Horseheads, NY asked in Civil Litigation and Small Claims for New York

Q: Debt incurred by ex on a joint credit card that was supposed to be closed. They stopped paying. What recourse do I have?

This credit card had a zero balance and was supposed to be closed at the time of the divorce by my ex, (yes, my fault for not checking).

18 months later, $3,500 was charged by my ex and they are not making monthly payments. The ex acknowledges the debt is theirs. Claims they didn't know it was still a joint account.

I only learned about it when the payments were missed and the company found me to pay the debt. Not wanting my credit damaged, I have been making the payments.

The ex now says they are filing for bankruptcy.

What recourse do I have? Should I file a Small Claims case? If so, the payments I am making will far exceed the $5,000 limit given the 29% interest on the account, (I can not afford to pay the account in full).

If minimum payments are made it will take 16 years and $9,000 to pay off the account. Is that the amount I should file for as a Civil Case? Is there some hybrid option to account for the interest being paid?

Thank you for your advice.

1 Lawyer Answer
Michael David Siegel
Michael David Siegel
  • New York, NY
  • Licensed in New York

A: The key line of your post is your fault for not checking. As to the bank, you have to pay. As to your ex, if you are named in a bankruptcy as a creditor for this debt, it will be a discharged claim, and you cannot sue your ex.

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