Can an authorized user be held liable for a defaulted credit card?

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Can an authorized user be held liable for a defaulted credit card?

My spouse added me to his credit card as an authorized user. We have been living apart for 15 months without any legal separation papers drawn up. He has since then defaulted on that particular credit card and has gone to a credit counselling agency. My credit report is now ruined. Am I am being held liable? If so, how can I repair it? We have a divorce hearing next month.

Asked on September 9, 2011 under Bankruptcy Law, Maryland


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

If you were added to your soon to be former spouse's credit card as an authorized user and did not know about this, did not use the credit card, and did not sign any documentation stating that you were applying to use this credit card, you should not be personally liable for its use nor have your credit rating damaged as a result.

In many states one-half of the martial community's assets is liable for an obligation or judgment against one of the spouses.

In a martial dissolution action one of the major issues is the division of assets and liabilities of the marriage. Given the problems that have arisen from this particular credit card's use, resolving it through mediation with your soon to be former spouse would be the best course of action for both of you. Hopefully you both have legal counsel assisting you.

There are credit repair companies that might be able to assist you concerning this particular credit card issue. You can do an online search for such companies that possibly can assist you.

Another option is to contact the credit card company yourself and speak to one of its representatives and explain that you never signed any application to use the card in order to see what can be done about any negative credit ratings you received.

Good luck.

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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