My Dad Stuck My Mom With All the Debt


Dear Steve,

My Dad was very abusive towards Mom. He used to force her to go get car loans, on cars that he couldn’t afford, then they’d get repossessed. When they got repossessed he’d get another car in her name. The cars were all in her name. Now he’s been gone for 6 years and creditors are taking her taking her to court. They are not legally divorced, but he hasn’t paid a cent in Child Support for both my sister (who is now in college) and I’m getting ready to go to college.

My mom already went to court for another car loan and they gave her debt forgiveness because her salary was to little (around 38,000). Then in December she got laid off at her company and recently started a new job in February. The debt collectors sent garnishment papers to her old job, but she just got laid off, so the papers were sent to our house and now the debt collectors want her in Court May 13.

We are all stuck because we don’t know what will happen, if she gets garnished she won’t be able to put both my sister and I through college at the same time in the next two years. She called my father because she was angry but he just laughed at her. My father might be a co-signer on the car, my mom didn’t clarify.

What can my mom do to hold my father responsible in this situation. Would filing for divorce and splitting debt help. My mom has around 80-100k. In student loan debt that she’s been deferring because of her low income. What are her options.


Your mother needs to strongly consider filing bankruptcy to discharge all debts in her name. She should meet with one or more local bankruptcy attorneys to discuss her situation. And then it sounds like she either needs a divorce or a miracle relationship therapist.

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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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