I have spent some time searching the internet and I have come across some conflicting views on authorized users and I would ask for clarification here.
I have an Amex card (the type that is payable each month, not a revolver type like Visa). I am responsible, my spouse is an authorized user. I am contemplating Chapter 7 in the next few weeks. My spouse and I do not have anything else "joint", and her being an authorized user is the only thing even close to such in concept (I understand the difference).
Some forums on the internet say that my bankruptcy should have NO impact to my spouse, as she is only an authorized user and not jointly liable. Some other forums say that Amex has tried via more recent agreements to say that authorized users "may" be responsible for the total account. I can contact Amex to get the verification documents but I am hesitant to do anything.
I pulled my spouse's credit reports, and indeed, the Amex does show on all 3 agencies as "authorized user", but the balance is the total balance. We had recently canceled my spouse's card. We also have contacted the agencies to say that her Amex card was canceled.
If I were to file Chapter 7 soon, can anyone please comment on what one would expect would be the impact to my wife's credit as well as what exposure she has? (vis a vis this sole issue, the Amex card where she is an authorized user). Her card was canceled but the last monthly balance is still outstanding (from when her card was active). Almost all of the charges was from my card and some small amounts were from her "authorized user" card. I've been counseled at this point to avoid making any credit payments given the imminent BK filing but I am tempted to pay off her amount or the total amount, as I am very concerned that Amex may try to put my BK filing issues onto her credit report.
For a multiple reasons, it is imperative that my spouse's credit not be impacted, particularly by Amex (beyond the standard textbook reasons).
Any thoughts or advice? Thank you.