Be Careful About Information Source!! The Truth About What Happens When A Credit Card Company Comes After You If Ex Has Filed For Bankruptcy!

07 Oct Be Careful About Information Source!! The Truth About What Happens When A Credit Card Company Comes After You If Ex Has Filed For Bankruptcy!

I spent the morning searching the internet for other bankruptcy information sites — to see how Bankruptcy Law Network was doing out in cyber-space. To my dismay, I found bankruptcy MIS-information on The first question that caught my eye was: “If your ex-husband filed bankruptcy right after your divorce in 2003 and the item was charged off as bad debt can that company come after me for payment even though they accepted the bankruptcy on the full amount?”

Three different attempts to answer that question and I will try to address each answer.

#1 answer was nearly right. The person said that ex-wife is still liable on the debt, the credit card company could sue her and that if she didn’t want to have remained liable on the debt–that she should have filed with her ex-husband. Correct Answer: She is still liable but she could never have filed together with her ex-husband; you cannot file a joint case unless you are legally married.

#2 answer asked the question: Is her name on the debt? Is her name on the bankruptcy? If not included in the bankruptcy, then she may be liable for HALF the debt. Correct Answer: If she is an authorized user, she may not be liable for the debt; however, if she is liable, she is liable for the WHOLE amount, not half.

#3 answer was the most wrong. The answer stated that it was against federal law for the credit card company to come after the ex-wife for the debt and that the debt now belonged to the trustee who granted the ex-husband’s bankruptcy. Correct Answer: It is not against federal law if ex-wife is a co-owner of the credit card for the credit card company to sue ex-wife for the debt. The debt NEVER belongs to the trustee in a bankruptcy case. The bankruptcy trustee does NOT grant a bankruptcy. The Bankruptcy Judge issues a discharge order which discharges the debtor’s debts.

If you are reading sites run by laypeople who have no real knowledge of bankruptcy law but who are probably motivated by a desire to help other folks, please be cautious of any information gathered from that site before you rely on it. A consultation with a bankruptcy attorney is usually worth any amount of money since your financial future is at stake.

Now, what could this woman do? If the debt was awarded to the ex in the divorce decree, there may be a way for her to get the divorce court re-involved in this matter. The 2005 Bankruptcy Act made some changes that may benefit the ability to make the ex pay even though he/she filed for bankruptcy.

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I'm a consumer protection lawyer in Oregon, working with people in Klamath; Lake; Jackson; Josephine; Curry; and Deschutes County. I speak regularly on bankruptcy and consumer protection issues nationwide.
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