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I’m Being Sued for a Debt From 28 Years Ago With My Ex-Husband. – April

“Dear Steve,

Divorced 24 years ago. Being sued for credit card debt from 28 years ago. Judgment filed against me in 1992. My x-husbands and my name are listed as defendants, “et al”, but only my name appears in the body of the judgment.

My x-husband was the applicant and I was the co-applicant. I have no recollection of this debt. Debt collector has not provided me my “file” to review and I have submitted a Motion to Compel them to do so to the Court.

Company is unable to/has not to date provided “merchant copies” of itemized charges or itemized charges on billing statements. I have to appear in court in another state in order to defend myself as I cannot afford an attorney. Legal Aid is not an option as I do not live in the State where debt allegedly occurred and I am not eligible for Legal Aid in the State I live in.

Trial date is 1st week of July. Statute of limitations was set to expire 5 days from the date I wa s served. Alleged debt interest has accrued for years – I filed taxes every year – have owned property – I could have been “found” so that interest did not compound to such a degree. X-husband lived in the same county/state as the Debt Collector x 20+ yars. I left the state 25 years ago. X-husbands family has an irrevocable trust in place. Unknown year of its inception.

My x-husband’s name and my name were listed as defendants on the judgment, but only my name appears in the body of the judgment. Does that free him of all liability based on the judgment?

X-husbands family has an irrevocable trust. Does that free them from debt that occurred prior to the irrevocable trust being formed?

Thank you :(


Dear April,

Yep, it’s official, you need specific legal advice from any attorney to help you out on this one. But one thing that strikes me is that it seems the issue if the debt is yours is a ship that has sailed when the original suit was filed all those years ago. Unless I’m reading your statements wrong it seems you were sued, lost, and a judgment was issued by the court that they’ve never collected on. Or are you being sued again for the same debt?

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.
  • Jerz D

    Hi Steve – April again . . . regarding your response, the judgment was issued in 1992 – now the debt collector is coming after me to enforce the judgment – this is the first time I even knew about the debt.  Are you saying based on the judgment in 1992, I have already lost and there is nothing to dispute?  Now I’m really scared.  Thank you again. 

    • Steve Rhode

      OK, that makes sense. You are not being sued over again on this debt but they are trying to enforce the judgment. It was probably already renewed once after ten years.

      From my point of view the issue about if the debt is valid was already decided when you were originally sued and lost. The current action is not about the validity of the debt but the enforcement of the judgment.

      There are ways to fight this, for example, were you properly served originally. But you will absolutely have to seek the specific legal advice of a lawyer that is licensed in your state to see if there might be a technical issue with your case.


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