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x wife library debt collection

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B

brinic

Guest
What is the name of your state? Wisconsin
I filed for divorce in 1996 and just recntly ran my credit report and found a debt listed from the public library. This debt is from my x wifes library card used in 1997 and she did not return what she borrowed. This total $175 only but I feel it should not be there
I disputed this and the reply back that I received from the colection agency is that it is a joint account and will not be removed. Now this is a dumb position as library cards are issued to an individual only and I had no control over its use and cannot cancel it as confirmed by the library.
What kind of recourse can i take to correct this and how?
I have filed a complaint with our state banking agency which regulates collection agencies.
am I right here in saying it is not my debt and can i sue them if they refuse to change it?

thanks
Brian
 


I AM ALWAYS LIABLE

Senior Member
My response:

What you're failing to understand is the concept that Wisconsin is a Community Property State, where assets and debts are equally shared.

While Library cards are, in fact, issued to an "individual," any debts incurred based upon the use of that card, becomes the community debt of both husband and wife. It's the same principle with any debt; e.g., gas card, store credit card, etc., etc.

So, look past what the card was used for, or who used the card. The point is that the "debt" is a "community" debt. Ergo, the collection agencies can come after her, you or both of you at the same time. It doesn't matter to them since you both share equal liability.

IAAL
 
B

brinic

Guest
So even though a divorce is filed I am still responsable for this?
 

JETX

Senior Member
IAAL, I have to disagree on this one.... from the writers post, it appears that the debt was incurred AFTER their divorce, and if so, then the 'communal debt' issue shouldn't apply.... (unless the creditor came back and made some ridiculous claim that the card was issued during the marriage and therefore the 'debt' liability was pre-divorce!!).

Brinic: Trying to get the creditor to remove the information from the credit bureau is not going to work. Send a letter to the reporting CRA (Credit Reporting Agency) detailing that the debt was incurred by your ex-wife AFTER the divorce and therefore, the debt is NOT yours. Include a copy of the divorce papers to show the date. Ask the CRA to investigate the report and to remove it from your file if not verified. This is a right given to you in the FCRA (Fair Credit Reporting Act) which can be found at: http://www.ftc.gov/.
 

I AM ALWAYS LIABLE

Senior Member
My further response:

Steve, our writer said he filed for divorce in 1996, and that the card was issued and used in 1997. What he doesn't say is if his divorce was final at the time of it's use. I took his post on "face value" - - otherwise I believe he would have said, ". . . and my divorce was final in 1997 at the time the card was used."

So, until there is a final decree, all the creditor knows is that these two are still married at the time the books are taken from the library, and the credit agency couldn't care less that these two were in the throws of divorce, or are divorced now. As long as they were married at the time of the card usage, it's a Community debt.

Now, for all I know, there may have been an "automatic" Restraining Order in place at the moment he served his Petition for Dissolution, like there would be in California, which restrains a couple from causing debt to the Community relationship and, if that's the case, then our writer's recourse is to "go after" his ex-wife for the $175.00 in a subsequent Small Claims court lawsuit.

However, and in the meantime, either he pays the debt, or he takes a chance on himself being sued and having his credit further damaged.

In summary, our writer never said that the debt was incurred AFTER the divorce, as you have theorized. Therefore, until he confirms this fact, one way or the other, my opinion is based on the words of his original post, and my opinion is that he's "on the hook."

IAAL
 
Last edited:

I AM ALWAYS LIABLE

Senior Member
My additional response:

And, just in case anyone may be wondering, the Wisconsin Statute of Limitations on "written contracts" is 10 years. Therefore, the contract she signed with the library, in order to obtain the library card, is controlled by the SOL.

So, our writer does not have that defense at his disposal.

IAAL
 

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