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URL:  https://boards.fool.com/turns-out-he-is-rather-terrible-at-paying-bills-30171063.aspx

Subject:  Re: credit and community property Date:  7/26/2012  10:53 PM
Author:  aj485 Number:  305646 of 312696

Turns out he is rather terrible at paying bills ontime and consequently has had several accounts in collection that keep popping up. In one recent collection it went to court for "entry of default" judgment and I got named on the lawsuit because of living in a community property state. I frequently don't hear about any of it unless I happen to see a suspicious letter in the mail and open it first.

I haven't checked my credit report lately (I'm planning to) but my credit rating should be very high, it was last I checked. Nothing ever late, low debt utilization, etc.


I would suggest checking your credit report sooner, rather than later. If you were named in a judgment, it is likely that your credit report/score isn't as good as you think it should be.

My first goal is to protect myself, my credit, my assets from getting attacked or damaged due to his actions or inactions with creditors. I am wondering if there is a legal way to do so... for example (too late now but) a prenuptial agreement disclaiming community property, separate accounts (which we have) with some kind of legally binding agreement or document that our accounts are separate property not community property.

These are questions for an attorney in your state. You can get better educated by using google to search for information about community property laws in your state. Some states (presumably yours, since you were named in the judgment) allow comunity debt as well as community assets, as long as the debt was incurred to 'benefit the community'. You should ask the attorney if you are basically paying the bills for the community, and the debt that he is accumulating is only for his benefit, is there a way that you can shield yourself from being named in suits. Absent that, if your state allows community debt, you may be out of luck.

Can I legally get access to his credit report, bank accounts, put watches on his credit reports?

Not without his permission.

Other ideas?

There's the old joke - Why is divorce so expensive? Because it's worth it!

You really need to consult a family law attorney who is experienced with debt/credit issues to see if there is any way to protect yourself. However, given that in a community property state, your marriage contract has joined your financial lives together, there may not be, unless you get a divorce.

AJ
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