My Second Husband Spent All of My Home Equity Line. – Nicole

“Dear Steve,

My second husband, not the father of my children, has managed to spend $150,000 of the home equity line of credit (all of it). He says he gave the last $24,000 to his aunt for ‘safekeeping’ because the banks were going to reduce the amount of equity people have available. $8,000 was for my car and I’ll be generous and say $20,000 was to redo our kitchen. We never put an addition on the house as hoped.

The rest of the money was spent $1000- $5000 at a time WITHOUT MY KNOWLEDGE. And I was also unaware of the $24,000 to his aunt. I’m absolutely sick about this. My original mortgage was for $115,000; a 15 year loan that is 4 years away from being paid. Thank god I have prepaid college for my 2 children, one who is a senior in h.s. My house is not worth the amount of debt in my opinion. I’ve decided to separate from this man in order to stop the financial bleeding. I’m a teacher and I don’t make millions.

I don’t know where to begin to clean up this mess. How do I get back on my feet financially. I’m afraid a divorce will make things even worse. But I can’t afford this man who has lied to me repeatedly. I’m so embarrased I have not told this to anyone.


Dear Nicole,

I’m so sorry this happened to you. Sounds like your husband just went “secretly wild” with the money. Honestly, the most logical approach here is to strongly consider a bankruptcy at the same time as the divorce and get a total fresh start and complete break from this man.

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It might seem like an extreme approach but then again this is an extreme situation. I would also strongly urge you to pull a copy of your consolidated credit report and see if there are any other financial surprises out there in your name. If he’d silently take money from the home equity line of credit, who knows what other funds or fraudulent accounts may be out there.

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Identity theft is a lot like date rape, it usually happens by someone you know. I would not be shocked if you found a credit card or account on your credit report that you did not recognize. The consolidated credit report link is the same one I use for myself.

Thank you for sharing your situation with me. I appreciate the trust and I’m proud to be able to help you.

You’ve got some stressful and tough days ahead but I can already see the light getting brighter for you at the end of this tunnel. Stepping up and taking action moves this issue a lot closer towards resolving it.

Please update me on your progress by

P.S. Be sure to read ‘The Secret of Surviving Through Difficult Economic Times. What I Learned On My Journey‘.

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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