What to do if my son-in-law refuses to make the payments due on the credit cards I let him use?

They are in my name and nothing in writing saying he owes them. Is there anything I can do? We are on SS now and can’t afford these payments. My daughter can’t help pay them because she is on disability.

Asked on October 7, 2011 under Bankruptcy Law, Colorado

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Well I would start by cancelling the cards as soon as you can.  I am sure that you recognize that this is a problems here in that you have no written agreement for him to pay back the debt.  And what it looks like from the outside looking in is an agreement to pay the debt of another - because your name was on the credit card.  Those type of agreements may run afoul of a law known as the Statute of Frauds which state that these type of agreements MUST be in writing to be valid.  You can try suing him in small claims court but I think that you may have a problem.  Otherwise look to a debt counselor about what your options here would be.  A creditor can not collect from social security for a judgement but if you own your own home they can place a lien.  Good luck.


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