Legal Question in Credit and Debt Law in California

My husband has racked up 40 thousand dollars of credit card debit. My name is not on the accounts. He is not going to be able to pay off these debts for much longer. I need to make sure my daughters and I are safe financially. We have a home in our names.

What can I do to protect myself and my daughters?

Asked on 8/25/09, 2:50 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Larry L. Doan Law Office of Larry L. Doan

Unfortunately, your home is community property and is potentially susceptible to being collected upon for your husband's credit card debts, even if those debts are considered his separate debts. The creditors would have to filing lawsuits against him first and then obtain judgments against him. However, if your home has less than the homestead exemption amount in equity (assuming there's a mortgage on it), then it's protected by the exemption. The exemption is $75,000 for a couple ($150,000 for senior citizens). Also, if your husband has separate property, the creditors should go after those first. It's more likely that if they get judgments against him, they would try to garnish his wages first, or go after his bank accounts, including the ones that are joint with you.

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Answered on 8/25/09, 6:23 pm

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