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Am I responsible for my wife's credit card and loan debts? -- Maryland

This is a discussion on Am I responsible for my wife's credit card and loan debts? -- Maryland within the Other Family Law Matters forum, part of the FAMILY LAW, DIVORCE, CUSTODY category; I live in MD. Am I responsible for my wife’s unscrupulous spending and credit card and loan debts that are ...

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Old Jan 23rd, 2008, 12:59 PM   #1
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Default Am I responsible for my wife's credit card and loan debts? -- Maryland

I live in MD.

Am I responsible for my wife’s unscrupulous spending and credit card and loan debts that are in her name? Is there any legal document that I can sign stating that her debts should not be held against me now or in the future because I was not aware of debts she was creating (she kept many things hidden), and I am not in agreement with her financial choices?

My wife and I have been married for 6 years. We have two girls ages 4 and 2 approximately. We reside in a townhouse which we bought together 6 years ago. We also owned a rental townhouse in Baltimore city which we sold. Most of the profit/money we made form the sale of the rental townhouse went to my wife, so she could reduce her school loans from about $70,000 to $40,000 approximately so that her monthly debts would be reduced once she came out of a deferred status on her student loans. During the time of owning the rental townhouse, I accrued charges (about $7,000) on my credit card just paying to fix up the townhouse. The year after we sold the townhouse we even owed taxes, and rather than deplete the $10,000 I had kept in reserve from the sale of the townhouse, I took and I am paying on a 4-loan from my TSP fund to pay the taxes we owed, that amounted to another $7.000; my wife did not have the money. My wife had become pregnant during our second year of marriage and quit fulltime work in her 7th month. About a year after the birth of our first child, she started working part-time 4 days a month. We had agreed that when our daughter was two, my wife would return to work full-time. Another child was born and that added another tow years to my wife not returning to work full-time but she kept her 4-day a month part-time job for most of the time.

During her years at home my wife tried her hands at various entrepreneurial ventures. I supported her in some ventures but kept advising and warning her that she was spending too much. My wife persisted in all sorts of web businesses and became a Mars and Venus Relationship Coach, a calligrapher, and then she became a Life Coach and Counselor for teens – most of these ventures being web-based and on the phone with all kinds of supplies being bought. By the way, my wife has a Master’s degree (I don’t) and was a school guidance counselor full-time before the pregnancies and is a part-time counselor at a junior college in her current 4-dasy a month job. In her entrepreneurial ventures, my wife began accruing major debts; I spoke with her, I argued; I pleaded with her to stop. I told her I couldn’t be part of her actions and that she was ruining us financially. My wife, unbeknownst to me, opened up credit cards for her businesses. When I found out what she was doing, she told me that business debt would not affect us. I told her it better not. My last daughter is just about two years old now and my wife is supposed to return to full-time work; she refuses to go back to traditional 9- 5 jobs; she refuses to return to her Guidance Counseling career. She has kept her 4-day a month job and is teaching some online counseling classes. In her almost 5 years at home, that is away form full-time work, she did keep her foot in the work world by working part-time but in her entrepreneurial ventures she has accrued over $40,000 in debt which she can’t pay the minimums on, nor can she pay in a timely manner; she has been reported to the credit bureau. Her student loan of $70,000 had been reduced to $40,000 from the sale of our rental townhouse (I thought giving my wife most of the money from the sale of the house was a help for our future because her debt would be reduced), but now my wife with her business ventures which I did not agree to or know about until after the fact, especially her credit cards and charging, has added additional debt of $40,000 – so she is back up to being $80,000 on debt AND has now decided to return to school to be a massage therapist. I think that massage therapy school costs about $12,000 and she may have taken another student loan or regular loan for that expense. I don’t know.

I feel as though I am in a MAD house, in an insane asylum with no restraints or wise decision-making on behalf of my wife, that I am living with someone who is in a make-believe world. I struggle to maintain good credit and keep the family going financially including paying for the van my wife drives.

Am I responsible for my wife’s unscrupulous spending and debts? Is there any legal document that I can sign stating that her debts should not be held against me because I was not and am not in agreement?

