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Financial Issues This forum is for discussing any of the financial issues involved in your divorce.

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Old 11-17-2006, 12:07 PM
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Before my ex and I separated, we were 70 grand in debt. This was something that slowly happend over the years due to only having my income to live on ( ex would not get a job despite repeatedly being implored to help out with our dire financial circumstances) As a result, about 6 months after we separated, I declared bankruptcy. I had no choice and it was something that would have happened regardless of our splitting.

I am still not sure if she has declared bankruptcy, but she is always saying that I am still responsible for paying off the debt because she is not employed.

It is my stance that she really should declare bankruptcy because it was going to happen regardless of our separation. She is basically saying that she won't do that because she thinks the court will make me pay off the debt and that is her way of hurting me. As far as I'm concerned, if I can show the court that the bankruptcy was inevitable regardless of the separation, then reasonably a judge won't order me to pay off the debt which is in reality, now only hers, as I have been discharged.

Now I understand that one cannot force her to apply for a bankruptcy, but I cannot for the life of me understand how I should have to pay off that debt now. I make about 30 grand per year and I pay child support and extra expenses. Not only is there no room for spousal support, but on top of that, I certainly cannot put a dent in 70 grand worth of, what is now, her debt.

ALso, I accumulated 13,000 worth of student loan debt while in the marriage, inorder to get my degree which gave me a higher income to support the family....( it still was not enough ) While I was a student, ex did not work and we not only used the 13.000 to pay tuition but also to live on. It was the only source of income we had at the time. My bankruptcy didn't cover the student loan and I am now slowly trying to pay it off. Is she also responsible for this loan considering it was used for not only tuition but to pay the mortgage and put food on the table?

Is it possible that I can use the 13,000 to bargain? For example: I will take on that loan 100% and she gets all household assets that were not taken by bankruptcy ( washer, dryer, car, computer, furniture)

I know she is trying to be vindictive by not declaring bankruptcy, thinking that I will be forced to pay off that debt all by myself because she will not get a job.

Any advice or ideas?
Thanks
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Old 11-17-2006, 07:45 PM
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serrona,

as you mentioned,

Quote:
Before my ex and I separated, we were 70 grand in debt. This was something that slowly happend over the years due to only having my income to live on ( ex would not get a job despite repeatedly being implored to help out with our dire financial circumstances) As a result, about 6 months after we separated, I declared bankruptcy. I had no choice and it was something that would have happened regardless of our splitting.
Was this joint debt or only in your name? If it was joint debt, then the liability for same should of been equalized.

Quote:
I am still not sure if she has declared bankruptcy, but she is always saying that I am still responsible for paying off the debt because she is not employed.
Being employed or not employed is irrelevant. If it is Joint debt both parties are equally liable.

Quote:
It is my stance that she really should declare bankruptcy because it was going to happen regardless of our separation. She is basically saying that she won't do that because she thinks the court will make me pay off the debt and that is her way of hurting me
I am not entirely clear if the debt is joint or the liability belongs to you solely. Again if it is joint debt, then both parties are equally liable for same. You can't force her to declare bankruptcy, However, the debtors may demand payment for the debt if she signed and hence she would have no other choice than to declare otherwise.

Quote:
As far as I'm concerned, if I can show the court that the bankruptcy was inevitable regardless of the separation, then reasonably a judge won't order me to pay off the debt which is in reality, now only hers, as I have been discharged.
If you have been discharged from this debt, you no longer have an obligation for same.

Quote:
Now I understand that one cannot force her to apply for a bankruptcy, but I cannot for the life of me understand how I should have to pay off that debt now. I make about 30 grand per year and I pay child support and extra expenses. Not only is there no room for spousal support, but on top of that, I certainly cannot put a dent in 70 grand worth of, what is now, her debt.
I am not clear, was this debt joint?

Quote:
ALso, I accumulated 13,000 worth of student loan debt while in the marriage, inorder to get my degree which gave me a higher income to support the family....( it still was not enough ) While I was a student, ex did not work and we not only used the 13.000 to pay tuition but also to live on. It was the only source of income we had at the time. My bankruptcy didn't cover the student loan and I am now slowly trying to pay it off. Is she also responsible for this loan considering it was used for not only tuition but to pay the mortgage and put food on the table?
bankruptcies no longer wipe student loans. If you signed for the loan, this debt remains to be your own. You did obtain a degree by the proceeds of the loan.

