Do I have any legal recourse if my spouse used a Power of Attorney to get unauthorized loans and credit cards in my name?

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Do I have any legal recourse if my spouse used a Power of Attorney to get unauthorized loans and credit cards in my name?

While I’ve been in Iraq, my spouse had General PO for a 1year period. She used it to get consumer loans and credit cards in my name. She mostly gambled the money away. The credit cards are maxed out, mostly from cash withdrawals. Right now I’m on the hook for $900 and $800 monthly payments. I found all this out upon my return to the US, when I tried to  buy a car.

Asked on October 7, 2010 under Bankruptcy Law, California

Answers:

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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Misuse of a Power of Attorney is a very serious offense.  Your wife had a fiduciary responsibility to you and that responsibility is not taken lightly under the laws of any state.  What you can do about it will depend on how far you want to take the matter.  You may need to bring criminal charges against her otherwise from the outside looking it it may appear to the creditors like collusion and the courts may be reluctant to do anything to set aside the debt if you attempted that course.  They will instead go after your wife.  I would seek help from an attorney and debt counselor in your area.  You may have to figure out a different course of action here.  Good luck. 


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