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debt before marriage. is she included?

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  • debt before marriage. is she included?

    I have a friend who I am trying to help. Her husband has a debt of approx. $34,000. This debt is to 4 credit cards he has. He has told her he was thinking about filing bankruptcy. He told her it would not effect her because the debt was made before they got married. I am so blown away that she is beleiveing it without looking into this for herself. She also thinks if he doesn't do "anything" about the credit cards, she will not be held accountable for the debt. because her name is not on the cards, and she was not married to him at the time he used them. I am trying to find out for my friend, How much of this can effect her credit? Can they come after her? They just purchased a home a year ago that is in His & Her name. Would the house have to be included on the bankrupcy??? If he doesn't file Bankrupcy, will the debt go agaist her? They live in NORTH CAROLINA
    Last edited by Reese3113; 07-25-2005, 06:33 AM.

  • #2
    If the debt was acquired before marriage and she didn't benefit from the proceeds (i.e., he didn't borrow it to buy her a car or something...) then she won't be forced to pay the debt.

    You raise a lot of other interesting issues however, and you're right that she should probably see an attorney. The easiest thing to do would be for her to just talk to her husband's bankruptcy attorney if/when he files.


    • #3
      Thanks for your help.

      ALSO... after reading my post again.... I'd like to add that I don't mean to sound judgemental on her husband.... because I know all it takes for me to get in debt is to loose one pay check. However, I know her husband well, and have known him all my life. His debt is due to irresponsible spendings.

      She has made her decitions to marry him so I should not but in. I just worry about her welfare of being with him and he lies to her a lot, which is a sperate issue. Just don't want her to be taken advantage of....... which I think she is!


      • #4
        Theoretically, it should not directly impact her as spouses have separate credit, but it can indirectly impact her if there are joint assets as it impacts the asset, thus her also. My suggestion is to ge a post-nuptial agreement, consult a local attorney about asset protection steps that she can take if it is a joint asset. She should not be liable for his old credit cards, however.