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  1. #1
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    Bankruptcy question

    My lovely wife apparently racked up over $10,000 in credit card debt unbeknownst to me.
    Before I chat with a bankruptcy lawyer I was curious how this will affect me. Meaning will her creditors find a way to come at me for my wife's debts?

    Details:
    1) We are cosigned on the house and two car loans. I am the primary borrower.
    2) She thinks claiming the bankruptcy where she will have to repay is her only option. The lawyer she consulted with stated that my income is too high to claim total bankruptcy. He has also stated that I will be fine according to her. My trust in this statement is nonexistent.
    3) I am not cosigned on any of her credit card debt.

    Thoughts? Supposedly she is so far behind that my wife does not think I can dig her out of the tremendous hole she has dug herself into. How will this come back to bite me or will it?

  2. #2
    Squirrelly Member trsidn's Avatar
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    community property? It's both of you. If you are planning on staying married, it's still both of you....
    Quote Originally Posted by Mariah View Post
    Transcendental enumeration.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by DataJunkie View Post
    Supposedly she is so far behind that my wife does not think I can dig her out of the tremendous hole she has dug herself into. How will this come back to bite me or will it?
    Behind on the $10k + compounded interest, or just the card balance(s) of $10k total (plus more compounding yet to come of course)?

  4. #4
    Climbing Above It All BikeWNC's Avatar
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    Suck it up, reduce your lifestyle and pay it off. Cut up the cards. $10k is not that much money. You could pay it off in a year. Live and learn.

  5. #5
    Senior Member DannoXYZ's Avatar
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    Important data here is when did she rack up these credit-card debts; before or after getting married to you? Also you should also look up the changes in bankruptcy law that Bush passed. Bankruptcy no longer absolves you of those debts, just buys you time in setting up a payment schedule with your debtors.

  6. #6
    Portland Fred banerjek's Avatar
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    10K is not that much unless you are way strung out on house and car debt. Hell, plenty of people have many times that in student debt before they get their first jobs.

    If you have any equity in your house, you could at least pay off the CC debt and refinance it at a much lower rate.

    As has already been stated, your wife's debt is your debt if you plan to stay together.

  7. #7
    GATC
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    Quote Originally Posted by banerjek View Post
    If you have any equity in your house, you could at least pay off the CC debt and refinance it at a much lower rate.
    Or a 401k to borrow from.

  8. #8
    On my TARDIScycle! KingTermite's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HardyWeinberg View Post
    Or a 401k to borrow from.
    Be wary of this though....great option if you know you will not be laid off. If you get laid off you have to pay it back ASAP or it will count as income and screw you on taxes.
    Quote Originally Posted by coffeecake View Post
    - it's pretty well established that Hitler was an *******.

  9. #9
    Too Much Crazy C Law's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BikeWNC View Post
    Suck it up, reduce your lifestyle and pay it off. Cut up the cards. $10k is not that much money. You could pay it off in a year. Live and learn.
    yep, suck it up, and pay it off

  10. #10
    Climbing Above It All BikeWNC's Avatar
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    I would advise not to use home equity to pay off credit card debts. One year later, you could be in the same situation with your home in jeopardy. Sell a car, take the money and the car payment and put it towards paying the cc. Sell other things to raise cash. Bag lunch. Cut the tv cable and the cell phones out. Reduce costs everywhere and in a short time the crisis will pass and you will have learned to live within your means. When I say you, I mean you as in the marriage and household.

  11. #11
    Lanky Lass East Hill's Avatar
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    Colorado is not a community property state. She is responsible for her credit cards. You are both responsible for the house and the two car loans.

    Are you looking at divorce in this case?

    East Hill
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    TRY EMPATHY & HAVE LOVE IN YOUR HEART, PERHAPS I'LL SEE YOU ON THE ROAD...

  12. #12
    Senior Member thomson's Avatar
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    I can't believe you are even considering bankruptcy. Although I don't know your situation, $10,000 does not seem like a lot of money, certainly not enough to declare bankruptcy. Sometimes you just need to buck up and do the right thing rather than look for the easiest path.

    We all pay for others bankruptcy.

