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Will I be responsible for my exhusband's car loan debt?

I am recently divorced. My ex-husband and I each received a car in the decree. My car is now paid off. However, the car that he assumed responsibility for in the decree is now going to be repossessed because he says he cannot afford to make the payments on it and he is tired of being in debt. Only his name is on the car note. Can my ex-husband just not pay this debt? Will they hold me responsible? -Teresa

Dear Teresa,

The counselors at MMI hear situations similar to yours every day. Unfortunately, a divorce decree is between you and your husband and not your creditors. Creditors legally do not have to honor the terms of your divorce and are within their rights to try and collect debts from either responsible party.

In some states, whoever signed the original contract with the creditor will still be obligated on the debt after the divorce. In community property states, it may be possible for both parties to be held responsible for debt acquired during the marriage, regardless of who signed. Because this is a legal issue, please check with your attorney for more information.

Good Luck,

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