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kcfanintitanhell
04-24-2006, 01:54 PM
Jeez-talk about a crappy way to start a week.....

I have been divorced for over four years, and have had a good relationship with my ex-we keep in touch on a fairly regular basis.
So two weeks ago she calls me and tells me our dog has a vet bill that she is unable to pay, due to her own medical bills, and she's been having a tough go of it (she's in Houston-I'm in Tennessee). She asks if I could send her 300 dollars to cover it and I agree. I send it off and go out of town for the next week. Last night I got back and there was this odd message from a person telling me that it would be in my best financial interest to get back to him right away.
First thing this morning I call him and he informs me that a credit card belonging to my ex has me as a co-holder of this card and that I need to come up with $6300 by this afternoon. It seems that she, unbeknownst to me had run up quite the bill before our divorce was finalized, although we were separated at the time. And today was the absolute first time I had heard anything of this. I called her and she apologized profusely and said she had a lawyer and was working on it.
I just don't know what to make of it. I just find it odd that I send her a check that has my address and phone number on it, and about the time she would have received the check suddenly this shit starts to happen.
Does anyone have any thoughts or advice on what actions I should be taking, or am I seriously screwed?
Thanks

kepp
04-24-2006, 02:09 PM
The exact same thing happened to me man...well, except the vet bill part of it. I was co-named on a CC with my ex and like 6 years after the divorce I start getting calls from a collection agency saying that my credit was going to be ruined if I didn't pay for her debts. My amount was smaller, but still significant. I'm not a lawyer but I can tell you several things about the situation:

1. The collection agencies will tell you ANYTHING to get $$ from you. Its in your best interest to seek legal counsel regarding the matter. The collection agency that called me told me pretty much the same thing - "If you don't pay by such-and-such a date, it will be put on your credit report. If you pay now, we'll keep it off of your report." Don't believe them. I paid...it went on my report...and in spite of numerous attempts to get it removed, they haven't lifted a finger (which makes sense because they got what they wanted).

2. I wouldn't chalk the vet bill/please send a check thing to coincidence. People will do just about anything just like collection agencies will.

2. I *heard*, but never investigated, that some states have laws regarding these types of matters. After I paid someone told me about a supposed law that puts limits on what you would have to pay after certain amounts of time have gone by. Again, I only *heard* about this and legal counsel would be of help. In my case, I paid my ex $350/month for 2 years specifically for debt on our joint CC. It could be mathematically proven that, with those payments and the amount of time that had passed, none of the debt left on the CC could have been mine. This may just be bs that someone told me, but its worth checking out.

So, I guess the conclusion of the matter is, get legal help.

And an aside for those going through a divorce: get your debts *legally* split up and handled. Don't rely on the other party's word about taking your name off their CC's.

morphius
04-24-2006, 02:15 PM
Well, at least you didn't say that your ex roommate's girlfriend found out she was pregnant with your child and was going to have her boyfriend pay for the abortion.

Wish I could be of more help, but honestly, why start now?

kcfanintitanhell
04-24-2006, 02:17 PM
Thanks for the input.
When I called her to inform her of my situation, after apologizing and telling that she hated they had finally got my phone number, told me to write a letter to the credit bureau, disputing the amount. I would like to think there was nothing malicious going down because she freely admitted that the amount was all hers.
If she was going to be vindictive, I would have thought that then would have been a good time to say "Payback is a Bitch!!!"
But she didn't.

kcfanintitanhell
04-24-2006, 02:18 PM
What a hell of a topic to go over 1000 posts on. :cuss:

Rain Man
04-24-2006, 02:20 PM
I suspect that the vet bill problem was because she'd finally lost complete control of her bills, which would then explain the collection agency call, too.

greg63
04-24-2006, 02:21 PM
Jeez-talk about a crappy way to start a week.....


Sorry to hear it; I wish I had a great legal mind and could help.

Best of luck to you, I hope everything turns out ok.

Amnorix
04-24-2006, 02:25 PM
Well, you are potentially f**ked, but it's hard to say for sure. Part of it has to do with various laws in your own state. Another part of it has to do with the fact that I don't do collection work, thank God, so I'm of somewhat limited use to you. There are a few items I can point out, however:

1. You were, of course, an idiot to send her the $300, but you know this already. Next time, if you're really willing to help with the dog, tell her you'll gladly pay -- and have her give you the contact info for the vet so you can send a check direct to the vet...

2. You need to contact ALL THREE of the credit reporting agencies and get your credit report IMMEDIATELY. This will tell you if you have suffered collateral damage from her failure to pay on accounts that you hold jointly. The big 3 are Experian, TransUnion and Equifax.

