Spouse unauthorized credit card expenses - Talk About Marriage
Financial Problems in Marriage When financial times are tough, it adds to the stress we deal with on a daily basis. This section is for talking about how financial problems affect our relationships and ways to cope.

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post #1 of 23 (permalink) Old 01-26-2016, 09:38 PM Thread Starter
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Exclamation Spouse unauthorized credit card expenses

Is there a legal course of action to be taken where a spouse has obtained numerous credit cards at the expense of the other spouse ?
Is there any legal way for the financially abused spouse to get those credit card charges removed and instead placed in the accountability of the offender ? Does this require legal action ? If the offender spouse agrees to write a confession letter to the affected credit card companies , would this be of any help ? Is there any protection for one spouse against another spouse in this kind of illegal and ill gotten credit ???

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post #2 of 23 (permalink) Old 01-26-2016, 09:44 PM
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Re: Spouse unauthorized credit card expenses

Yes, you have to go a legal route. It's called divorce.

Even then you may be screwed. Marital debt ya know.

Call an attorney in your area.
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post #3 of 23 (permalink) Old 01-26-2016, 09:47 PM
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Re: Spouse unauthorized credit card expenses

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Originally Posted by Honda750 View Post
Is there a legal course of action to be taken where a spouse has obtained numerous credit cards at the expense of the other spouse ?
Is there any legal way for the financially abused spouse to get those credit card charges removed and instead placed in the accountability of the offender ? Does this require legal action ? If the offender spouse agrees to write a confession letter to the affected credit card companies , would this be of any help ? Is there any protection for one spouse against another spouse in this kind of illegal and ill gotten credit ???
You are not clear on what she/he did. What did they do that was unauthorized? illegal?


Did your spouse use your name to get the cards?

Or did they just get accounts and thus cards, in their own name?

You need to talk to a lawyer.
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post #4 of 23 (permalink) Old 01-26-2016, 09:50 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Spouse unauthorized credit card expenses

Yea I understand that option ....... Thank you
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post #5 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-11-2016, 11:21 AM
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Re: Spouse unauthorized credit card expenses

My XWW did this too while we were married. She had opened up several credit cards in my name, all online, and proceeded to rack up large balances on them. I found out about her financial infidelity about the same time as I discovered her emotional/physical infidelity. I got stuck paying for 1/2 after the divorce because I couldn't prove it wasn't me.

My divorce lawyer told me I could pursue this but it was separate from the divorce and I would have to contact another lawyer who understood this type of law. I would start by contacting the credit card company and asking questions anonymously.

Last edited by Decimated; 02-11-2016 at 12:41 PM.
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post #6 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-11-2016, 11:31 AM
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Re: Spouse unauthorized credit card expenses

Have you placed a fraud alert on your credit file with all three agencies? If not you need to do that to keep this from getting worse.

Most credit card companies will not reverse this type of identity theft because it is too hard to prove. In most cases if they agree to it you have to agree to prosecute legally. So you'll have to file a police report, press charges and assist the CC companies in their legal case against her.
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post #7 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-11-2016, 11:38 AM
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Re: Spouse unauthorized credit card expenses

To my knowledge there is no way out of this and it all would be considered marital debt. About the only thing you can do is stop all the accounts or file right away before the debt gets worse. In the long run, you will end up being responsibility for at least some portion of it even though you didn't contribute to the problem.

Early in my marriage my wife ran up huge credit card bills which was one of the reasons I was considering divorce. One of the reasons I didn't do it is because I found out that I would still be responsible for paying for it because she used cards for accounts we had jointly.

"I've paid double for every transgression I've ever made and that motel and that boat are little to ask for"
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post #8 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-11-2016, 12:26 PM
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Re: Spouse unauthorized credit card expenses

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Is there any legal way for the financially abused spouse to get those credit card charges removed and instead placed in the accountability of the offender ?
I agree with the other posters that the CC companies may not care who opened the card in this case. They're not going to consider it fraud.

One way to transfer the debt to her name is for her to get her own cards and then do a balance transfer from the cards in your name to the cards in her name.

If you divorced, some of her assets could be reduced to pay for this debt. That is, if you have $10,000 in the bank, rather than being split $5000 each, her half is reduced by the amount of CC debt she racked up in your name. If there's $4000 on the CC, then you get $9000 and she gets $1000.
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post #9 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-11-2016, 01:10 PM
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Re: Spouse unauthorized credit card expenses

Mine ran up 8000$ worth of credit card debt also around the time she started the physical and emotional infidelity. I'm thinking there is a pattern here, LOL. They don't care anymore what the betrayed spouse thinks, so they run up debt and start F'ing anything that walks. Sadly, there's no consequences legally. I'd have my ears to the rail for other things if I were you.
Sorry
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post #10 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-11-2016, 03:06 PM
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Re: Spouse unauthorized credit card expenses

Marriage is a financial contract. Her debts are your debts, there's no way around it and very little change the courts will hold her fully accountable for any marital debts during the divorce, if there even is one.

