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Home > Ask The Get Out of Debt Experts > My Ex-Husband Was an Authorized User on My Credit Cards and Ran Them Up. I Went Bankrupt. – Lauren

My Ex-Husband Was an Authorized User on My Credit Cards and Ran Them Up. I Went Bankrupt. – Lauren

“Dear Steve,

My husband and I are in a Ch. 13 Bankruptcy. I filed because my ex-husband was an authorized user on my credit cards I had when we were married. He ran it up and we got divorced. I moved with my job out of state and had an outrageous car note that he agreed to help me pay. He didn’t help so he took it back. Well he ended up voluntarily surrendering it.

My husband’s situation is his ex-wife got credit cards in his name without him knowing and she ran them up. When she filed for divorce, she asked for either 1/2 of his retirement or he pay their debt. He thought it they didn’t owe much so he agreed to the debt. She ran up $30,000 on credit cards he didn’t know he had. Now, we are in a chapter 13 bankruptcy for 11 months. We are wanting to buy a house. Our credit scores are way less than they need to be.

I have disputed all of the negative items on the credit report. My husband has several student loans that are being paid through the bankruptcy and are late because of the Trustee’s disbursements. I have a lender that will finance us next month while in our bankruptcy. But we have to raise our credit score about 60 points. We each have 2 credit cards a piece we have been current on since January.

How can I raise my credit score while in Bankruptcy? After being in Ch. 13 Bankruptcy for a year, will my credit score go up?

Lauren”

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The Answer

 

Dear Lauren,

Sounds like you both got screwed over financially by your ex-spouses. Sorry to hear about that.

Since time is of the essence here to get the scores up I think you should get a copy of your consolidated credit report and order the credit score option. This consolidated credit report is the same one I use to monitor my credit score and report as well.

The three bureau report will show you what all the credit bureaus are saying about you and will tell you exactly what is bringing down your score. Following that information take action on the items you can fix right away.

Also, your credit score is not the same with each credit bureau. By looking at the consolidated credit report you can see which credit bureau is giving you the highest score and ask the mortgage broker if they can use that bureau for your qualification.

Some mortgage broker have access to expedited credit report correction. There is a fee for that service but it can get errors that might be bringing you down fixed in days.

Big Hug!

My Ex Husband Was an Authorized User on My Credit Cards and Ran Them Up. I Went Bankrupt.   Lauren
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About Steve Rhode

Steve Rhode
Steve Rhode is the Get Out of Debt Guy and has been helping good people with bad debt problems since 1994. You can learn more about Steve, here.
  • Tybee90

    Steve, We went to refinance our house to get a lower interest rate.  Our credit scores are high 700s…but…when we looked at our credit report we saw that my husband’s ex opened a credit card account a couple of months before he moved out and put his name on it. It is listed as a debt on our credit report. She has a balance of $38,000+ on the card but has paid the $600+ monthly payment regularly.  What do we do to get his name off this credit card?  She has many psychological problems and there is no constructive communication with her. What are our options?

    • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

      It’s not a problem if you act quickly. Your husband must contact the credit card company and notify them he is the victim of identity theft. He should also contact the local police department and file a report of identity theft. The credit card company will most likely ask for this report and also his cooperation in pressing legal charges against her.

      And that’s where this often falls apart. The victim is not willing to press charges. If you don’t the debt is yours and if she stops paying on it the entire balance will be his responsibility.

  • Steve Rhode

    Well since you are already on the hook for the full debt there is nothing to worry about admitting. It does not matter if he files bankruptcy or divorces you or not. This is your debt.

    Even if he makes a promise to repay some of the debt in a divorce, it is still your debt. If he stops making payments creditors will come after you.

    And I assume you are going to have to work to care for yourself after the divorce. If you let this debt default and creditors sue you they can go for a wage garnishment.

    There is absolutely no upside for you here if you want to stand your ground. It is not an error to consider bankruptcy to break this bond. The actual error was way back when you let an authorized user run up your debt.

