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Wifes debt

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Hi
I have just found out that my wife owes £6,000 on two credit cards. She is currently not working and has no way to pay this. We have a joint mortgage would I be responsable for my wifes debt and can the credit card companies force the sale of the house to pay the debt?
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  • Tixy
    Tixy Posts: 31,455 Forumite
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    No you would not be responsible for her debt repayments, but if she cannot pay then her credit file and yours by financial association will be affected. Suggest she gets some advice from a debt advice charity. IMPORTANT - Where to seek professional impartial advice about your debts.

    As to force the sale of the house, well not really. If she doesn't pay and doesn't come to an agreement with then then they may take her to court. If successful they would obtain a CCj against her. She would need to ask to pay in installments, which a judge would set based on what she could afford. Only if she missed those payments then in theory they could go for a charging order on the house. If granted it would sit like a secured debt on the house and when the house was sold (when you wanted to sell) the debt would be repaid from her share of any equity.
    Such a thing as a forced sale charging order does exist but these are very very rare and with it being a joint property then its highly highly unlikely one would be granted.

    The other very slim possibility would be if her creditors decided to make her bankrupt. Then in theory they possibly could force the sale of the house to release any equity but again this is not what usually happens, almost never in fact.

    If she agrees to a reduced repayment plan (which is likely to be the best option for her) she will get defaults and will have a wrecked credit file for a few years but they are pretty unlikely to take her to court.

    Is she likely to be able to find work soon so she can service these debts? Whilst you are not legally liable you might want to consider whether you could or would want to subsidise repayments for her so your credit file is not affected (although if she already has defaults for not paying then this will already have happened).
    A smile enriches those who receive without making poorer those who give
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  • McKneff
    McKneff Posts: 38,834 Forumite
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    I know youre probably a bit peed off with your wife and her debts but if youre a married couple surely the first thing you should be thiinking of is helping her to budget and helping her to pay off her debts, not worry about how badly its going to affect you.

    Its in your best interests to help her get these debts paid. She's your wife !!!!!!.
    make the most of it, we are only here for the weekend.
    and we will never, ever return.
  • vaporate
    vaporate Posts: 1,955 Forumite
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    McKneff wrote: »
    I know youre probably a bit peed off with your wife and her debts but if youre a married couple surely the first thing you should be thiinking of is helping her to budget and helping her to pay off her debts, not worry about how badly its going to affect you.

    Its in your best interests to help her get these debts paid. She's your wife !!!!!!.

    Enemy more like lol

    Dog anyday.:D
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  • bitemebankers
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    Excellent advice from Tixy.

    Suffice to say though, you're not the only one who has had a spouse run up CC debts without your knowledge though. And whilst £6k CC debt isn't the end of the world, the fact that you weren't aware of it is a serious matter, for your relationship. Not necessarily an insurmountable one, but something that you'd be best not to ignore, in my opinion.
    "There may be a legal obligation to obey, but there will be no moral obligation to obey. When it comes to history, it will be the people who broke the law for freedom that will be remembered and honoured." --Rt. Hon. Tony Benn
  • Orville
    Orville Posts: 1,900 Forumite
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    McKneff wrote: »
    I know youre probably a bit peed off with your wife and her debts but if youre a married couple surely the first thing you should be thiinking of is helping her to budget and helping her to pay off her debts, not worry about how badly its going to affect you.

    Its in your best interests to help her get these debts paid. She's your wife !!!!!!.

    She maybe his wife, but he may never have known about this debt. Yes he should help her if he can, but if theres a chance she will go and run the cards up again. Is it in her best interests for him to do so...?
  • UnderPressure
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    I agree whole heartidly with McKneff.

    I have to say OP think your attitude stinks, this woman is your wife you are a partnership the last thing on your mind should be "how is this going to effect me me me me me!!!"

    Very selfish attitude indeed, if this was debt from before you were married and she neglected to tell you about it then maybe you have a point, I dont think this is the case though from your post, it comes across to meas this debt has been run up fair enough without your knowledge whilst you have been married? If this is the case and she does not work for whatever reason how did you expect her to manage day to day life? Does she even have access money or are you the type of man that likes her to beg when she needs a few quid??

    If anything to be really honest I think your wife should now be thinking along the lines of do I really want to be with this selfish scum bag, if I were her I would be off to the local solicitor for a divorce, you are either very young or just plain selfish either does not make for a good husband!

    Sorry for the rant your post infuriated me, have you forgot your marriage vows already?? "through the good times and the bad" remember any of that??

    I think you should try and figure out why she has done this she is obviously unhappy in some way to seek retail therapy I suspect this may come down to you, but hey its your marriage not mine if you think this is the way to behave then life has a few lessons to dish out to you ;)

    All the best with it, instead of thinking about yourself try thinking about your wife for a minute :)

    HTH
    "You can measure a man's character by the choices he makes under pressure"
    Sir Winston Churchill
  • DX2
    DX2 Posts: 8,275 Forumite
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    McKneff wrote: »
    I know youre probably a bit peed off with your wife and her debts but if youre a married couple surely the first thing you should be thiinking of is helping her to budget and helping her to pay off her debts, not worry about how badly its going to affect you.

    Its in your best interests to help her get these debts paid. She's your wife !!!!!!.
    The Op and his wife are looking to seperate ;)
    *SIGH*
    :D
  • KingElvis
    KingElvis Posts: 4,100 Forumite
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    Im would get her out on the streets or up some chimneys.
    "We want the finest wines available to humanity, we want them here, and we want them now!"
  • barneygumble
    barneygumble Posts: 119 Forumite
    edited 14 October 2010 at 9:54AM
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    this woman is your wife you are a partnership the last thing on your mind should be "how is this going to effect me me me me me!!!"

    That argument also works in reverse, he's her husband and they are a partnership so therefore she shouldn't of run up debts to the tune of 6k without letting him know. Especially as she has no income to pay them off.
    If the debt has built up whilst they've been married then in my eyes that is even worse than doing it before becoming wed.
  • UnderPressure
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    On reflection and looking at the OP's other posts I can now see that this situation has escalated and the OP is now looking to seperate from his wife, please tell me this decision has not been made solely on this credit card problem.......................

    I still think you are a wee bit selfish, even looking at your other thread you are more interested in how all of this effects you and "what she can claim from you", please remember you have 2 children with this woman and if your relationship has broken down you need to make sure these innocent children are top of you priority list, not how much it is all gong to cost you.

    You have my sympathy and I sincerely apologise if any of my previous post upset or annoyed you but you have to understand marriages are not always rosey and pecahy sometimes it can be a nightmare the trick is pulling together regardless of whose fault the situation is and getting on with it, if this can no longer be repaired then so be it but please please please put your kids first, no matter what it costs you it is irrelevant their happiness should be your prime objective.

    Best of luck OP, a failed marriage is a heart renching thing to go through, you will get through it but just bear in mind that you have these 2 young children so you for the foreseeable future anyhow are going to have some kind of contact with your wife, if this can be done pleasantly then all the better for your children..............................

    I hope you manage to sort all of this out I really do :)
    "You can measure a man's character by the choices he makes under pressure"
    Sir Winston Churchill
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