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My Husband Kept Running Up Debt and Asking Me to Bail Him Out. – Tonia

“Dear Steve,

Married for 7 years. When my mother died she left me some money (cash) as soon as she died my husband approached me about a credit card he owed on stating he was stressed over it.

Owed 6,000 on card. This was his debt. I gave him the money with agreement he would never do such a thing again. He agreed and took money. Approx 1 year later we bought a home together and I made the entire down payment.

The house cost 185,000 and I paid down 85,000 on it plus then built an addition onto house and paid 30,000 cash for that from money from my mother. My husband told me if I would pay that amount down he would have no problem then paying the monthly payments on home.

2 years later he comes to me stating he wants to refi the loan because interest rates came down enough to make a difference. I said “no” and then he advises me the real reason is because he has again amassed credit card debt and if i do not agree to it he can’t make house payment!

we had to take out a 54,000 mortage. 45,000 of it went to pay off his debt! none of it was mine. in less than a year he had run up cards again to around 3,000 and constantly has problems paying bills. any improvements on house i paid for 90% of time.

I have now filed for divorce in the state of Arkansas and also have found out he had a investment account with the state of arkansas as a employee with ING, it has a current balance of 46,000 in it and at the time he came to me crying about debt he had a balance of 36,000 yet he made no attempt to obtain that money to pay his debt, instead he used my money. the ING account is restricted access but if you have a emergency that would cause you to be evicted or foreclosed on he could have gotten the money-he never even tried.

Now he feels that basically he is not responsible to pay me back that money. Even if house sells and I get all proceeds from sell of house I will be losing around 50,000 because of paying off his cards. He will draw retirement from state of arkansas and also army reserve plus social security. I will have nothing. all i have is what i invested in the home.

Tonia”

The Answer

Get Out of Debt Free Hotline

Dear Tonia,

It sounds like you got played by a pro. The good news, if there is any, is that you’ve finally broken the chain.

These patterns of bailing someone out repeatedly are not that uncommon. I’ve seen the same pattern repeat over and over again.

The big issue for you at this point is I think you need to get a consolidated credit report and look at all the credit bureaus to make sure he did not open any credit cards in your name without your knowledge. That’s another common result that happens when the person gets cut off.

If you have any joint debt, remember, when you get divorced you divorce your spouse not your creditors. If he is supposed to pay on any debt you are jointly responsible for you will still be responsible for it after the divorce, even if he says he’ll pay it. And if he does a bad job of paying those joint bills, it ruins your credit as well.

It may have cost you $50,000 but at least that’s the limit of the damaged. I’ve seen people lose everything in similar situations.

Please post your responses and follow-up messages to me on this in the comments section below.

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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.

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