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post #11 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-11-2016, 03:55 PM
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Re: Spouse unauthorized credit card expenses

I think your on the hook.

My XWW racked up thousands over the years. The one I like the best was I as at work and got a call from a nation wide store saying I was over 90 days late on my payments. I said what payment. I don't owe you anything. He replied you have a balance of $2100. I said WHAT ???

Left work confronted my XW. Come to find out she was intercepting the mail and throwing out the statements. I got a PO box the next day. She continued To spend money frivously till the day we divorced. She had a closet full of clothes with the tags hanging off them. Never worn. I took all the debt $25K in the D to save my pension and 401K.

This was 20 years ago and was all disclosed in the financials of my D. Looking back on it now I'm glad I made that choice for 2 reasons.

1.) if she didn't pay her half on time it still could be reported the the credit agencies and affect me. CC companies dont care if your divorced or not.

2.) when I retire I won't have to deal with her.
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post #12 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-11-2016, 04:22 PM
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Re: Spouse unauthorized credit card expenses

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Originally Posted by Grogmiester View Post
I think your on the hook.

My XWW racked up thousands over the years. The one I like the best was I as at work and got a call from a nation wide store saying I was over 90 days late on my payments. I said what payment. I don't owe you anything. He replied you have a balance of $2100. I said WHAT ???

Left work confronted my XW. Come to find out she was intercepting the mail and throwing out the statements. I got a PO box the next day. She continued To spend money frivously till the day we divorced. She had a closet full of clothes with the tags hanging off them. Never worn. I took all the debt $25K in the D to save my pension and 401K.

This was 20 years ago and was all disclosed in the financials of my D. Looking back on it now I'm glad I made that choice for 2 reasons.

1.) if she didn't pay her half on time it still could be reported the the credit agencies and affect me. CC companies dont care if your divorced or not.

2.) when I retire I won't have to deal with her.
I have had several Step-Mothers like this...It's seriously strange behavior..

Holes burn deep in your chest,
Raked by machine gun fire.
Screaming soul sent out to die,
Living mandatory suicide.
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post #13 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-11-2016, 04:52 PM
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Re: Spouse unauthorized credit card expenses

Mine was reverse.. i was the major breadwinner...my exh ran up his cards after we split but before the divorce was final. But we went thru the process of removing me off his cards and I removed him off my cards. Divorce was final 3 yrs ago. 2 cc's have taken him to court for nonpayment, but they left me alone. And we're in a marital property state. My credit rating is still quite high. We had 1 joint card and i kept that.

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post #14 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-11-2016, 05:29 PM
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Re: Spouse unauthorized credit card expenses

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I agree with the other posters that the CC companies may not care who opened the card in this case. They're not going to consider it fraud.
I disagree. If OP's husband opened credit card accounts listing her as JOINT owner without her knowledge or consent, then she is the victim of fraud.

OP, you can get a free copy of your credit report every 12 months from each of the three credit bureaus. Go to www.annualcreditreport.com, it is the only site authorized by the federal government for the mandated free reports. Get a copy of each of the reports. They will list accounts for which you are listed as joint (joint) or authorized (not owner). Do this to find out if H opened more accounts that you do not know about.

Next, put a 3 month fraud alert on each of the three bureaus. You can get an extended (long) fraud alert by filling out the proper forms. You will need to file a police report about the fraud.

For maximum protection, put a CREDIT FREEZE or SECURITY FREEZE on your account at each of the three credit bureaus. You will need to contact each bureaus separately. This will prevent H from opening any more accounts in your name. It will also block YOU from getting credit until you unfreeze your account.

IMO and I am not a lawyer, you will be held responsible for the charges unless you file a police report attesting to fraud. Imo confession letter will not work. Then send a copy of the police report to each of the credit card companies (not just the three credit bureaus) stating that you were a victim of fraud and that you dispute the charges. But right away call each of the credit card companies and CANCEL the credit card account that was unauthorized by you.

Good luck.
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post #15 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-11-2016, 05:35 PM
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Re: Spouse unauthorized credit card expenses

BTW, if your situation is that bad, you need to protect ALL of your other assets. Checking, savings, 401K, investments etc to keep H from draining them. If you work outside the home, open a new account with just your name and have your paycheck go to that account.

The credit reports will also indicate if H got a second mortgage or equity loan on your house.

Keep in mind that often banks sell accounts, so might see an unknown account on your credit report, but it might be valid. Your bank or loan company may have sold the account to another bank.
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