Please let me know. Thanks.
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Old Jan 24th, 2008, 06:13 AM   #2
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Confused re: Am I responsible for my wife's credit card and loan debts? -- Maryland

PLEASE CAN ANYONE HELP OR GIVE ADVICE ??????????
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Old Mar 5th, 2008, 10:13 PM   #3
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Confused re: Am I responsible for my wife's credit card and loan debts? -- Maryland

You are unhappy in your marriage. She will not change. You will not magically become more tolerant of her spending. It is time to see a lawyer and start thinking about divorce.
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Old Mar 6th, 2008, 03:02 PM   #4
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Default re: Am I responsible for my wife's credit card and loan debts? -- Maryland

Whether you are married or single, you alone are normally responsible for paying off your own debt. The account will appear only on your credit report, and may in limited cases appear on the credit report of any "authorized" user. However, if you live or have lived in a community property state (Arizona, California, Idaho, Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Washington, or Wisconsin), you and your spouse in some cases may be responsible for debts incurred during the marriage, and the individual debts of one spouse may appear on the credit report of the other.
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Old May 15th, 2008, 03:25 PM   #5
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Default re: Am I responsible for my wife's credit card and loan debts? -- Maryland

My divorce lawyer told me to write a letter to the wife. In the letter state a limit of how much she can spend in a month. After that limit she may or will be responsilbe.

If you are the sole provider write letters to the CC companies and tell them to stop loaning money to the non working spouse.
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Old May 15th, 2008, 03:51 PM   #6
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Default re: Am I responsible for my wife's credit card and loan debts? -- Maryland

If her credit cards are in her name they are her responsibility. In Ct you can take an ad out in the local newspaper. Its called bed and board. All you have to say is as of this date i am not responsible for any debt acrued by and put your wifes name or anyone that has any dealing with her. Take her car away cut up any cc cards she has that are joint and put your foot down. Or tell her she has to get a full time job now. That is ridiculous. When the divorce does come and it sounds like it is headed that way she wont be surprised and neither will you protect yourself now.
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Old Dec 24th, 2010, 04:17 AM   #7
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Default re: Am I responsible for my wife's credit card and loan debts? -- Maryland

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Am I responsible for my wife's medical debt? -- Oklahoma, USA
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Old Apr 27th, 2011, 12:32 PM   #8
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Default Re: Am I responsible for my wife's credit card and loan debts? -- Maryland

I feel your pain...I am in a similar situation
Sometimes talking just in not enough. I have been married to a spendthift spouse for 10+yrs. My wife has run up over 100k in credit card bills - on two separate occasions. First she ran up around 60k in cc bills without me knowing then worked out a deal with here brother (I am still unclear what exactly was done) to pay off the 60k cc debt while she pays him $600/month for 10yrs. Yeah I know insane. Some three years later (to my surprise) my wife tells me she has again run up more cc debt - this time to the tune of about 40k. I have no idea what she buys or has bought with over 100k as I pay for our current house & living expenses from my salary. She does work and manages to pay her car note (of which I help her with from time to time) from her monthly salary. We are recieving collections calls at home and recently recieved a suit against her for the unpaid cc debt. She has no choice but to file for bankruptcy, of which I am paying. My wife is very confrontational and refuses to work with me unless we do it her way. We have a 17 year old son together stilling living at home; he is off to college (of which I must fund) in Summer of 2012. I have seriously contemplated/planned divorcing her once my son is in college in 2012. I have done some of the above safe guards - removing her from my checking & saving accounts, monitoring my credit report etc but those are all reactionary measures and do not fix the problem. My wife has gone to counseling on and off our entire marriage for anxiety related problems - but she can never seem to get over the hump. HELP!!!!
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Old May 1st, 2011, 04:51 AM   #9
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Default Re: Am I responsible for my wife's credit card and loan debts? -- Maryland

For directory of Bankruptcy lawyers in Fort Worth, TX visit:

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Old Jun 4th, 2011, 09:14 AM   #10
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Default Re: Am I responsible for my wife's credit card and loan debts? -- Maryland

Blktone. Wow! I thought I was alone in my pain. My wife is beyond help. 200k. Forges my signature, takes out new credit cards, transfers balances to me, cash advances at ridiculous rates 29%++ Where did you find counseling for her?
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