What can I do if my wife has forged my signature to obtain credit cards and many equity loans?

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What can I do if my wife has forged my signature to obtain credit cards and many equity loans?

She is a criminal and I am crushed that I trusted her with our finances for 29 years. Do I need an attorney or a forensic accountant? Should I call the credit card company right away and tell them the card was fraudulently obtained? Where do I start? She has hundreds of thousands of dollars hidden somewhere and I want her to repay the money before she goes to jail.

Asked on July 3, 2015 under Family Law, Delaware

Answers:

B.H.F., Member, Texas State Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

You need to gather what documentation you do have and consult with two different types of attorneys before you do anything:  one criminal attorney and one family law attorney.  More and more attorneys are offering free consultations-- so leverage this benefit to gather some information first.

I'm recommending this because you have some overlapping issues:  mainly, what did you consent to and what did you not consent to.  If you delegated the right of finances to her, she may have the defense of consent... and you may have some civil liability for these charges.  So.... you need to know what the risk is to you before you start going after her.  From there, you can cooridnate the filing of a divorce and criminal charges (if applicable).  Even if criminal charges are not feasible, you can still include a fraud allegation in your divorce action to help get the return of the funds.  You can also potentially use the divorce to help the criminal case.  Before filing criminal charges, considering filing the divorce and deposing her so as to lock her statements and comments down regarding her activities.  Admissions are always helpful in criminal causes.

To help any attorney review your case, take as much information as possible about the nature of the fraud and the extent of the damage.  The more complete of a picture they have, the better direction that they can provide you. 


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