My wife created tons of debt and ruined my credit score

divorce attorney Jill DuffyQuestion:

My wife and I are separated, but we have filed divorce papers yet. I recently learned my wife has many debts she put under my name without my knowledge.

My credit report shows over a dozen items that she must have signed my name on these items for them to be on my credit report.

How can I clear my name on my credit report from what my wife did? Can I address this in the divorce papers or will it just be considered marital debt?


You do want to address your wife’s misconduct in your divorce. Start by gathering evidence of what occurred. Use the information on your credit report to contact the creditors your wife used. Ask them for copies of any documents provided when the loans were made (loan applications, financial statements, etc.).

Once you have evidence that these debts were incurred solely by your wife, without your permission, and were not benefiting you, contact an attorney who knows the laws in the state you file for divorce. Most states will have case law that allows this debt to remain your wife’s debt, and not marital debt because of her misconduct.

To fix your credit score, begin by notifying the big three credit companies that your account should be flagged or frozen. Any new accounts should require your express authorization. Notify each creditor, in writing, that you did not authorize these debts, and work with them to fix the derogatory items.

Once a plan has been made for your wife to assume the debts or for the debts to be paid in another way, you can supplement your credit report with a statement of why the derogatory item should not be considered.

You should contact an attorney who is licensed in the jurisdiction you wish to file for divorce to further discuss the specifics of your situation. Cordell & Cordell does represent divorced dads nationwide.


Jill A. Duffy is an Associate Attorney in the Troy, Mich., office of Cordell & Cordell. She is licensed to practice in the state of Michigan. Ms. Duffy received her BA in Psychology and Spanish and graduated Magna Cum Laude from Oakland University. She received her Juris Doctor from Michigan State University College of Law and graduated Magna Cum Laude.

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