Can a debt collection agency sue me for my husbands debt?

Asked about 5 years ago - Jacksonville, FL

Recently my husbands has been receiving phone calls on a debt he owed years prior to our marriage. This company is now saying that it is my responsibilty to pay his debt since he is unemployeed.
My name isn't on this account nor is his name on any of my accounts or personal proerty. Can they sue me for his debt?

Attorney answers (2)

  1. Donald Edward Petersen

    Pro

    Contributor Level 13

    Answered . I would need additional information in order to answer your question but here is the tentative answer. There are several issues embedded in your question and very few facts to go on given the importance of certain facts you probably were not aware of. I assume you and your husband lived in Florida the entire time that yoiu have been married and that you are not even an "authorized user" on the credit card.

    If your answer to both these questions is "yes" (Fla. resident at all times and not an authorized user or co-borrower), then you are not liable under Florida law under any theory I've ever had a creditor or debt collector argue to me. (If your answer to either of these questions is "no", you may (or may not) be arguably liable for all or a portion of the account. I would need a lot of additional information if that is your situation.)

    Keep a log of the date, time and content of any conversations, messages and hang ups that you receive from this company.

    Also, check your credit reports and make sure that no one has put your husband's account on your credit report. If you are not a coborrower or authorized user, the account should not appear anywhere on your credit report.

    If your husband still has statements showing the account was only in her name, keep them in a safe place so you can prove you were never "on" the account. You may need these docs many years from now so "be buried with them".

    Finally, the answer to your question ... Yes, the debt collector "could" sue you. But, if the debt collector sues you (and the assumptions I described above are correct), you probably have grounds to sue the debt collector under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. (Based on your general description, the account may now be too old to sue your husband on either.)

  2. Joy Kathleen Munden

    Contributor Level 8

    Answered . No, you cannot be sued for this debt, since you did not enter into the original agreement with the creditor. In some states, you could be liable if the account had been used by you or on your behalf, but it does not sound as though that happened. If this debt is as old as you say, it is likely that the statute of limitations has expired, and even your husband could not be sued for the debt. You should contact an attorney in your area who specializes in consumer law, since it sounds as though this debt collector has violated several provisions of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. You can visit the Federal Trade Commission website at www.ftc.gov to get some further information on the FDCPA and your right and options.

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