I have some credit card debt I can’t pay. I’m on disability and 66 years old and was paying them with the few jobs I had. I am a contractor and need to keep my Lowe’s accounts if I ever get some jobs. The other cards are farm and shop related. My wife says she will not pay them because her name is not on them but both names are on our farm mortgage and the cards she uses for our operation & a couple rental units we have.
If I seek help for debt reduction or Chapter 7 or 13 bankruptcy wont that affect all accounts plus her credit rating?
If you decide to go the bankruptcy route, you need to place all accounts in your name in the bankruptcy even if the are individual or joint accounts. You should assume that all accounts listed in your bankruptcy petition will be closed by the creditors, including the Lowe’s account.
If your wife is using credit cards in your name alone but says she will not pay for them then you really need to get her to stop using them or have the accounts frozen and asked for new cards to be issued to you only. If the account is in your name only, you will be solely responsible for the debt.
Bankruptcy will suck your wife in if you have joint accounts. When your obligation is discharged in bankruptcy the creditors will go after the other account holder, your wife, for the total debt owed.
If you own property together, like the farm, that could get drawn into the bankruptcy as well. Same for the rental units.
What makes your situation particularly sticky is that you say your wife is using your credit but refuses to repay any of it. Trying to sort out your debts so that it only impacts you is going to take a review of your situation by a bankruptcy attorney.
Even if you went into a credit counseling program, there is no guarantee that the Lowe’s account won’t get closed by the creditor. Bankruptcy and credit counseling are indicators that you are having financial problems.