A business associate opened a credit card in my husband’s name and defaulted…what are the options?!?!?

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My husband’s partner-in-practice (my husband is not the business owner, so he is not a legal “Partner” to this person) opened up an American Express account for his private office. He said to my husband about a year ago “I’m going to add you as my employee on the credit card account” (presumeably to get another card, and more credit) and my husband said NO. The business partner opened the account anyway and my husband made him promise to take him off of the account which he said he did.
Anyway, my husband gets a call at the office today from a lawyer stating that he had defaulted A YEAR AGO on the credit card and they were suing anyone associated with the card for the balance. He was livid. The person was supposed to have taken him off of this account that he opened WITHOUT HIS PERMISSION in the first place… This man is completely stupid and now my husband’s credit score is less 70 points! What are his options to repair the credit? HELP!!!
Also, my husband demanded his partner pay off the balance today which he did. This man has terrible money management skills and cannot even get credit to buy furniture. He is even being sued by his medical student loan provider for not paying those for over five months! He paid off the AMEX card today but now I am concerned for our credit score….

  1. Reply
    Uw N
    June 26, 2011 at 9:45 am

    Consult a lawyer. Hiring a lawyer for legal problems can be expensive, but there are websites like LawGuru, FindLaw and other places where you can get free legal advice. I found this website useful – http://www.uelp.org/freelegal.html

  2. Reply
    Dreaming of home
    June 26, 2011 at 10:36 am

    Oh, boy. You need to first call all the credit reporting houses and pull your credit report (try http://www.freecreditreport.com) and in the same time call their 800 numbers and put a hold on all you credit activities. Who knows how many accounts this guy opened and how much damage he has done? Once you get your credit accounts comb them with a fine brush and dispute each and every incorrect item. Additional contact the companies involved in the scam. Ultimately, you might get a lawer yourselves. There is detailed professional and free help on the webcites of http://www.clarkhoward.com (a financial guru) and click under credit card fraud. I hope this helps, good luck.

  3. Reply
    Robert N
    June 26, 2011 at 11:06 am

    If he paid it off today and you have proof then yes it may show as an account that was not paid on time write a letter to all three credit reporting agencies and explain that this particular debt was not created by you or your husband but rather through fraudulent means as in this other person used your husbands information but because he paid it off you can not file theft charges.

  4. Reply
    Ask M
    June 26, 2011 at 11:30 am

    hire a lawyer because the business partner should be in jail
    and the lawyer who has contacted you ask for proof and
    a copy of the signatures because it could just be a law firm
    acting as a debt collector and still has to abide by the laws
    of the FCRA. Get EVERYTHING in writing and tell them
    when they call that all calls are being RECORDED
    and try to actually record the calls !!!!!


  5. Reply
    June 26, 2011 at 11:47 am

    Your husband should contact all three credit reporting agencies to report there were fraudulent accounts opened in his name. He should able to request FREE credit report to review them first before he reports these accounts in his name. This is a website he needs to request the free reports: https://www.annualcreditreport.com/cra/index.jsp
    Why is your husband having you doing his dirty work? Is he telling the whole story? Tell him that he should stand up like a man to deal with this. His bad credit can also mess up your when you have joint-tenant properties.
    The sooner your husband resolve this, the less headache you have. He need sto end his so call partnership with that crook.
    When so call law offices is contact your husband about those bad credits, he need to tell them they are not his. If those so call law offices have given you information about your husband’s bad credit, they have violated federal collection practice laws “FCPA”. Your husband can sue them for disclosing any derogatory information about him to anyone even to his spouse.
    Good luck!

  6. Reply
    June 26, 2011 at 11:55 am

    I’m assuming that your husband never signed anything authorizing this guy to add him to the account…you can challenge the validity of the debt on that basis with the creditor.

    Have your husband send a letter “certified mail return receipt requested” (CMRRR) to the lawyer requesting that he validate the debt and tell him the debt is not his. If he cannot validate the debt within 30 days, which he will not be able to, then send that letter with a copy of the return receipt to the major credit bureaus and an explanation that the debt is not his – they will have to investigate the charge as well, and if they validate the debt still – you could possibly have the lawyer and the credit bureau in court for failure to provide the proof of debt.

    Most of this can be found as mentioned before on http://www.creditinfocenter.com

  7. Reply
    June 26, 2011 at 12:34 pm

    In order for the bill collector to collect from your husband, he has to prove that it is your husband’s account. If you husband did not signed any agreements with the credit card company, then he could not possibly be responsible for his partner’s debt.
    Usually, a bill collector will try to collect from whomever has the deepest pockets. If the partner cannot pay the bill, he probably does not have any assets that the bill collector can seize if they go through the expense of taking him to court to get a judgment against him.
    Send the debt collector a “debt validation letter”. Your husband should not acknowledge that he owes the debt. Make them produce the original signed credit card agreement between your husband and American Express. If he was not part of that contract, and no such agreement exists, I doubt that they can collect from him.

  8. Reply
    lisa s
    June 26, 2011 at 12:39 pm

    In addition to the great reponses that are being offered, you can request that your husbands explanation of events be added to his credit report. This way if anyone accesses his history a copy of this will be sent with the inquiry

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