I found empty envelope in husbands laundry. Attorney's office in the return field. Called their office and was informed my home is in pre-foreclosure. Looking deeper I find that all but 1 of our credit/debit cards are 6mo late,and many bills are past due. Husband zeroed out our accounts- including children's. The volatile metals market has devastated our business ;<96% this yr. Prior to learning of any of this, I met with an attorney for a long over-due divorce consult. Apathetic Husband evading my questions- my credit is destroyed- owe 200k on the house,C.C debt is 45K+, 4/ 5 delinquent returns have forfeited est tax deposits that accompanied the extensions. Attorney referred me to credit counseling-they said it was beyond their ablity. What leagal trouble am I/we facing? Is there help?
I am so sorry for your problems. Consider yourself sort of lucky that you found out, before there was nothing you can do.
The first thing I suggest is finding a tax attorney who understands the difference between "innocent spouse relief" and "injured spouse allocation." You probably could ask this question on the telephone, before making an appointment. No reason to make an appointment, if the attorney doesn't know the difference. (You can go to the IRS web site to search for both terms to get an idea of their meaning, so you'll know if you're getting the correct answer.) I can't quite tell from your question, though, if you will need to file for injured spouse allocations or married filing separately returns. If no returns have been filed, you can file married filing separately to protect your status with IRS, the State, and any locality. If returns have been filed, injured spouse allocations can separate your tax liability from your husband's to prevent you from having to pay for his problems.
Next, you should seek advice from a bankruptcy attorney, if your tax attorney doesn't practice in this area. Your bankruptcy attorney should consult your tax attorney regularly to make sure things get filed in the right order and within the right time frame. You may or may not be liable for all the debts, and this attorney may be able to help you with the pre-foreclosure matter.
Finally, you apparently want a divorce. I cannot tell whether the attorney you consulted referred you to credit counseling in addition to representing you in the divorce or in place of filing for a divorce. In the second, you clearly need to consult another divorce attorney. If the first, that is, in addition to representing you in your divorce, you may or may not need a new family law attorney. I'm leaning towards suggesting a new family law attorney in either situation, but I am not familiar enough with family law to make this suggestion.
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You really need to find a good bankruptcy lawyer today. Filing a bankruptcy will stay the foreclosure, and may wipe out a lot of the remaining debt, but you will not be able to wipe out the taxes if they are not filed. On the tax issue, there is also no innocent spouse relief for not filing a return under the claim that you thought your husband did it. That being said, it doesn't sound like you will owe much for this year if your business is down that much.
You really do need to find a local bankruptcy attorney and probably should file asap
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I mostly agree with Attorney Omo. But on the issue of the tax liability, BEFORE you go filing for bankruptcy, you need to discuss this matter with a bankruptcy attorney that handles tax matters. You will be told to first file all the tax returns, to have the liability assessed. At that point, there could be some relief for innocent spousal relief. The losses could be carried back to claim refunds for the most recent years, if any taxes have been paid. Or discharge of tax later in bankruptcy.
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