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    tinmanlo27's Avatar
    tinmanlo27 Posts: 1, Reputation: 1
    New Member

    Mar 6, 2006, 09:48 PM
    Credit fraud?
    My wife recently told me she doesn't want to be married anymore and I can accept that. I also found out she took out a half dozen credit cards in my name and charged up to $25,000.00. Even though we are still married is there any legal action I can take in the state of New Jersey.
    mr.yet's Avatar
    mr.yet Posts: 1,725, Reputation: 176
    Ultra Member

    Mar 7, 2006, 05:09 AM
    Did you sign any of the contracts for the credit cards?
    excon's Avatar
    excon Posts: 21,482, Reputation: 2992
    Uber Member

    Mar 7, 2006, 08:22 AM
    Hello tin:

    Credit fraud?? Who did she cheat?? You??

    Sorry, tin. She didn't cheat you. YOU CHEATED YOU! The doors to the family vault were opened wide when you married her. All you can do is obligate her to pay half in the divorse decree (if you can). And if she doesn't pay her half, YOUR credit suffers.

    Sorry dude. You're not the only man who has seen the darker side of women.


    PS> mr. yet brings up a valid point. If your state is NOT a community property state, AND your wife operated on behalf of her own estate, you may escape... But, nahhhh.
    ScottGem's Avatar
    ScottGem Posts: 64,966, Reputation: 6056
    Computer Expert and Renaissance Man

    Mar 7, 2006, 11:05 AM
    This is why there are divorce lawyers. You NEED to speak to one. A divorce lawyer can tell what your rights are. However, if you did not sign any application or contract, then your signature was forged. It probably would not matter whether you were married or not. Being married does not give the spouse the right to commit forgery.

    I'm not a lawyer, and again recommend you see one. But my limited knowledge tells me, that your attorney will be able to hang those bills solely on her.
    excon's Avatar
    excon Posts: 21,482, Reputation: 2992
    Uber Member

    Mar 7, 2006, 12:37 PM
    Hello again:

    In the world of credit, one does not lose one's creditworthyness because one gets married. Another factor of note is that the three credit bureaus keep records on INDIVIDUALS only. In fact, the only times a "joint" credit report is prepared, is when both spouses incomes are needed to qualify for a loan. Those "joint" credit reports are compiled by secondary credit reporting agencies hired by the lenders, and generally provide more information than is available from just the raw credit reports. These reports are primarily used for home loans, where both spouses sign the loan agreement.

    Yet, even after one is married, one can apply for credit in one's own name using one's own credit history. The clincher, however, in a community property state, is that when one spouse is obligated, so is the other, even if the other spouse didn't sign a thing and doesn't know a thing about it. Kind of like you.

    Therefore, I suggest that no forgery occurred, because it wasn't necessary, and you’re still on the hook.

    Let me ask you the flip side. Let's say she took a cash advance of $25k on those very credit cards. Then she used it for a down payment on a house that appreciated in value to the tune of $100k in one year. Something that absolutely could have happened in this economy. Would you now be saying she's on her own, or would you be claiming your half of the $100k? You don't have to answer.

    ScottGem's Avatar
    ScottGem Posts: 64,966, Reputation: 6056
    Computer Expert and Renaissance Man

    Mar 7, 2006, 12:51 PM
    Quote Originally Posted by tinmanlo27
    I also found out she took out a half dozen credit cards in my name and charged up to $25,000.00.
    I agree that when a spouse takes out credit in their own name, the other spouse can be held legally responsible in some states. But according to the quote above, she took out the credit in YOUR name, not her name, not as cosigners but in your name. If that statement is true and you did not sign the papers, then a forgery could most definitely be deemed to have happened. Forgery is the crime of falsely and fraudulently making or altering a document. There seems sufficient grounds for that based on the original post.

    But this reiterates the NEED for consulting legal counsel. There are nuances and loopholes in the law that attorneys are trained to lead you through.

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