Sorry, this is going to be long.....
Basic question: If I have a good amount of credit card debt, can they go after my spouses assets? What if the money in spouses account is from the sale of my home?
My husband lost his job due to the company going under. We decided to spend our "life savings" and send him to school. He received an A.S. degree, with mulitiple computer certifications. (mcse etc) This cost us 20K, everything we saved. Tech jobs were VERY popular, so we had no doubt he would find gainful employment. I was a bank manager and had a decent paying job. (27K a year)
He gets employment, loses it. Gets employment-loses again. All for a total of 3 times. All tech jobs were being outsourced to India. Many well paid and higher level techs began scrambling for ANY job, and my husband, with no real experience and only his education, could not find employment.
Huge problem starts here---We had an apartment closer to the school. They accepted m/o or cash only. I mostly paid cash. I honestly swear before God, they received every penny. We did terminate the lease, which was allowed, and surrendered the security deposit and 2 months rent (as per their terms.) All's good. I suddenly get a notice that I owe them 1500. I show them the last m/o that cleared. They apologise. Next 3 months, new management. Wants the 1500 plus fees. I show them the final cleared m/o but they state it was for back rent. I pull bank statements showing cash withdrawels for exact amount of rent, but could not locate receipts. I refuse to pay. They have BEEN paid. They report to bureau...other UNRELATED credit card raises my APR and minimum payment. I couldn't keep up with the now triple (now joke) min due. I paid my mortgage, and them, let another card with smaller balance slide-just once! THEY now raised my rate. I couldn't afford my min pymnts. My balances were actually increasing as I made pymnts. Laws in Fl were changing for bankruptcy. Against my husbands wishes, I filed. He refused, so I filed just myself. We continued to pay his credit cards, and joint bills.
More bad news-after a series of medical bills due to a mastectomy(I pay 10-% out of pocket) I get a notice from the city that my home is against the EPA guidelines for residential sewage. Long story sort, the elderly lady who sold me the home was required to upgrade the home to city septic/water. It would have cost her a couple hundred. The city told me I could "sue her." She'sprobably dead I told them. Since it's mine home now, its all MY problem. Now the city wanted 8K right then. I have no savings, no credit, and I'm in bankruptcy. The EPA sent me a letter, and began fining me everyday 10K. I cried and was terrified, and could not come up with the 8K. I had to sell my home to come up with the money for improvements (written in home selling contract)
In order to sell my home, I had to dismiss my bankruptcy. The judge told me not to dismiss it, but did grant that request. I sold my home, paid all my fees to the city, paid the mortgage, and contacted my creditors. I did pay a few cards that agreed to me paying te original debt. 3 refused. Example, the sold debt was originally 4700, now was double that. I can't pay someone that amt who literally bought the debt for 10 cents on the dollar.
Without a home, we moved several hours away, to family property. They watch our kids while we go to school.
We have 50K in my husbands checking account. We are both returning to school to become teachers (they cannot outsource that!!) so we need every penny. We are living on family land. I'm worried the crap collection companies will try to come after me, and I have 2.5 years left until SOL. They started contacting old numbers and relatives like crazy. My relatives won't tell them anything.
Can they come after my spouses 50K? We cannot go to school without that, and we are supporting our 3 children. We estimate living on 20K a year for a family of 5, which gives us time to finish school. The owner of the land offered to sell it to us for the 50K (which is fair market) and she would"pay" for our expenses. It's his mother, and we trust her. I don't like the idea of "hiding" the money in that fashion, but we have to make a better life just to survive. Had these companies not raised my apr and min dues, this would not have happened.
We are in Florida, as included in the title. Thank you for reading this.