The website for each one of these is www.[nameabove].com.

3. You need to move, IMMEDIATELY, to have your name removed from any and all accounts that you hold jointly. The credit reports will give you some info on what accounts you may unknowingly be named on, but you should also talk to her about it. If she won't give you the info, then if you have all your old financial records, CC bills, etc., you may be able to figure it out that way. Otherwise, you may need to try calling all the major credit card companies (Visa, etc.) and see what you can do. I have no idea if you can get anywhere without the account # however.

4. Now then, the issue at hand -- the problem is that you may well be on the hook as a co-obligor on the card(s). The divorce doesn't really impact this at all, if you're still an account holder. Ignore the pressure tactics of the collection agents. Their "pay or die" tactics are just designed to make you pay faster. By the way, assume everything they tell you is a lie. Demand backup bills/proof for everything they tell you, etc. ad infinitum.

Legal counsel would help. Call your local (city or state) bar association for a few referrals (explaining what your need is so they can point you in the right direction), and then call 2 or 3 people and pick the one that "feels right" so to speak.

Good luck.

Amnorix
04-24-2006, 02:30 PM
It seems that she, unbeknownst to me had run up quite the bill before our divorce was finalized, although we were separated at the time. And today was the absolute first time I had heard anything of this. I called her and she apologized profusely and said she had a lawyer and was working on it.

Hadn't focused on this part before.

4 years is a good while, but here in Mass. the statute of limitations on torts (personal injury stuff) is 3 years and contract claims are 6 years, so they would be allowed to chase you in this state for a bill that was 4 years past due, I believe. Not sure what the law is in your state.

But it certainly is important to make sure that your name is NOW off all accounts that she has...

Dave Lane
04-24-2006, 02:34 PM
What Amnorix said but also I would go to your local police department and file a fraud charge against your ex. Since she's out of state they probably won't file any charges but you will have this on file that she fraudulently used this card with out your knowledge. Big difference in court and with the CA if you do this. If you do then probably you won't have to pay a dime. If they file with the credit agencies you can have it removed by sending them the documentation. Only thing is to get this done before it goes on your report.

Dave

kepp
04-24-2006, 02:35 PM
You need to contact ALL THREE of the credit reporting agencies and get your credit report IMMEDIATELY. This will tell you if you have suffered collateral damage from her failure to pay on accounts that you hold jointly.
This is a good idea in general. I did this and actually learned that one of the credit agencies had me listed as a co-signer on the CC of a person I had never heard of. I disputed the information and it was removed.

You need to move, IMMEDIATELY, to have your name removed from any and all accounts that you hold jointly. The credit reports will give you some info on what accounts you may unknowingly be named on, but you should also talk to her about it. If she won't give you the info, then if you have all your old financial records, CC bills, etc., you may be able to figure it out that way. Otherwise, you may need to try calling all the major credit card companies (Visa, etc.) and see what you can do. I have no idea if you can get anywhere without the account # however.
I tried to have my name removed from the CC. They said they would only let the primary card holder change who was named on the card...and I never could get my ex to do it. But maybe its different with different CC companies.

kcfanintitanhell
04-24-2006, 02:40 PM
But it certainly is important to make sure that your name is NOW off all accounts that she has...

I honestly believe that the credit card in question is the only thing with my name still on it. She's not a dishonest person, and has never lied to me in the past.

BTW-Thanks a bunch.

Amnorix
04-24-2006, 02:46 PM
I tried to have my name removed from the CC. They said they would only let the primary card holder change who was named on the card...and I never could get my ex to do it. But maybe its different with different CC companies.

I'm speculating here (actually extrapolating more than a little from what I know, but make no guarantees):

There are, I believe, two ways that you can be named as a card holder. One is where Person A is the card's "owner" and they can name whoever they want as additional holders/users, but the OBLIGATION TO PAY remains solely with Person A. The other is where each cardholder is a co-obligor.

In any event, if you're a co-obligor then there is absolutely no way you should be held accountable for any charges after you have informed them you wish to terminate your relationship. If they tell you you can't, then I would write to them (registered mail, return receipt requested) informing them that you have destroyed your card (send the cut card back) that you have terminated the agreement and have no future obligation whatsoever to them after the current CC cycle is done, and that you are not obligated to make any payments on behalf of your former spouse.

Amnorix
04-24-2006, 02:48 PM
I honestly believe that the credit card in question is the only thing with my name still on it. She's not a dishonest person, and has never lied to me in the past.

