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Ask TexCrimLawyer, J.D. Your Own Question

TexCrimLawyer, J.D.
TexCrimLawyer, J.D., Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 3808
Experience:  Experienced in state and federal criminal litigation.
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My (soon to be ex) husband had a credit card and I was an authorized

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My (soon to be ex) husband had a credit card and I was an authorized user on it. The company is now suing him to pay the debt and he is now trying to say he never signed for the card. He asked to see the agreement and is trying to tell them it isn't his signature. Truthfully, I may have signed for him ( this would have been over seven years ago) as I often did that for him PLUS I had a power of attorney so never was concerned about it.
Today he told me that the card company is now telling him he needs to file a police report stating he never signed for it. I think he is trying to find yet another way to get back at me for divorcing him. I already told him he needs to be careful with trying to play around with this because even though he didn't sign it, he did give me authorization to do so while married AND called the company at one point to have me placed as an authorized user AND has been had conversations with them in the past on trying to resolve the debt payments.
My question is should I be worried he could try to do something, or is this just a stupid move on his part since he obviously is on record with the company acknowledging the card?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  TexCrimLawyer, J.D. replied 3 years ago.

TexCrimLawyer, J.D. :

Did he give you verbal authorization to sign for it, or are you just referring to the POA?

Customer:

While we were married he gave me verbal authorization to sign for it. I only brought up the POA because I never worried about signing things for him when he asked because we had that in place, plus we were married.

TexCrimLawyer, J.D. :

First off, if you signed with his authorization, no crime was committed. Forgery requires that you signed the person's name without their permission.

TexCrimLawyer, J.D. :

Second of all, the statute of limitations has already run.

TexCrimLawyer, J.D. :

Although, in California the state can argue that the statute should not begin until the discovery should have been made.

TexCrimLawyer, J.D. :

All in all, you should not be arrested or convicted. That said, if your husband accuses you of forgery, it will cause you significant stress and hassle.

Customer:

Couple of things, what do I do in terms of he said/she said? Is it enough that I can argue that he CLEARLY knew about the card, as he called them and told them to put me on the account as an authorized user, he used the card and he made numerous calls to the card company trying to work out payment arrangements?

Customer:

I guess I also don't understand why the company is telling him to file a police report when they must have records of him calling them to add me as a user, copies somewhere of him using the card and records of his calls showing him trying to work out payment arrangements

TexCrimLawyer, J.D. :

In theory, there are two separate crime here - forgery and unlawful use of a credit card. Being guilty of one doesn't make a person guilty of the other. So, saying that he knew about the card does not preclude the police from going after you for forgery. I agree, it comes down to a he said, she said. The police are well aware that husbands and wives sign for each other all the time. Your best evidence is that he had give you authorization to sign for him on other things.

TexCrimLawyer, J.D. :

They need a police report if they are disputing the charges with the credit card company.

Customer:

Like what kind of things where he had me sign for him and do I need proof that he said I can sign for him on these other items? I signed for things all the time, like signing our kids up for school or doctor forms, etc.

TexCrimLawyer, J.D. :

All of those are good things. If you have proof, that would be best, XXXXX XXXXX fact that it was clearly a regular occurrence is good.

Customer:

So if he files a police report, what should I expect to happen in terms of the police and then what should I do in return?

TexCrimLawyer, J.D. :

You should expect the police to contact you and try to set up an interview with you. If you feel comfortable speaking with them, you can do so. Just remember to be truthful. If you are nervous about talking to them and think you may say something to get you in trouble, you can tell them you would like to have a lawyer present when you speak with them. As a general rule, it is better to have a lawyer there for you, even if you are innocent.

Customer:

After they interview me what would happen?

TexCrimLawyer, J.D. :

It depends. If the police believe you, don't have enough to charge you with a crime, or the statute of limitations has run, nothing happens. If they don't believe you, then they present it to the DA's office, who decides if there is enough to formally charge you with a crime.

Customer:

OK, thank you I appreciate all your details.

TexCrimLawyer, J.D., Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 3808
Experience: Experienced in state and federal criminal litigation.
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