phone call from them and it's been over a year since we got a letter from any of them, but I figure it's just because she didn't have anything in her name and wasn't working so they didn't bother.

    Thanks for your advice,

    Eric
  2. #2
    Ladynred is offline Senior Member
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    You do not live in a community property state .. you are NOT liable for any of HER debts - period. Creditors don't ever get a look at your taxes, there's no way they could find out anything.
  3. #3
    eerae is offline Junior Member
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    Thanks for the reply! EOM

    thanks for the reply
  4. #4
    heybulldog62 is offline Junior Member
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    Ladynred statement is not entirely true. I live in IL. ask the same question to a real lawyer. he told me that they can ruin your credit and come after you. I asked it there is some paper or something that I could sign so that I would not be responsible for her bills. He said "no" It does not matter if you signed for the credit cards or not. He said to" get a divorce". That was the only way.
  5. #5
    eerae is offline Junior Member
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    Hmmmm. Well that's not good. Even if we have no joint accounts together? Could they still find out she's married if she did not change her last name? The government at least will know because she has an unpaid student loan.

    Eric
  6. #6
    heybulldog62 is offline Junior Member
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    yes according to the lawyer that i talked to. Of course, If you where to go to court over it the judge would have the final say.
    the best thing for you to do is talk to a lawyer. The one I talked to didnt charge me a thing. I just asked over the phone and he told me. I called a second lawyer just to be sure and he told me the same thing.

    Let me know what you come up with if you talk to one.
  7. #7
    Ladynred is offline Senior Member
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    I'm sorry, but I must disagree.. even with the lawyer. IL is NOT a community property state and you do NOT become liable for a spouse's debt just by virtue of being married ! Each spouses assets/debts REMAIN SEPARATE. If you were not joint on those credit cards, your name appears NOWHERE on the account, they can NOT hold YOU liable for HER debts.

    That lawyer may have been speaking of division of property/debts in a divorce situation, but when it comes to credit, there is no liability attached to anyone but the account holder - period. Just keep in mind, not all lawyers know consumer law and if you want a straight answer, you must ask one that DOES know and practices it !
  8. #8
    heybulldog62 is offline Junior Member
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    I hope your right ladynred. I was told buy 2 lawyers that just because you didnt sign for a cc doesnt mean that they cant come after you. I asked ,"If she was to go out a max out 10 cards at $10,000.00 apiece and i didnt sign or know anything about em could they come after me and he said yes.
    I wouldnt think if he didnt know he wouldnt tell me that.
    Like I said ihope your right. How do you know what you know about this?
  9. #9
    rezguy is offline Member
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    Thx ladynred for being consistent on this issue ..I have followed this and similar threads since it is near to my situation and your replies have been similar in each and identical to others who have commented on the issue of non-joint assets of a spouse. additionally another respondent stated that in order for a creditor to "come after" a spouse they would have to serve and sue them and gain a judgement/garnishment on the spouse by name and SS# and if a person wasn't the liable party than it would not pass the smell test. (rhetorical) heybulldogs would you let someone take money from your account or paycheck to satisfy another's debt?
  10. #10
    heybulldog62 is offline Junior Member
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    no I wouldnt. I'm just saying that thats what 2 lawyers told me.
    to me it doesnt make sense that your spouse can get a cc or go buy a car or what ever and the other spouse can be liable.

    call a lawyer and see what he says. Then post what he said here. like I said they didnt charge me a thing. I just asked the question and they told me.
  11. #11
    Ladynred is offline Senior Member
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    How do I know what I know ? Several years of research this kind of stuff. I've combed thru statutes of most states and continue to do so. Unless you're in a community property state, you are not liable for debts your spouse runs up in his/her name only. There are some fine lines in some states when it comes to other kinds of bill/debts, but not credit debt.

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