CanI be held for accountable for an old credit card debt of my ex-husband?

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CanI be held for accountable for an old credit card debt of my ex-husband?

My ex-husband and I got a 1986 joint credit card in 1986; we divorced 1992. He cut up the card and I never heard anything more. Last week I received a phone call and letter stating that I am responsible for money owed. They sent me letters showing he requested my name off account 3 times; he has been remarried since 1993. He recently filed bankruptcy which is the only way that I found this out. How can I be accountable when I never signed for anything that was bought and did not know account was still active? Never received anything in the mail since the day that the card was destroyed. What do I need to do now to get out of this situation?

Asked on November 17, 2010 under Bankruptcy Law, Pennsylvania

Answers:

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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Generally speaking, if in fact you opened the account with your ex husband - and I do not mean was an extra card holder, I mean opened the account: signed the agreement or application and everything - then you are liable for the debt.  There are two things that you may have going for you here: one, how was the matter determined in your divorce?  In other words, who assumed the liability for the debt?  If it was your ex then you would have a claim against him.  But you claim that he is now filing for bankruptcy so that may be a dead end here.  Two, the debt is VERY old and the statute f limitations may have run on collecting if in fact the debt IS old.  In other words, did he continue to use the account?  You need to investigate further then seek help in your area.  Good luck.  


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