Divorced, poor mom needs advice on what to do about Cap 1 card

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I wasn't sure whether to post this here or in the Legal forum...Here is my situation: My ex filed for divorce in 2008. We drew up a settlement agreement, part of the deal of which was for him to pay a Capital 1 card that was in my name. (I was a stay at home mom most of the time when married, and this card was obtained based on mostly his income. We had the card for at least 5 years before the divorce) I lived in California at the time, but moved to New York to stay with my parents and get on my feet (I live in NY now). After I left, he held up our divorce and disputed the settlement agreement, etc. As of January of 2010, our divorce was final and he agreed in the settlement to pay this Cap 1 CC - I let him have the house, mostly everything in it, and I only took my personal items and a few small furniture items. I have NO assets of any kind. I drive an old car my father gave me, I rent a two-bedroom apartment and I do not OWN anything.

Needless to say, he stopped paying on the card probably about a year ago. I have NO means to pay for it - I have been working as a temporary employee for the last year or so (trying to get a regular job, but it has been very hard where I live), trying to go to school, as I have no college degree. I make $10 an hour and I get some child support and $100 a month in alimony from my ex. He has a MBA, works as an accountant and has far more resources than I. I have no health insurance, no paid time off and I live paycheck to paycheck.

This debt has been charged off; however, it is on my credit report. He has a Toyota car that we had bought about 6 months before he wanted a divorce and he has it, won it in the settlement, but he won't refinance it and take my name off it, so it shows up on my CR and looks like I owe or have ownership of the car.

I want to start cleaning this up so that I can rebuild my own credit in my name. I feel like I am at the bottom of a hole with no way out of this. From what I have read, just because the court said he had to pay this Cap 1 card, doesn't mean anything because it is in my name and Cap 1 considers their contract to be with me. I am seriously considering bankruptcy just to get out from under this, because I cannot pay for it. The balance is now up to $8088 - At the time of our original divorce agreement, it was only about $6,000 - so Cap 1 has been adding and adding interest over the last couple of years. I see no way that I can enforce the court order for him to pay for it, and it would cost me more to try and get a lawyer to sue him than I could possibly afford.

I contacted CCCS, and their advice was for me to pay $229 a month to Cap 1 until the year 2015 - There is no way I am able to do this...with paying rent, food and other bills I have, I cannot afford $229 a month.

Sorry to be so long and convoluted - I'm just looking for some advice on where to start with this.

Thanks -

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It's always been my understanding (anybody correct me if I'm wrong) but if you both were on the card, you are both responsible. No judgement of divorce can change that.

My SIL and brother both were on a Chase card. They were divorced and the court told my brother to pay the bill. He didn't. He filed bk. Chase then sued my SIL. I remember her being told that it didn't matter what the divorce papers said....she signed, she was responsible. She ended up filing BK.

It has always been MY experience dealing with Cap 1 and listening to others...that Cap 1 usually sues.

Your ex sound like scum. Maybe your best bet would be to talk to a BK attorney.

I wish you luck.

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1. I assume you had an attorney represent you in your divorce. Contact him/her. If your husband signed a document agreeing to pay the debt, perhaps he's in breach of something.

2. Look for a NACA lawyer in your area.

You would not have to pay anything.

3. If there's no NACA lawyer in your area, contact a consumer attorney. Most attorneys give free consultations. Schedule a free consultation and discuss your options. Be sure to take all documents with you.

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I did have an attorney, but he was in California and it was real tough dealing long distance, but he did what he could for me. I had to borrow money from my parents to pay for it. The last contact I had with him was an email saying he would talk to my ex's lawyer about his intentions with the CC card, and then I never heard anything more after I got the judgement papers.

I just checked and there is no NACA lawyer in my area - I don't live near a major city :-), so I will see if I can find a consumer lawyer.

I guess at this point I'm considering bankruptcy, since my credit has already been decimated because of this, and at least then I won't have to worry about Cap 1 suing me, although I don't see what they could possibly get from would be like trying to get blood out of a stone, and I don't see my financial situation changing anytime soon...

and perhaps then they would end up going after my ex anyway. I actually tried calling Cap 1 about a year ago to see if I might be able to work something out with them, but they immediately started threatening me that they were getting ready to sue me and that they could put a judgment against me for 14 years, etc. I pretty much just laughed in their face and said, "Go ahead"....So far, I have heard nothing from them, and I never contacted them again.

Yes, my ex is scum - he wanted the divorce, but then made damn sure that I was totally ruined in the process. I'm still not sure what I did in his mind to deserve the treatment he gave me, but I've come to the conclusion that it doesn't matter to people like him.

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I think your issue is a family court matter.

If you go to the court, the clerk there will help you file a petition to enforce the settlement agreement. Its a plain language document in most states. And since it is agreed upon, should be little contention.

You might mention to your EX, your intentions. Hopefully he will rise to his responsibilities and you can settle the matter on the courthouse steps.

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Unfortunetly, your divorce decree doesn't mean anything to Cap1 (or any other creditor). You'd have to pay them and then turn around and sue your ex for the money since he'd be in breech of the divorce agreement. I supose you might be able to sue him before you pay cap1 and if/when you win and get paid by ex, you could turn around and pay cap1 but I wouldn't hold my breath on that one.

BK may be your best bet depending on other debts you may owe, your income, assets, etc. but only you can decide if that's what you want to do. If you do decide to file, stop paying on all debts that you'll be including in BK and save up some money for a BK lawyer. For example if you have a car payment and you want to keep the car, keep paying on that, but if you have a credit card that you want to include in your BK filing, go ahead and stop on that payment. Shelter, food, heat, and transportaion are your main focus, everybody else can wait to get paid until you get your feet back under you.

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