Debts on joint accounts
How do I keep my ex from
running up credit card debts on a joint account?
Outstanding joint debts are one of the thorniest
financial problems in a divorce. The divorce court may allocate
your assets and debts, but it can't force creditors to accept the
Creditors can agree to change joint accounts
to individual accounts to accommodate account holders who are divorcing,
but there's no incentive for them to do so.
Even with joint accounts, one person is considered
to be the primary account holder. The account will stay open as
long as there is a balance on the account.
If you're not the primary account holder, you need to protect yourself
against your ex continuing to use the account. Write a letter to
the credit card company saying that you will not be responsible
for any new charges made to the account as of a certain date after
they have received your letter. Send the letter certified mail requesting
a signature receipt to keep in your files along with a copy of the
Your best move is to pay down the balance on this card as quickly
Get a copy of your credit report and review it to make sure there
aren't any other problems waiting in the wings. Dispute any errors
on your account.
Continue to make timely payments on all your bills. To build a credit
history, you need credit in your own name. After reviewing your
credit report, you should apply for one credit card.
If you belong to a credit union, their card is a good choice for
that one application. You can also shop cards on Bankrate
but again, only apply for one card. If you are denied, then try
for a secured
Credit applications are called credit inquiries on your credit
report and they stay on your credit report for two years. You don't
want to apply for a lot of cards because multiple credit inquiries
make you look desperate for credit and lenders avoid lending to
Rebuilding your credit history will take some time, but you'll
be able to put all this behind you.