ex defaults on separation agreement to pay credit card

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Latest post Wed, Aug 27 2014 12:00 PM by Drew. 7 replies.
  • Wed, Aug 27 2014 6:33 AM

    • MarJon
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    ex defaults on separation agreement to pay credit card

    We had a separation agreement where ex agreed to make payments of a specific credit card bill. The card was in my name (because my ex was a bankrupt in the past).

    I accept that the credit card company can come after me for the debt, since it is in my name.

    If my ex defaults on the agreement, what options are open to me?

    1) I assume I can go to court and get my ex to make any overdue payments?

    2) I assume I can also recover any other charges I incur like penalties due to non payment, but what about the damage to my credit score?

    3) Since I believe my ex will continue to default in the future, can I pay off the entire amount (so that I and therefore my ex incur no further default charges or interest) and then sue to recover the entire amount from my ex (on the basis of breaching the separation agreement)

    As I understand it I'd be under a general duty to mitigate my own loss, and it seems the best way of doing this is to pay off the debt in full to avoid any more punitive charges from card company or damage to my credit score, and then sue to recover these costs from my ex (i'd accept payments in installments eg over 1 year - the debt is less than 2000 dollars)

    This is in North Carolina.

  • Wed, Aug 27 2014 7:09 AM In reply to

    Re: ex defaults on separation agreement to pay credit card

    MarJon:
    1) I assume I can go to court and get my ex to make any overdue payments?

    True.

    But the reality is that it's not going to change anything and will only cost you time, money and aggravation.

    MarJon:
    2) I assume I can also recover any other charges I incur like penalties due to non payment, but what about the damage to my credit score?

    The damage to your credit score is a by-product of divorce. Nothing you can ding your ex for. Probably wasn't a good idea to put the credit card on him. This was easily predictable. Might have been better to keep the debt and get an offset in something else.

    MarJon:

    3) Since I believe my ex will continue to default in the future, can I pay off the entire amount (so that I and therefore my ex incur no further default charges or interest) and then sue to recover the entire amount from my ex (on the basis of breaching the separation agreement)

    Yes.

    But reality again. A successful judgment doesn't mean you'll ever collect. Besides, the proper venue is the divorce court where the decree was filed, and not a separate lawsuit. The decree is already a judgment that can be enforced.

    • The right of the people 
    • to keep and bear arms,
    • shall not be infringed.
  • Wed, Aug 27 2014 7:10 AM In reply to

    Re: ex defaults on separation agreement to pay credit card

    Divorce decrees that mandate something like this are a nightmare for the spouse whose credit is on the line.

    If it were me I would be more concerned with my credit score first and getting the money out of him second.  I would pay it off.   At the very least make sure that card is closed so that he cannot add any more debt to it.  

    If he is defaulting on the payments affecting your credit I would pay it off and head back to court for a modification stating that the payments must now be made to you due to the default, negative affect on your credit, and violation of the decree that he make the payments timely and not affect your credit.

    "That's just my opinion, then again I might be wrong."  Dennis Miller

     

  • Wed, Aug 27 2014 7:28 AM In reply to

    • MarJon
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    Re: ex defaults on separation agreement to pay credit card

    Thanks for the responses.

    The card was closed so no more debt can go on it.

    I don't think the issue is so much that he can't pay, its more a case that he is disorganized and chooses to spend income on other things.

    Assuming I pay it off and go back to the divorce court, would they consider that I've acted unilaterally to alter the separation agreement by paying off the debt, or would they be likely to understand my reasons for doing this, and support me in a claim against me ex?

  • Wed, Aug 27 2014 8:04 AM In reply to

    Re: ex defaults on separation agreement to pay credit card

    MarJon:

    Assuming I pay it off and go back to the divorce court, would they consider that I've acted unilaterally to alter the separation agreement by paying off the debt, or would they be likely to understand my reasons for doing this, and support me in a claim against me ex?

    My guess would be the latter.

    • The right of the people 
    • to keep and bear arms,
    • shall not be infringed.
  • Wed, Aug 27 2014 8:18 AM In reply to

    Re: ex defaults on separation agreement to pay credit card

    MarJon:
    Assuming I pay it off and go back to the divorce court, would they consider that I've acted unilaterally to alter the separation agreement by paying off the debt, or would they be likely to understand my reasons for doing this, and support me in a claim against me ex?

    I am with Jack on this one.  Family court judges tend to take a dim view on an ex-spouse who ignores the decree and trashes their ex's credit in the process.  Especially when the amount of the debt is not that huge unlike a mortgage.

    "That's just my opinion, then again I might be wrong."  Dennis Miller

     

  • Wed, Aug 27 2014 9:05 AM In reply to

    Re: ex defaults on separation agreement to pay credit card

    MarJon:
    We had a separation agreement where ex agreed to make payments of a specific credit card bill.

    I will assume that this agreement was adopted by the court as part of your divorce decree/judgment.

     

    MarJon:
    1) I assume I can go to court and get my ex to make any overdue payments?

    You can take him to court for contempt.  Whether that will actually "get [him] to make any overdue payments" is impossible to predict.

     

    MarJon:
    2) I assume I can also recover any other charges I incur like penalties due to non payment, but what about the damage to my credit score?

    Not going to happen for at least two reasons.  First, as you acknowledge, you have a duty to mitigate your damages by monitoring what's going on and making payments if he doesn't.  Second, how could you possibly quantify damage to your credit score?  You might be able to spend thousands of dollars on an expert witness who could do this, but the cost would probably exceed the damage, and this isn't even worth considering given that less than $2k is at issue.

     

    MarJon:
    3) Since I believe my ex will continue to default in the future, can I pay off the entire amount (so that I and therefore my ex incur no further default charges or interest) and then sue to recover the entire amount from my ex (on the basis of breaching the separation agreement)

    Perhaps not in the first instance, but if you can demonstrate a history of breaches, probably.

  • Wed, Aug 27 2014 12:00 PM In reply to

    • Drew
      Consumer
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    • Joined on Thu, Mar 30 2000
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    Re: ex defaults on separation agreement to pay credit card

    Laymans guess: you take it back to divorce court and seek sanctions of whatever they will entertain and the sums in question if that is in the order.   it's hard to factor in future damages and impact of your lowered credit score  but  if he has ability to,pay and merely ignored the order the court may not be impressed and they may stick him with all reasonable costs and sanctions you request. In your petition..your attorneys bill,may be the big one....



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