J.S. asks from Menasha, WI on April 30, 2009
Do I Need a Lawyer
My husband took out A LOT of loans (for work purposes) over a course of 2 1/2 yrs without my knowing by claiming unmarried or using work info so that I wouldn't receive notices of what he was doing (he knew I wouldn't approve). I found out about a year ago and he still hasn't paid them off. The creditors/collection agencies are now calling me and demanding that I pay these debts. I explain the situation to them and some seem compassionate and understanding but others DON'T care; we live in a marital property state and they are trying to say I owe it also no matter what. Do I need a lawyer (can't afford one financially) or does anyone know what I can do to protect myself and my children from any financial harm. It is now affecting our personal finances and my credit rating.
E.I. answers from Duluth on May 01, 2009
i would get a lawyer. there are some companies that will do it for low cost, maybe ask through your county or something? i have no idea how to go about using a lawyer, but get the phone book and call around i spose.
this really sucks, and i want you to know that everything will be ok. if you feel like it, pray. that always helps me feel better... just knowing God IS there.
1 mom found this helpful
K.W. answers from La Crosse on May 01, 2009
As you will most likely still be dealing with these calls regardless of getting a lawyer or not, for now i would refer these callers to your husbands cellphone number or his work. If your husband is home, hand over the phone. If none of these options are do-able, you don't have to take the calls. If you get stuck with one, hang up.
1 mom found this helpful
R.K. answers from Appleton on May 01, 2009
L.D. answers from Minneapolis on May 01, 2009
If you want to get out of it without have to pay, I would think you need to go to court and a lawyer would be helpful. Creditors and collection agencies aren't going to go away. They only get paid if the depts are paid which is why most aren't sympathetic. Most lawyers do a certain amount of free work or only get paid a percentage of your winnings. There are places that provide free legal advice. I would call 211 (united way) and see if they have the number for free legal advice/services.
L.H. answers from Milwaukee on May 01, 2009
I believe that you may need a lawyer. You will have to prove that you have had no knowledge when this was being done. However if you are still married it will be coming out of your income either way. Also if it was a business loan it should have been taken out in the business name. A question I should ask is where did the money go?
K.H. answers from Minneapolis on May 01, 2009
well it seems to me....your name was not on any of the documents-you signed nothing right??your not responsible...tell hubby to buck up...thats to bad....shame on him...and from now on when these folks call-tell them your the babysitter...you know nothing.what your hubby did was completely illegal lying on legal contracts an documents-so not your issue....good luck...
H.M. answers from Omaha on May 04, 2009
Get a lawyer. Do so fast.
My sister got in a similar situation and in the end it didn't matter. Our state it didn't matter if she signed or not, if she knew or not. We also live in a marital property state. She was just as responsible as him for the debt. She had to pay it off because he wouldn't or couldn't (as if that matters to her). If she didn't it would have dragged her credit down even further than it already had. Eventually they could have gone on to get judgements and garnished her paychecks.
So get a lawyer and see what your options are in your state and do so quickly. That way you know if you have no choice and you can find out how to start paying this down before you have to claim bankruptcy!
S.B. answers from Minneapolis on April 30, 2009
Well, the laws are different from state to state, and you don't mention where you live. I work as a consumer law paralegal, and have alot of clients who face very similar situations as yours (you are not alone!). Without knowing where you live, I cannot give you any practial advice. However, you should know that in some states, both of your wages could be garnished, even though you were unaware of the debt, bank accounts in your name could be seized, and the collection agencies are not going to care WHO incurred the debt when they call (and yes, they will keep calling until this is resolved).
One option, pretty much no matter which state you live in, is filing a bankruptcy, and, depending on the circumstances, he can file without you (to a degree - it is hard to explain).
If you decide to hire a lawyer, use one that specializes in consumer law cases (there are not very many), and if you decide to file a bankruptcy, use a lawyer that has alot of experience with filing cases where only one spouse files. If you live in MN or WI, I can give you referrals to attorneys in either state (I work in both states) for either consumer law or bankruptcy.