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Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 11764
Experience:  Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
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I'm being sued by MI credit union where I was on an account

Customer Question

I'm being sued by MI credit union where I was on an account with my spouse. He’d been told his poor behavior was due to bipolar disorder. In 2007 he let it "slip" he was approved for a line of credit (open-ended HELOC), from the credit union. I had substantial
concern about that, due first to the fact I'd just learned he’d forged my signature and gained credit without my knowledge from card offers addressed to me, adding himself. Next, my health (a serious genetic disease) was then keeping me mostly in a wheelchair
--I'd had a couple of quite major surgeries. I could not support myself, and was concerned he would lose the jointly titled house I (we) lived in. Third, in the 3 years prior, I’d had to flee and live out of a vehicle 3 times due to his behaviors. The conditions
were that I could not count on his financial honesty, & nor think he cared about if my basic needs were met. He also moved to a back bedroom inaccessible to my wheelchair, taking financial records there & telling me to stay out. Of course there was more that
there is no space for. The loan ended up being made to us jointly. I had objected to it and said, for self-protection, I had to be on the loan. I believed I'd be turned down as an applicant and at the least slow him down if he planned to act without me. Oddly,
the CU sent me NO document requests--not for past W-2's, employment records, etc. I was astonished to be told an appointment to sign the loan documents had been set for next day. At that point, necessity dictated my presence as monitor when he signed, and
applied my signature SOLELY for information access--it was for self-protection. He made no payments on this loan after I kicked him out, 4/2012, in AZ. He’d set up automatic payments from the MI joint account long before this, but kept his larger income, the
check from his main employer, for himself. The credit union granted me no control over the source or manner of the loan payments. He also engaged in malicious financial maneuver s. One month, he withdrew of all funds from my only source of income, the joint
account (which he insisted on using to deposit spousal support during the divorce). In that action, he also withdrew all funds still available from that line of credit. The total was about $22,000. His intent was to harm me. Soon after, I spoke to the credit
union. I was told that due to his behavior, I was not responsible for the loan. But: they already had showed they did NOT consider me in the same light as him: they had three times refused to provide me documentation regarding that line of credit, when requested
via legal processes associated with the divorce after proper notice and provision of the statute requiring them to provide me that information. They claimed I lacked rights to the info. Post-divorce, I'm dissociated with the credit union account. It seems
he’s made no loan payments, hence he and I are both being sued for the amount due--the house used as collateral was foreclosed on over a year ago. Defenses which appear valid to me, meeting legal tests, I think—fall in the areas of BOTH negative and affirmative
defenses. My answer is due in two days, but it seems rules of procedure prohibit my bringing up in court later anything not listed in this answer. My response contains both types of defense, but it seems ridiculous to include both negative and affirmative
defenses. My question, therefore, has several parts: MAY I later bring up a defense I don't file now (Superior Ct, Maricopa County, AZ)? and in addition, if don't just go with a general denial of plaintiff's claims, will also presenting affirmative defenses
decrease the value of negative defenses I present? And I can't get into the law library, so I'm uncertain as to how the burden of proof changes with the defense I use. I’m still reading, but haven’t found the answer to how or if the burden of proof changes
depending on the defense. I welcome an opinion, plus resources I might access from home. In sum: I could use an opinion comparing the potential value of a) a simplified response--general denial, b) fleshed-out response--both types of defense, or c) if use
of one type of defense is preferable, which might be more likely to succeed? I'm aware a reply is NOT legal advice.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  LawTalk replied 2 years ago.
Good morning, I am unable to assist you in this matter, and I am going to opt out of your question and open this up for other professionals.Your question is being placed back in the question list for other professionals to see, and to respond to. You do not have to stay online for the question to be active. Should another professional pick it up, you should be alerted by email unless you actively disable this feature.There is no need for you to reply at this time as this may "lock" your question back to me, thus inadvertently delaying other professionals' access to it.I apologize for any inconvenience and wish you well in your future.Doug
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I've located two pieces of the information this question asks for--applicable rules of procedure on introduction of new material after the Answer, and learned that yes, I may use (apparently) contradictory defenses. That shortens this up. I'd still love to know if, from experience, there might be any benefit to using only one form of defense (either affirmative, or negative). I have clear grounds for both, but don't want to use a defense that may tend to totally burn my bridges behind me. I'd also appreciate--if possible--just any other general "takes" on what I've outlined. Any help at all on this would be most appreciated.

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