My ex-wife declared bankruptcy about 2 years ago and included a vehicle that has both of us on the title.

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My ex-wife declared bankruptcy about 2 years ago and included a vehicle that has both of us on the title.

I was just recently informed of this as the bills stopped coming. The bank says they can’t send a bill to me because that would be demanding payment. My main question is: Since she filed for bankruptcy and included this vehicle can I stop paying on it without any repercussions to my credit?

Asked on May 13, 2009 under Bankruptcy Law, California

Answers:

MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Oh you will most certainly have repercussions on your credit.  Keeping joint title to a vehicle you clearly didn't have anymore or use as a result of the divorce creates problems. Why didn't you make a motion to either pay off the vehicle or sell it? 

1. Your wife simply stopped paying and I am assuming you weren't paying either because she got the car in the divorce.  Except, the bank doesn't care who got what in a divorce.  All it knows is that a) you are both on the loan and/or b) you are both on the title.

2. Now, her filing bankruptcy will necessarily result in most of her creditors (appears at least one of which is your creditor) to give negative reports to the credit reporting agencies.   So, somehow this situation needs to be fixed.

3. Consult your divorce decree and immediately pull all three credit reports.  If this negative score is on there, see if your divorce decree addresses this issue.  If not, call your divorce attorney to see what can be done.  If you didn't have one, consult an attorney immediately.  Try www.attorneypages.com and then check his or her history at www.calbar.ca.gov under attorney search.


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