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Joint account with ex-wife ,she agreed to settle


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My husband has a LOC with a credit union that was charged off in 2009.  He was not contacted by a collection agency nor does it appear sold according to the current credit report. The balance is $ 1470.00.  He recently received an email from his ex-wife that she was contacted by a collection agency for a settlement.  We discovered her name is listed a joint owner from 2005, oops on her part. She stated in the email the collection agency stated the balance as $ 3200 and she negotiated a settlement of $ 1470.  Great negotiating skills!! She negotiated a settlement for the full balance. LOL  We were waiting until the SOL was closer to expire which was June 2013.  We live in Texas and SOL is 4 years.  Ex resides in NM and SOL is 6 years.  My question is, she is now DEMANDING my husband pay the debt immediately.  Did she just accept the debt and is the SOL now re-aged because of her negotiating?   Should my husband contact the credit union directly and offer a smaller settlement?  What is the advice?  I'm thinking she is the proud owner of the debt but my concern is if she doesn't pay how much more damage is done to my husband's credit?  Through settlement and PFD, we have his credit score up to 702.  Only 3 outstanding debts remain and this is one of them.

 

Please advice.

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The ex-wife's conversation with a debt collector does not necessarily modify the terms of the contract with the credit union. If your husband and his former wife were in fact joint obligors on the debt, they probably still are.

 

If ex-wife unilaterally negotiates debt and pays it off, husband becomes liable to her for his pro rata share of the negotiated amount. For instance, if she negotiates a settlement in full of $1470, she probably has an enforceable claim against husband for $735. That said, don't overlook the fact that she could just as easily have negotiated a release of her own liability, leaving husband holding the bag for the unpaid balance. It would probably benefit all of you to find a way to work together on this, amicably.

 

As far as resetting the SOL, her promise to pay may be able to support a claim of equitable tolling but I doubt the statute would be considered to be "reset." As far as conflict of law goes with respect to SOL, Arizona law will control. Consult Arizona statute for choice of law, "borrowing statute."

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Guest usctrojanalum

First, this type of debt should have been brought up in the divorce decree.  What does the divorce decree state for these types of situations? Not that it matters to the creditor, but it could matter to your husband or the ex-wife.  For example, say that the divorce decree states each party is to pay the debts at 50% she could then pay the $1470 in full and sue your husband for the $735 like nascar alluded too.

 

The best way to go about it is to come up with an amicable solution.  Because you really want to avoid being sued by the ex-wife.

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what we need cleared up is, did the divorce occur in NM or TX? If TX then that would be more of the controlling law in this regards. Problem is, what one adult does (agree to settlement) vs one who is waiting for the SOL to run in a few months, one can not control. I would think in a court of law the ex made her bed in the settlement and the husband who did not should still be able to go the distance on the TX SOL without recourse from the JDB.

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