    Steve

  • Disgusted In PA

    Hello Steve..
    I want to break all ties, but now he wants to file bankruptcy and is asking me to go along with it. I don’t think I shoul being as it is his debt. My going along with him would be an admission of guilt on my part for that debt. I have a feeling that he’s up to something because he’s already talked with a lawyer. I’m thinking of standing my ground, let him file, and if the credit card companies put a lean against our house so be it. This is heading to a divorce and I hope I get an understanding judge. This deception is an extremely hard pill to swallow. If anyone has any suggestions I would certainly apprectiate it. Thank You.

  • Steve Rhode

    Dear Disgusted,

    Unless you file criminal charges against him for identity theft on the joint accounts you will be held jointly responsible, even if you get divorced. If you have just discovered these cards you should notify the credit card companies and file a report with the police. You will need that police report later.

    What is the end game here? Is your goal to go your separate way and break the financial bonds?

    Steve

  • Disgusted In PA

    My husband, of close to 40 years, has run up credit card debt on several cards. I had absolutely no knowledge of what he was doing. He’s also had a few extramarital affairs throughout the years, but always denied the rumors. I’ve recently found out that one particular ‘fling’ actually did take place (it was our babysitter who was 15 years of age at the time).
    The regret that I am feeling for not leaving him years ago is overwhelming. This forum isn’t the place for the seedy details. My question is; am going to be held responsible for what he’s done with the credit cards. Again, there are several credit cards, one to the tune of $25,000.00.
    I’ve never used his cards (I have my own). Some of his cards had my name (joint account) without my knowledge. Any/all advice would be appreciated.
    Disgusted In Pennsylvania ~

  • Disgusted In PA

    My husband, of close to 40 years, has run up credit card debt on several cards. I had absolutely no knowledge of what he was doing. He’s also had a few extramarital affairs throughout the years, but always denied the rumors. I’ve recently found out that one particular ‘fling’ actually did take place (it was our babysitter who was 15 years of age at the time).
    The regret that I am feeling for not leaving him years ago is overwhelming. This forum isn’t the place for the seedy details. My question is; am going to be held responsible for what he’s done with the credit cards. Again, there are several credit cards, one to the tune of $25,000.00.
    I’ve never used his cards (I have my own). Some of his cards had my name (joint account) without my knowledge. Any/all advice would be appreciated.
    Disgusted In Pennsylvania ~

    • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

      Dear Disgusted,

      Unless you file criminal charges against him for identity theft on the joint accounts you will be held jointly responsible, even if you get divorced. If you have just discovered these cards you should notify the credit card companies and file a report with the police. You will need that police report later.

      What is the end game here? Is your goal to go your separate way and break the financial bonds?

      Steve

      • Disgusted In PA

        Hello Steve..
        I want to break all ties, but now he wants to file bankruptcy and is asking me to go along with it. I don’t think I shoul being as it is his debt. My going along with him would be an admission of guilt on my part for that debt. I have a feeling that he’s up to something because he’s already talked with a lawyer. I’m thinking of standing my ground, let him file, and if the credit card companies put a lean against our house so be it. This is heading to a divorce and I hope I get an understanding judge. This deception is an extremely hard pill to swallow. If anyone has any suggestions I would certainly apprectiate it. Thank You.

      • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

        Well since you are already on the hook for the full debt there is nothing to worry about admitting. It does not matter if he files bankruptcy or divorces you or not. This is your debt.

        Even if he makes a promise to repay some of the debt in a divorce, it is still your debt. If he stops making payments creditors will come after you.

        And I assume you are going to have to work to care for yourself after the divorce. If you let this debt default and creditors sue you they can go for a wage garnishment.

        There is absolutely no upside for you here if you want to stand your ground. It is not an error to consider bankruptcy to break this bond. The actual error was way back when you let an authorized user run up your debt.

        Steve

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