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Marriage and debt


littlebit
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Before I got married to my husband, I had cleaned up his credit pretty good and mine being shot to hell, I left alone. We do not own a home, even our car is not in our name. Can creditors go after him for the money that I owe and vice versa? How do creditors find out if you are married if you do not report it and you do not change your last name? What are the legal ramifications of applying for credit as a single person when you are married?

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If you accured the debt before marrying your present husband, he is in no way legaly responsible for those debts unless he has (in writting to the CA) agreed to pay for them and vice versa. As far as I know if you apply for a credit card as a single person when you are truely married, is not against law. There are probable thousands of women, if not more, that are married and have a credit card under their madien names, and the reasons for them doing this are their own. Some do it just to maintian their independence, others do it just so they can get what they want with out their other half getting upset for maxing out their joint accounts.If some one here knows any different I would like to know myself so I can let my wife know, so she can change her credit card over to her married name.

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If you are in a community property state, it doesn't make a damn bit of difference if the card is in your wife's maiden name or not. If the debt was incurred DURING the marriage, it is a community debt for which both are held equally liable. WA IS a community property state - you're BOTH on the hook for each other's marital debts.

Without knowing what state the OP is in, I can only say that the CP laws are fairly consistent in all 9 states where it is upheld:

Arizona

California

Idaho

Louisiana

Nevada

New Mexico

Texas

Washington

Wisconsin

If you don't live in those states, then ALL debts are SEPARATE as are ALL ASSETs and being married, or getting married IN NO WAY makes you liable for the other person's debts. Unless the accounts are joint, there is no mixing of credit, debts or assets.

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and it is not a common law type state. We have not purchased anything together with credit. Now about some of his past debts, can they attach our joint bank account? I have had this account for about 7 years and added him to it.

That they can do. But only if it is truely a joint account. If you set him up as an "authorized user" then no, what is in there is yours and yours alone. More likely they will go after his paycheck which is a near guarantee of funds. Most States let a garnisher take up to 25% of each paycheck (or 33% in the case of child-supprot payments)

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