Am I responsible in any way for my spouse’s unsecured credit card debt from 4 years ago if we don’t own any common property?

UPDATED: Dec 17, 2011

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Am I responsible in any way for my spouse’s unsecured credit card debt from 4 years ago if we don’t own any common property?

At a time when we lived in separate states, my husband opened several credit card accounts without my knowledge. He was (as still is) unemployed and is unable to pay the debt. We now live together, and in this state, default judgments have been issued against him due to default. Because my name is not on any documents and we do not own common property, he feels I cannot be harmed. I’m not so sure any longer. Does it matter that we used to live in one of those 10 community property states and this is where he took on this debt? What, if any, is my obligation?

Asked on December 17, 2011 under Bankruptcy Law, Iowa


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

if the judgments that you have written about are solely against you husband, your own separate assets cannot be levied upon for satisfaction of this debt. However, depending upon the laws of the state that you live in, the marital assets that you and your husband each own a half of can be subject to a levy regarding the judgment with respect to your husband's one half interest.

The key is what marital assets you and your husband presently have regardless when they were acquired and in what state? I recommend that you consult with an attorney who practices debt collection law about the situation you have written about.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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