  13. #13
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    I'm not considering anything. My wife is. It is my desire to extricate her from the disaster she has made. Try being married to someone who is bi polar...
    Anyhow, divorce may be in the future but first things first. As usual it is up to me to fix things but I believe a visit to the marriage counselor is in order.
    Just researching things first. No harm in asking the question right?

    ...and yes Colorado is not a community property state.

  14. #14
    your nightmare gal chipcom's Avatar
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    Try to avoid the bankruptcy if at all possible. It might do her well to learn a lesson from having to HTFU and work her way out of it. If you can possibly use another means to pay off the CC with a lower interest source, that would be something to consider, but I'm sure you could also work out a deal with the CC company for a payment plan that might save you the normal crazy interest. Either way, the card gets cut, of course. Good luck buddy, I know your pain.
    "Let us hope our weapons are never needed --but do not forget what the common people knew when they demanded the Bill of Rights: An armed citizenry is the first defense, the best defense, and the final defense against tyranny. If guns are outlawed, only the government will have guns. Only the police, the secret police, the military, the hired servants of our rulers. Only the government -- and a few outlaws. I intend to be among the outlaws" - Edward Abbey

  15. #15
    Super Moderator no1mad's Avatar
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    Quick question: Who pays the bills? I mean, who writes the checks every month? Do you pay yours, and she pays hers?

    Call me paranoid, but if she managed to hide $10k of credit card debt (any idea where that went?) that would make me leery of her knowing what my account numbers were. If she has some kind of compulsion that you aren't aware of, she might be tempted to use yours w/o asking.

    -Contact the cc issuers and explain that you think that your cards may have been compromised at your end. You want to close those and open new ones. Have the statements sent to your private email.
    -Find out how she incurred that debt. You have a right to know, seeing as how you're on the hook to repay, in part or whole, her debt.
    -Check out the Dave Ramsey show. You'd be surprised at the number of people calling in with similar stories. The repeats are on Hulu.com
    Quote Originally Posted by Cyril View Post
    Ride what and in what manner pleases you. Those that mind don't matter, and those that matter don't mind. srsly.
    Community guidelines

  16. #16
    You gonna eat that? Doohickie's Avatar
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    EEEK! Hold on.

    Okay, I've been there. Twice. There is such a thing called "credit counseling". It will take a few years to pay off this debt, but you can do it. Find a non-profit credit counselor like CCCS and go through them. The way it works is this: You agree to freeze all your credit and not take any more on. It sounds tough, but it's not as bad as you might think. The counseling service sets up agreements with your creditors (credit cards/unsecured loans only, not mortgages, car loans or student loans) which usually involve a lowering of interest rates and monthly payments. You pay the counseling service once a month, and they pay the credit cards for you. There is usually an administrative cost associated with this, but it is far, far less than the money they will save you in interest.

    While you're in the repayment plan, your credit rating is similar to someone who has a bankruptcy on their credit report, but as soon as the payments are complete it will probably bump up to higher than it is right now. You can expect it to take 3-5 years to pay off. Credit companies prefer to do it this way because they get most of their money and they know someone is keeping an eye on you to make sure you pay things back.

    I got laid off during credit counseling and they were able to lower our payments even more until I found work. A good credit counseling service can be your advocate with the credit companies.
    I stop for people / whose right of way I honor / but not for no one.



    Originally Posted by bragi "However, it's never a good idea to overgeneralize."

  17. #17
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    Thanks chip

    Just to be clear I have no intention of declaring bankruptcy. She wants to declare it on her own and whatever type that requires a payment plan.
    I am trying to convince her this is a bad idea. Personally, I would rather give her X amount of cash to get caught up and force her to pay it back. Somehow I will need to monitor it.

    You know what is worse than this BS having happened... being repeatedly lied to. Just gives me the warm and fuzzies. Anyways....

  18. #18
    your nightmare gal chipcom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DataJunkie View Post
    Thanks chip

    Just to be clear I have no intention of declaring bankruptcy. She wants to declare it on her own and whatever type that requires a payment plan.
    I am trying to convince her this is a bad idea. Personally, I would rather give her X amount of cash to get caught up and force her to pay it back. Somehow I will need to monitor it.

