If my husband wantsa divorce, what is my obligation for any loans that he took out in his own name?

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If my husband wantsa divorce, what is my obligation for any loans that he took out in his own name?

My husband wants the divorce. He purchased an automobile during our marriage without my knowledge; my name is not on the loan nor on the registration. We filed bankruptcy, the automobile was included in the filings, however he did notreaffirm the loan. He has an outstanding balance on the loan and currently is still making payments. Am I responsible to split this debt obligation during our divorce, or am I responsible for half the payment?

Asked on August 12, 2011 California

Answers:

MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Community property is the law in California and if he purchased an automobile with your permission, you could have theoretically required him to return the purchase and cancel the deal. It is a marital debt unfortunately until you can show the court and trustee that you did not benefit from this purchase (didn't use it, drive it, drive in it, make payments) and did not have knowledge of the purchase and that he did not pay for it using your income. This is hard but understand income during marriage (before separation) and debts during marriage (before separation) are marital assets and debts, respectively. If he did not reaffirm the loan, why is he wasting assets by still paying on the loan, unless of course, he plans on reaffirming the debt and still has the vehicle? Show the court that you should not be responsible for this debt and perhaps the court will agree to bestow upon your spouse the sole responsibility to pay for this specific debt. Your next step is to ensure as part of all that occurs during bankruptcy that the debt did not show up on your credit reports. Order a free copy (you get one free one annually) of all three credit reporting agency reports and dispute the charge if it appears on one or more of those reports.


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