BTW-Thanks a bunch.

It's possible she honestly forgot you were a co-owner on the account. Unfortunately, that won't help you now.

The bad thing here is that interest is continuing to accrue at whatever god-awful rate they have, plus late fees, blah, blah, blah. You can't really afford to sit back and wait for her to take care of it and hope it goes away.

No problem and best of luck to you.

kcfanintitanhell
04-24-2006, 02:56 PM
What the 6300 dollars entails, if I remember through the cloud of shock, is a buyout reduced from $9500. Does that make any difference?

kepp
04-24-2006, 02:58 PM
I'm speculating here (actually extrapolating more than a little from what I know, but make no guarantees):

There are, I believe, two ways that you can be named as a card holder. One is where Person A is the card's "owner" and they can name whoever they want as additional holders/users, but the OBLIGATION TO PAY remains solely with Person A. The other is where each cardholder is a co-obligor.

In any event, if you're a co-obligor then there is absolutely no way you should be held accountable for any charges after you have informed them you wish to terminate your relationship. If they tell you you can't, then I would write to them (registered mail, return receipt requested) informing them that you have destroyed your card (send the cut card back) that you have terminated the agreement and have no future obligation whatsoever to them after the current CC cycle is done, and that you are not obligated to make any payments on behalf of your former spouse.
Looks like I should have joined Chiefs Planet 3 years ago. I could have used your advice :banghead:

Skip Towne
04-24-2006, 03:13 PM
All my exes are in Texas, that's why I hang my hat in Tennesee.

Calcountry
04-24-2006, 03:27 PM
Well, you are potentially f**ked, but it's hard to say for sure. Part of it has to do with various laws in your own state. Another part of it has to do with the fact that I don't do collection work, thank God, so I'm of somewhat limited use to you. There are a few items I can point out, however:

1. You were, of course, an idiot to send her the $300, but you know this already. Next time, if you're really willing to help with the dog, tell her you'll gladly pay -- and have her give you the contact info for the vet so you can send a check direct to the vet...

2. You need to contact ALL THREE of the credit reporting agencies and get your credit report IMMEDIATELY. This will tell you if you have suffered collateral damage from her failure to pay on accounts that you hold jointly. The big 3 are Experian, TransUnion and Equifax.

The website for each one of these is www.[nameabove].com (http://www.[nameabove].com).

3. You need to move, IMMEDIATELY, to have your name removed from any and all accounts that you hold jointly. The credit reports will give you some info on what accounts you may unknowingly be named on, but you should also talk to her about it. If she won't give you the info, then if you have all your old financial records, CC bills, etc., you may be able to figure it out that way. Otherwise, you may need to try calling all the major credit card companies (Visa, etc.) and see what you can do. I have no idea if you can get anywhere without the account # however.

4. Now then, the issue at hand -- the problem is that you may well be on the hook as a co-obligor on the card(s). The divorce doesn't really impact this at all, if you're still an account holder. Ignore the pressure tactics of the collection agents. Their "pay or die" tactics are just designed to make you pay faster. By the way, assume everything they tell you is a lie. Demand backup bills/proof for everything they tell you, etc. ad infinitum.

Legal counsel would help. Call your local (city or state) bar association for a few referrals (explaining what your need is so they can point you in the right direction), and then call 2 or 3 people and pick the one that "feels right" so to speak.

Good luck.Yeah, when the home boy brother on the other end of the line tries to go G on you, don't let dat chit mess with you. Simply tell him you don't give a dam, and he can't take what you don't have. Just remember, his other job is pimpin out some ho in downtown Detroit, so he is very qualified at Bi8ch slappin ho's when they hold out. Unfortunately in this situation, to him, you be da ho.

ExtremeChief
04-24-2006, 04:27 PM
What the 6300 dollars entails, if I remember through the cloud of shock, is a buyout reduced from $9500. Does that make any difference?


Income tax will be due on the difference because it is a forgiven debt, so, in the eyes of the IRS, it's income.

kcfanintitanhell
04-24-2006, 05:59 PM
Income tax will be due on the difference because it is a forgiven debt, so, in the eyes of the IRS, it's income.

A question has just occurred-if this buyout was negotiated by my ex, with no consultation with me,wouldn't that place the responsibility on her shoulders? I had no part whatsover in any of the transactions that incurred that entire amount, had no say so in any of those transactions, nor was I even informed that my name was still on the card. Apparently there was some negotiation going on with said company to reach that amount and I still wasn't even aware of it.