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Has anyone dealt with collection agencies because of their ex?

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NaiveAgain posted 6/9/2014 07:47 AM

I've always paid my bills on time and never bought more than I could afford....but the WS ran bills up in my name, $37,000 to be exact. He paid off about $25 and still owes, $12k. Then he completely quit paying, leaving me with $3K on a vehicle of his that was in my name (because he claimed he had bad credit because his restaurant went under and his gf/employee was embezzling from him. I believed him at the time because he was a cop and seemed like a good guy. Now I realize he was a sociopath and just used me, but anyway....)he also left me with $10K in credit card bills. I've been with that credit card company since I was 19 and now I am unable to pay the bill and will lose them which really hurts. What also hurts is they are now taking me to court to obtain a judgment for the $10K (and it keeps going up from interest).

There is no way I can pay this. I am on food stamps right now because he left me with such a mess. I have a very low paying job and will not graduate from college for 2 more years. So it will be a while before I can start even sending a little bit in every month.

I am scared to death over what to do here and how to handle this. I hate court. I've never owed anyone money before and I don't know how to handle this.

Has anyone been through this? How did you handle it and what happened?

Exit Wounds posted 6/9/2014 08:08 AM

Have you thought of filing bankruptcy? I know it is not the "easy way out" but it sounds to me like this might be your only option.

I'm sorry you are going through this!

hurtbs posted 6/9/2014 08:17 AM

Write a list of all bills and debts in your name and your WH's name - anything that is joint and could come after you. Next, contact a bankruptcy attorney. Bring this information with you for a consultation.

Bankruptcy was made for situations like this. I"m sorry that you're dealing with this.

NaiveAgain posted 6/9/2014 08:27 AM

Thank you. I think I will try to find a lawyer and consider bankruptcy. I need to figure something because this is making my PTSD go thru the roof. I keep thinking they are coming to get me and I will be going to jail (PTSD can make you a little insane sometimes!)

I know my advocate told me that many collection companies will settle for a lot less than the original debt and that helps keep your credit score salvageable, but I can't even settle right now. I used to have an 830 credit score! I had impeccable credit (I paid cash for my first house!) I can't believe one loser can come in and do so much damage and I can't believe I let him.

Williesmom posted 6/9/2014 09:22 AM

((NA))

I had this happen recently because of my wxh (we've been D for 6 years, but we had a jointly owned business).

I was able to negotiate for a much lower settlement.

I think bankruptcy is your answer. They won't be able to come throw you in jail - they'll just verbally harass you. Stop answering your phone.

Hang in there - you're in my thoughts.

NaiveAgain posted 6/9/2014 11:46 AM

Thanks Williesmom for your experience. It is awful! I hate thinking of starting all over at my age.

They won't be able to come throw you in jail - they'll just verbally harass you. Stop answering your phone.
That is good to know. I know they keep telling me we don't have debtors prisons anymore (good thing!) I had been answering and talking with them and trying to explain the situation, but they are awful. They are terribly invasive and rude. So now if I don't know the number - I don't answer.

I feel like a criminal.....

Phoenix1 posted 6/9/2014 13:46 PM

My XPOS has done that to me, and I am trying to crawl out of the debt hole he created for me (he racked up ALL the marital debt that was divided between us). He is pursuing possible bankruptcy, but it is not an option for me (more damage than benefit in the long run). If it is an option for you, TAKE IT. Once you file for bankruptcy, the debt collectors must cease harassing you so that ongoing stress will go away.

Above all, educate yourself about the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act as that spells out what they can/cannot do legally to collect a debt and you will be better equipped to deal with them (see http://www.ftc.gov/enforcement/rules/rulemaking-regulatory-reform-proceedings/fair-debt-collection-practices-act-text).

beingmiranda posted 6/10/2014 08:15 AM

I helped a family member file for bankruptcy due to the same reasons you have. Cheating husband ran up a lot of debt in her name and then stiffed her with the bill. She was working and had a great job but soon enough it was too much to handle. Its really not a bad process. Your anxieties will lessen because the burden will be lifted off your shoulders. You'll have to pay in cash for a lot of things but you will see after about 3 years, more credit card companies will come around. She now has a card with a limit of $500 which is low but great for emergencies and she can start building up her credit again. You should seriously consider it.

NaiveAgain posted 6/10/2014 20:29 PM

Phoenix1, thanks...I did look up the Fair Debt Collection Act...it was very informative.

beingmiranda, thanks also. That sounds hopeful to me....and 3 years isn't terribly long, since right now I have to pay cash for everything anyway since he already ruined my credit since I have been sent to collections for all his debt.

What is killing me is that he ran my credit card up while he was down south partying it up (on my credit). He was supposed to use the card only for his business expenses but instead it went for cable porn, booze for "clothes optional" parties, and other lovely expenses.

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