Sunday, February 26, 2012

Credit Card Debt and Divorce

Credit card debt and divorce don't go together like "horse and carriage," "love and marriage," or whatever that old song is. Credit card debt and divorce do not make you want to hum a catchy little tune. But I will think of the check inside this envelope as a Christmas present to myself. 

I've lost more than a little sleep over the mounting credit card debt that is accruing in my name due to an unclosed account leftover from my marriage. Styling itself as a sort of Catholic Pope of the financial world, U.S. Bank, as is typical of credit card companies, does not recognize divorce. You can read more about that HERE if you like. 

I thought the document my attorneys prepared governing the division of joint assets had me covered, but I was MISTAKEN, so I've done what has served me best in my divorce--relying on my own gut.  In the course of my marriage I possessed little talent for reading the writing on the wall, but in the four years and seven months of the divorce process, I've been schooled.

Since my email of more than a month ago to the co-owner of the account went unanswered, I figured the ball is squarely in my court. After emailing him again yesterday morning, I closed the account and made a rather substantial payment on the balance in order to keep the peace. Worth it.

A open credit account in the wrongs hands equals the destruction of my credit score, and possibly the derailing of plans that will allow me to move to a house where my mom can live with me. I won't let that happen.

An excerpt of my letter, for anyone who may need it, is below:

I am enclosing a copy of the final decree of divorce and an excerpt from the document detailing the final division of joint assets in which XXXX is assigned responsibility for this account. Unfortunately, there is no incentive in place for XXXX to close the account, and I fear the balance will continue to mount, damaging my credit even further. I am also enclosing a check for XXXX.00 to be applied to the current balance of the card on the condition that the account be closed immediately to all future charges so that no further indebtedness can be incurred. You may continue to send future bills to XXXX at the address of record. 

I also ask that this letter and its supporting documents, including the enclosed photocopy of my check, be entered into my file. My current name is XXXX and the last four digits of my social security number are XXXX. My current address is XXXX.

I would very much appreciate a response to this letter.


Sandra said...

I hope this works. I went through a marriage and divorce back in the good old days, when women where still officially chattel.

Maybe this will close the door on tis chapter of you life.

Elizabeth said...

Outrageous -- that you have to continue to toil away at this bullshit so many years later. It's just fucking outrageous.

Milky Tea said...

Well-sorted letter. I hope it works within the arcane world of banking laws and terminologies.

Here, the Government has moved to tightened car and credit card approval terms, which is good... some of our young newly minted grads in the workforce have accumulated substantial cc liabilities... time to tighten the belt. (me included, tho' not so very young anymore).

Best wishes for ya..