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My wife has 2 accounts in collections. . should she pay?


ezalee
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So I found out some messed up stuff yesterday. Apparently my mother-in-law opened a couple credit cards in my wife's name a few years ago. My wife ran her credit report yesterday and found that she has about $10K in debt from 2 cards that have gone to collection agencies. Both accounts are closed now.

Obviously her credit is terrible and will be terrible for years because of this. My question is will the agencies eventually write these off when the SOL is up? The cards were opened from her mother's address, so we havent gotten any kind of correspondence saying their was an outstanding balance. I'm trying to figure out what my best course of action is here? One is for $6K and went into collections as of 7/05, the other is for $3K and went as of 9/05.

1) Continue like before I knew about this hoping the debt will be eventually pass the SOL.

2) Attempt to get the debt changed to her mother's name. Will this get her mother in trouble legally, b/c that will be an even bigger issue?

3) Make a deal with the collection agencies and pay them myself.

Thanks.

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The best way out of this is to file an ID theft report. This will probably result in your MIL being prosecuted for ID theft and/or fraud. The alternative is to allow yourself to be sued for the debt. For an amount this large, someone will probably take you to court.

Most ID theft is relatives stealing from relatives, not losers digging in your trash. The people you trust are the ones in the best position to betray you.

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The best way out of this is to file an ID theft report. This will probably result in your MIL being prosecuted for ID theft and/or fraud. The alternative is to allow yourself to be sued for the debt. For an amount this large, someone will probably take you to court.

Thanks for the quick response. I guess I shouldn't have even listed that option as my wife would never prosecute her mother. She now says that she may have even said it was okay for her to open an account under her name back in 2000 (she was 18 at the time). However, she did not know any of this was going on now until she pulled the report.

It looks like I will have to try to settle with the CA and have her mother pay as much as she can, while I pick up the remainder. Like I said though, these CAs don't have our contact info, they've been outstanding for a year and I haven't gotten a single correspondence. Is it possible they will not find her to sue?

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With seeral thousand dollars involved, I'd be stunned if they didn't come after her with guns blazing.

Unless she really gave her mother permission then her mother is a criminal and should be treated as such. And if her mother is willing to screw her own daugher this way, what makes you think she will pay you back or that she won't just keep doing this over and over? I guess is she messess up her daughter's credit history enough then she won't be able to get any more cards issued!

ID theft is out of control and the vast majority of the time it is a family member/loved one who violate us. However, WE are the problem if, once we discover it, we refuse to prosecute the criminals who take our names and electronic identity.

I know it's your wife and there is only so much you can do...just venting...Ok...off the soap box now.

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I agree w/ Robert. I completely agree.

This is simply wrong and not reporting it is like aiding the crime, again-wrong.

At the VERY LEAST your wife needs to place fraud alerts on her credit reports immediately. That doesn't mean reporting ID theft itself (that's a seperate issue) but placing the alerts on her files will help avoid this in the future WHEN her "mother" tries this again.

You should know that since you're married to her and if you are in a community property state it WILL affect you--which is, I'm sure why you've offered to pay it (I saw your posting in another section). That's valiant, but maybe not the best course. When we allow people to knowingly go unpunished we actually are helping to make their lives that much harder. In other words, it won't help the "mother" to pretend this didn't happen by not reporting it. She committed a crime, plain and simple. Would I report a relative for doing this??? ABSOLUTELY!!! I'd be the FIRST one to report it. Obviously their life would be going a way wrong direction and I'd only be hurting them by turning a blind eye.

Reporting the ID theft DOES NOT mean participating in any case against the relative, it simply means protecting yourself--and hey, her "mom" had no trouble looking out for HERSELF so, why not? When you report an ID theft it will ask if you know who did it--it will also ask if you're willing to aid in a prosecution...and if you aren't, than they have to build their own case.