Quote:
Is it possible that I can use the 13,000 to bargain? For example: I will take on that loan 100% and she gets all household assets that were not taken by bankruptcy ( washer, dryer, car, computer, furniture)
I suspect you couldn't as the liability for the student loan remains to be your own. The value of the remaining household items should be equalized between the parties.

Quote:
I know she is trying to be vindictive by not declaring bankruptcy, thinking that I will be forced to pay off that debt all by myself because she will not get a job.
If the debt was signed by both parties then it is Joint debt and both parties would be equally liable for same. If one party signed for this debt then they are solely liable. Now if the party that signed, declared bankruptcy, then the debt should of been wiped when the person was discharged.

lv
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Old 11-17-2006, 10:27 PM
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Sorry Lv, I guess I didn't make myself clear.

It was all joint debt. Mainly credit cards.

What I guess I was trying to ask is, will a judge ask me to pay off her debt ( which was also once mine but I have been discharged from) Ex seems to think that I will still have to help her pay off the debt despite my discharge. I guess she thinks that this will be added to her spousal support payments, which my lawyer seems to think won't be awarded because I don't make enough after paying CS and extra expenses.

Also, it was my understanding that even though the student loan was in my name, she is still half responsible for it. If that's not the case, then can it be argued that it was the only source of income at the time and it was what put food in her mouth and a roof over her head. It was my understanding that all debt accumulated while married, no matter who's name it's in, is joint debt. It's all so confusing...

I hope I've clarified some things for you. Thanks for taking the time to reply!

Serrona
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Old 11-18-2006, 12:00 AM
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serrona,

no need to apologize, it is much clearer

Quote:
It was all joint debt. Mainly credit cards.
The key word is Joint but you have been discharged from by declaring bankruptcy. I believe the remaining debt is now hers. Have the creditors been chasing you or are the chasing her? I believe it is illegal for the creditors to harrass you at this point in time.

Quote:
I guess she thinks that this will be added to her spousal support payments, which my lawyer seems to think won't be awarded because I don't make enough after paying CS and extra expenses.
I agree with your lawyer. Support of a child takes precidence before spousal support. Sometimes there just isn't enough money to go around. If you income was to increase significantly, this would construe to be a material change of circumstance and as such, their claim may have some merit.

Quote:
Also, it was my understanding that even though the student loan was in my name, she is still half responsible for it. If that's not the case, then can it be argued that it was the only source of income at the time and it was what put food in her mouth and a roof over her head. It was my understanding that all debt accumulated while married, no matter who's name it's in, is joint debt. It's all so confusing...
That is not necessary so. Whomever signed for the debt is liable for same. It could be argued that you gained a education from such a debt.

lv
  #5 (permalink)  
Old 11-18-2006, 12:34 AM
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Fortunately the creditors are no longer after me. Interestingly enough, they called my home today asking to speak with her. She keeps changing her phone number I would imagine to avoid them.

One other quick question, though:

There are some petty things that are bothering me such as my sudden inability to rent a movie because she has been renting them and is still using the phone number we used to have together ( Jumbo Video just asks for the phone number to access membership, which is only in my name, but still has the same phone number that we had when we were still together ) I went to get a movie and there are a TON of overdue charges for movies that she rented on the old account which is only in my name. I am slightly peeved at this because inorder to rent with them I have to pay off the charges that she ran up. Now it's only $48 or something but it's really about the principle of it for me at this point. Still, that's $48 out of my pocket and on my salary, that's a weeks worth of gas!

Do you guys think I should send her a registered letter with the statement from Jumbo, and ask her to please pay off the amount and to stop using my name to obtain things?

I know this seems petty, but for some reason I'm really bugged by it.
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Old 11-18-2006, 12:58 AM
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serrona,

Yes indeed send a registered letter to her and to Jumbo video that you will not be responsible or liable for any debts in your name without your written consent. As a precautionary measure close the account and reopen a new account that is conditional that no one but yourself can take out movies.

lv
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