My Credit Report Says I Owe a Loan My Ex-Husband Was Supposed to Pay. – Theresa

“Dear Steve,

Divorced in October 1997. Remarried May 1999 to current husband. We bought a house in June 2011 in another state.

I divorced my ex-husband October 1997. The judge court ordered, in the paperwork, that he would be responsible for the trailer that we bought together 1996, including payments and all paperwork. After the divorce I sent a copy of my divorce papers stating that fact, certified mail, to the company. I remarried in May 1999 to my current husband and we just recently bought a house, in a different state, June 2011. I was just notified through mail that I had a negative mark on my credit report. When I received a copy I notice something from a company I never heard of so I did some research. I found out that Nov. 2010 an order was started for possession of the trailer we bought back 1996. Then on 1/19/2011 8 Title : EVT:COSTED TO DATE
PARTY : – STATUS: CLOSED/TERM’D, which I am guessing it means foreclosed. I was never notified by mail, phone or anything so I was unaware of all this going on back in Ohio.

What does this mean for me? What will happen next and what can I do now? Will affect what I have now with my current husband?


Dear Theresa,

Unfortunately this is a problem that comes up a lot. When you divorced you legally separated from your husband but not any joint obligations. Your divorce is not binding on your creditors. All that happens is that you go from being a married couple that is jointly obligated for a joint debt to separate people jointly obligate for a joint debt.

You divorce your partner, not your creditors.

While the divorce papers said he was supposed to pay for and be responsible for the trailer, that was an agreement between the two of you. If the trailer was a joint loan and he did not pay then that debt will fall on you regardless of what any divorce papers say.

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It sounds like the trailer was repossessed. Mobile homes are generally titled like cars and not like homes. They get repossessed rather than traditionally foreclosed on. It’s just an academic point but the result is the same. It can result in a debt you owe.

At this point you should look on your credit report and confirm if this was a joint debt. It sounds like it was.

Your solutions are to go after your ex-husband for the amount he was supposed to pay. If he’s already filed bankruptcy, and it is a joint debt, the lender or debt owner may come after you for the balance due.

It sounds to me like what we need here is some more information. The credit report notation you posted doesn’t make much sense to me and does not provide any clear information about the responsible parties on the loan.

If you wanted to you could use the contact information on the credit report about the lender and contact them for more information about the listing. Or, you could just sit and wait to see what may happen as a result of it. Unfortunately it sounds like the default on the mobile home was in 2011 so it will be reported on your credit report until 2018 if it was a joint debt. The lender may also sue you for the balance due.

Basically, while stressful, the better path is to reach out and contact the lender so we know what you are dealing with here.

And now you see why divorce is often followed by a bankruptcy when things like this happen. It’s a sad situation but one that is ever so common.

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


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