Just my pushy, dumb two cents....I am very sorry for what you folks are going through. Regardless of how old your wife was, she was taken advantage of by the person whom she's suppose to be able to TRUST, that must really hurt.

Ok, done nagging now.

Good luck and you're great to help her square this away.

E~

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You should know that since you're married to her and if you are in a community property state it WILL affect you--which is, I'm sure why you've offered to pay it (I saw your posting in another section). That's valiant, but maybe not the best course. When we allow people to knowingly go unpunished we actually are helping to make their lives that much harder. In other words, it won't help the "mother" to pretend this didn't happen by not reporting it. She committed a crime, plain and simple. Would I report a relative for doing this??? ABSOLUTELY!!! I'd be the FIRST one to report it. Obviously their life would be going a way wrong direction and I'd only be hurting them by turning a blind eye.

Good luck and you're great to help her square this away.

E~

Firstly, how will it affect me? I checked my credit report and it's squeaky clean. Will they also check my wife's report or am I missing something when I run it?

Secondly, you keep putting mother in quotes, do you not believe it's her mom? Anyway, it is her mom and would you turn in your own mother? As much as I would like to I know my wife will not do it.

Update, I've talked to some knowledgeable people and I'm going to DV one of the CAs, and settle with another. I'm going to pay for the settlement and expect her mother to pay me back. Wishful thinking I know, but better than this stressful state my house has been in for the past week.

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You said; Firstly, how will it affect me? I checked my credit report and it's squeaky clean. Will they also check my wife's report or am I missing something when I run it?

If this occurred BEFORE your marriage to her, it won't. But that doesn't mean they won't try to come after you for the funds. Again, that is if you reside in a community property state. You'd have to check YOUR states law on that. Also, if you're paying it how DOESN'T it effect you?

You said, Secondly, you keep putting mother in quotes, do you not believe it's her mom? Anyway, it is her mom and would you turn in your own mother? As much as I would like to I know my wife will not do it.

I wanted to be sure I was correct, that it was her mother. And yes, I would turn in my mother. Sorry if that makes me cold hearted, but I would. A crime is a crime and no matter WHO does it, it isn't ok. It isn't exactly murder, but it's still a crime. I sat back and watched my DH go through YEARS of stress due to charged up CC's by his ex wife--and I saw the results (too many to list or go into) so, if that's helped by simply reporting the theft so be it. It isn't worth years and years of pain, stress and possibly future marital issues. We have kids involved to, so again-no.

You said, Update, I've talked to some knowledgeable people and I'm going to DV one of the CAs, and settle with another. I'm going to pay for the settlement and expect her mother to pay me back. Wishful thinking I know, but better than this stressful state my house has been in for the past week.

You have to do whatever is best for you. You came here asking questions and it sounds like the answers were tough to hear, but in the end, it's still your life and you have to make the best decisions for you. I can respect that. It doesn't mean I have to agree with it, but I respect it. I would still urge your DW to get a fraud alert for her credit files though.

Good luck.

Elyse

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You have to do whatever is best for you. You came here asking questions and it sounds like the answers were tough to hear, but in the end, it's still your life and you have to make the best decisions for you. I can respect that. It doesn't mean I have to agree with it, but I respect it. I would still urge your DW to get a fraud alert for her credit files though.

Good luck.

Elyse

I appreciate both the information and your perspectives. With some good fortune, it may turn out that I am only out less than $2000 after this whole ordeal with the possibility of her mother paying us back the entire amount. For me, that is better than the stress caused by my wife worrying about her jail bird mother.

One thing is for sure, I will warn my M-I-L if anything else comes up in the future, I will not hesitate to report it. I will also be keeping my future children from seeing her until I am completely reimbursed.

Thanks again.

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Alright... :wink: now that's what I was looking for. You let her know your terms, that's good. I feel better now, actually.

Yes, I will pray that some things kick in to help you and your out the LEAST amount of funds as possible. You sound like a pretty level headed person, I think this will all be fine.

:D

Elyse

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