How Do I Get My Ex-Husband to Pay Up What He Owes Me?


Dear Steve,

In 2015, my ex-husband used a credit card after our divorce with my name on it. He charged several thousand dollars on my card, then never paid the credit card company or me. The debt went into collections and I paid-off the $7,000 balance. How do I get reimbursement from my ex-husband for the $7,000 I paid?



Dear Elizabeth,

It sounds as if you were a victim of identity theft. Too bad you didn’t turn him into the police when you discovered the crime. You would have been off the hook for his criminal debt.

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At this point it may just be a civil matter between you and your ex-husband. You’d have to talk to a lawyer who is licensed in your state about suing your ex-husband in an attempt to recover the money. You might also be able to sue your ex-husband yourself in small claims court.

But what then?

Let’s say you win in court. Are you willing to spend more money to go after your ex in an attempt to garnish his wages or drain a bank account of his. Sometimes you can win a case but lose out on recovering what you have won. In the end the cost of trying to punish the bad person can be more expensive than the recovery.

Nobody said justice was fair.

So the least expensive route would be for you to first talk to your ex-husband about repaying the money he owes you in a payment plan and let him know your next option would be to meet with an attorney to proceed with possible legal action.

One small point I want to clarify, you said he charged several thousand dollars but it does not seem the entire $7,000 was all his fraudulent debt. You’d have to go after him for the money, plus interest, that he stole from you and not the full amount you paid off if some of it was your debt.

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Damon Day - Pro Debt Coach

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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.
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