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Paul K, Esq.
Paul K, Esq., Attorney
Category: Bankruptcy Law
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Experience:  10 years Exp., Great customer service, Prompt responses.
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State of Florida. Joint Credit Card / Divorced Couple. Wife

Resolved Question:

State of Florida. Joint Credit Card / Divorced Couple. Wife is Primary Borrower with Ex-husband's name still listed on the account as co-borrower. Wife has been the only one using the account for 8 years since divorce and paid as agreed. Ex-husband has never used the account and was unaware his name was still on the account. The account had a $0 balance when Ex-Husband signed his Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Petion and it was NOT INCLUDED in his bankruptcy filing. If the ex-wife continued to use the account afte the bankruptcy was filed and the account had a balance owed at the time of the filing...is the account still considered included/protected in the bankruptcy? The account has been paid in full, but the bank is still insisting that the account is included in the bankruptcy even though they were not listed as a creditor in the case and they are treating it as a protected account.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Bankruptcy Law
Expert:  Paul K, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Paul K, Esq. :

Hello, my name is XXXXX XXXXX I would love to assist you. Give me a moment to research your issue and I will answer promptly.

Paul K, Esq. :

Filing the BK basically removes the husband from liability on the account, whether listed or not, and leave the ex-wife as the person responsible to pay it.

Paul K, Esq. :

So the ex-wife can contact the creditor and inform them that she is not part of the BK, is the only one to ever use it, and intends to continue to use it and continue to pay as she always has.

Paul K, Esq. :

So it is not really included in the BK if there was no balance and not listed, but the husband is protected from being sued on it in the future.

Paul K, Esq. :

If you have more questions, please let me know.

Paul K, Esq. :

Sometimes it takes a little bit of back and forth to narrow down and completely answer your question, so let me know if you have more.

Paul K, Esq. :

Once we have completely answered and resolved your issues, please provide a positive rating so that we get credit for our session.

Paul K, Esq. :

Have a great day!!!

Customer: Is there any "legal"reason why the bank would not be able to remove the ex-husbands name from the account and allow the wife to continue to use the account? The account has never been delinquent and all amounts due paid in full. Orher than internal bank procedure on how the account is handled is there anything different about the way this account is handled legally in a Chapter 13 vs Chapter 7 case. Does the Bankruptcy court have any power over this account if it was not included in the bankruptcy? The bank is basically saying that they can not remove the ex-spouse name because it was a Chapter 13 and it must be treated (legally) as included in the bankruptcy. They ultimately closed the account and charged-off a $2.51 interest fee before the bill due date and reported the account to the credit bureau as a charge-off under wife's name even though the account was never delinquent and the $2.51 interest was paid before the billing cycle due date.
Paul K, Esq. :

Unfortunately, many credit card companies, as private companies, can do what they want. So even if the ex-wife always paid it and always used it, sometimes the creditor sees a BK and is just scared and closes the account before looking further.

Paul K, Esq. :

It is more of bank procedure than a legal reason.

Paul K, Esq. :

The BK court has power technically over all of the creditors of the filer. Now that being said, if at the time of the filing, nothing was due, then is the party really a creditor of the husband.

Paul K, Esq. :

If $2.51 was due on the filing date, then the creditor could say husband owed a debt, so it is included in the BK and close the account.

Paul K, Esq. :

It is unfortunate if that happened

Expert:  Paul K, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
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Expert:  Paul K, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
If you have more questions, please let me know. The best course of action would probably be to call and ask them very nicely to allow you to keep the account open so that you can continue to use it.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Sorry to keep at this but if Iunderstand you correctly if this account was NOT included in the Chapter 13 Bankruptcy and additional debt that was incurred on the account after the bankruptcy was filed, the bank could still NOT pursue the debt from the applicant that filed the bankruptcy?

II read on other posts that if the petitioner did not include the account it in their bankruptcy that the creditor could still go after them for the debt and any amounts owed would not be discharged under the bankruptcy.

I have very respectfully XXXXX XXXXX the account remain open in my name but they refused and instead opened up a new account for me but still reported the old account as bankrupt to the credit bureau.

To add insult to injury I have been very successfully employed by this creditor and banked with them with an A+ rating for over 15 years!!
Expert:  Paul K, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Yeah that is a bummer. Basically, if he owed $0.00 when the case is filed, then it really is not a creditor. But, the husband should just add them into the bankruptcy (an easy thing to do), if that is the stand they are taking, so that he is protected, just in case. The creditor should at least report to your credit bureau something to show that you did not file BK case. I am not sure why they would be so stubborn, this thing happens often. It probably is laziness. They dont want to take extra steps. I would maybe call and ask for the supervisor's boss....

Let me know if anything else. No worries, ask away!
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The balance on the card was $0 when he consulted with his attorney signed the petition on 8-27-12 but by the time it was ultimatley filed on 9-27-12 the account had a balance of 2,000 which was still paid prior to the next due date. It was never intended to be included in the bankruptcy nor do we now want it to be now as I have totally assumed all responsibility for the account for the past 8 years and have been the only one who ever used it so there's really nothing to protect him from.

But could they legally still come after him for any debt if there was anything owed if he did not include it in his filing? You said NO because he is still protected and I read YES they can since he didn't include it. I

Is he only protected if he amends the case to include them????
Expert:  Paul K, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
The answer is No if there was nothing owed (or if you paid it and it closed without a balance due), but Yes if there was a balance due. So if his attorney sat on it for a month, and the card was used, then he should have listed it that day technically. It will not matter based on you paying it off though. So I think he is protected. The main issue is just that his bankruptcy, unfortunately, is kind of affecting your credit, which stinks. So if they can report something to the bureaus making it clear that you always paid and the BK had nothing to do with you, it may help.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
So even if the account was not included in the bankruptcy, and the bank was not listed as a creditor in the case, if there was a balance on the account as of the date of the filing,, the bank could still not legally pursue him for the debt because he is protected under Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Laws?
Expert:  Paul K, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
No, the bankruptcy only really protects him 100% if it is listed BUT since you paid it, and the $2,000.00 is no longer owed, there is not debt to go after him for. Basically they can sue him for any money if you paid it off and it was closed out and no money is still owed.

Some might say since they new of it that he is protected even if it isn't listed, since they had notice, and could have filed a claim. SO even if you didn't pay in full, they essentially have notice, so he still should be ok. Again, however, you paid it, so if no one owes anything there is nothing to collect or pursue anyone for.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I guess my question was more of a hypothetical question than actual scenario. I understand there's nothing to pursue him for since I paid it off but if I hadn't paid it off...wouldn't they still be allowed to go after him for the money since he didn't include it in the bankruptcy.
Expert:  Paul K, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
So hypothetically yes, BUT that being said, he can claim that they have actual knowledge of the BK, whether listed or no, so all they would have to do is file a claim and be paid as part of the Ch 13 Plan.

I hope I have helped you and if you have anything else please let me know. Also be sure to provide a positive rating so that I get credit for the session and it shows the other experts that you rate your experiences (which is always helpful for your account as well).
Paul K, Esq., Attorney
Category: Bankruptcy Law
Satisfied Customers: 141
Experience: 10 years Exp., Great customer service, Prompt responses.
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