    You know what is worse than this BS having happened... being repeatedly lied to. Just gives me the warm and fuzzies. Anyways....
    What did the spend 10 grand on? Can you return/sell any of the stuff? Maybe buy a new bike with the proceeds (I'm keeeding! )
    "Let us hope our weapons are never needed --but do not forget what the common people knew when they demanded the Bill of Rights: An armed citizenry is the first defense, the best defense, and the final defense against tyranny. If guns are outlawed, only the government will have guns. Only the police, the secret police, the military, the hired servants of our rulers. Only the government -- and a few outlaws. I intend to be among the outlaws" - Edward Abbey

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by no1mad View Post
    Quick question: Who pays the bills? I mean, who writes the checks every month? Do you pay yours, and she pays hers?

    Call me paranoid, but if she managed to hide $10k of credit card debt (any idea where that went?) that would make me leery of her knowing what my account numbers were. If she has some kind of compulsion that you aren't aware of, she might be tempted to use yours w/o asking.

    -Contact the cc issuers and explain that you think that your cards may have been compromised at your end. You want to close those and open new ones. Have the statements sent to your private email.
    -Find out how she incurred that debt. You have a right to know, seeing as how you're on the hook to repay, in part or whole, her debt.
    -Check out the Dave Ramsey show. You'd be surprised at the number of people calling in with similar stories. The repeats are on Hulu.com
    I pay the bills and we have our own separate spending accounts.
    I knew things were up but this was surprising. Like I said Colorado is not a community property state. Helping her out is more of a husband wife thing than legal.
    6 months ago I cut her access to the household account due to her spending. Bi polar folks + CC or DC is a bad idea. I give her cash once a week.
    Anyhow, time to drag her to marriage counseling and in the meantime figure out how to fix this. Perhaps a credit counselor. Perhaps no. We will see.
    Incidentally, my wife's credit rating is the polar opposite of mine. Egads.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by chipcom View Post
    What did the spend 10 grand on? Can you return/sell any of the stuff? Maybe buy a new bike with the proceeds (I'm keeeding! )
    I have no f'ing clue! She doesn't have crap.
    I am at a loss. How does one spend $10,000 and not have anything to show for it?
    I would at least have a boatload of bikes.

  21. #21
    My name is Mike, not Cal
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    Quote Originally Posted by DataJunkie View Post
    I have no f'ing clue! She doesn't have crap.
    I am at a loss. How does one spend $10,000 and not have anything to show for it?
    Could it be gambling?

    Quote Originally Posted by DataJunkie View Post
    I would at least have a boatload of bikes.
    EDIT: Haha, I thought you said "bites."
    "I got my lips chewed off by a dingo!" --David Letterman

  22. #22
    Senior Member deraltekluge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DataJunkie View Post
    I have no f'ing clue! She doesn't have crap.
    I am at a loss. How does one spend $10,000 and not have anything to show for it?
    I would at least have a boatload of bikes.
    Easy...spend $800/month on clothes for a year. That's not a lot of items if you buy designer-label stuff.

    Be very wary about bankruptcy...with the rule changes of recent years, you can wind up still owing most of the money...plus the lawyer's fees...

  23. #23
    Lookin' Forward to Summer OldRoadGuy's Avatar
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    What prevents her from doing it again?

    Take it from someone who's wife cheated for 5 years without
    me having a clue... a spouse can be quite deceptive. Protect yourself at
    any/all expense.
    Quote Originally Posted by substructure View Post
    If I wanted true friends I wouldn't eat my spaghetti with a fork. I'm not sure what that means but you get the jest of it. Or not.

  24. #24
    Nookular Free Since '03 kingofchimps's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DataJunkie View Post
    My lovely ex-wife apparently racked up over $10,000 in credit card debt unbeknownst to me.
    fixed that for ya

    seriously - that's f'd up. move on

  25. #25
    BF Risk Manager
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    The gambling suggestion is an excellent thought. One of those online casinos or poker websites, if Colorado does not have actual casinos. If so, you may get this debt paid off, but will she incur additional gambling debts in the future? Or could she have been doing day trading of stocks?
    Regards, MillCreek
    Snohomish County, Washington USA

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