Los Angeles Bankruptcy Watch: Is Your Spouse Hiding Debt?

April 22, 2012

Los Angeles debt management is perhaps one of the greatest sources of contention between spouses. argument.jpg

Because of it's very nature, our Los Angeles bankruptcy attorneys know that it can impact virtually every aspect of your life, from what you eat to where you live to what you do on Saturday nights.

But what do you do when your spouse is hiding his or her debt from you? This is going to have repercussions not only on your wallet, but also the very core of your relationship.

Still, when people have money trouble - either because of gambling, substance abuse or other reasons - it's very difficult to talk about. They believe if they can keep it a secret, it will go away. Or, they may have every intention of dealing with that debt on their own, but it simply grows to a point they can no longer manage it. They fear their spouse's reaction, so they continue to hide it, long after it's become a major problem.

And of course, the longer it's hidden, the more out-of-control it can get.

Some examples of this include a spouse who racks up tens of thousands of dollars on credit cards to subsidize a gambling problem. Or a husband who heists his wife's credit card to use at a local race track. In other cases, spouses may end up spending thousands of dollars on other consumer products.

The money may also involve something they may not want their spouse to know about in the first place, so coming clean when the debt has grown horns seems out of the question.

In most cases like this our Los Angeles bankruptcy attorneys know a relationship split may also result. But even a divorce won't absolve you of debt that your spouse has accrued in joint accounts - even if you had no idea what was happening.

Sometimes, you may not find out until it's too late - like when the creditors start calling.

Before it gets to that point, though, there are some warning signs you may want to be on the lookout for:

1. Is money-talk taboo? If your spouse gets extremely defense or accusatory any time the subject of money comes up, that may be a red flag. You also may want to dig a little deeper if your spouse gives you confusing answers to what should be fairly simple financial questions.

2. Does your spouse spend a lot frequently or without good reason? If he or she seems to always be out shopping, even if with friends or the children, they could be racking up high bills without your knowledge. You should take note of the expenditures in your bank account. If you don't see those expenses reflected there, one possibility is that there may be credit cards or accounts you don't know about.

3. Does your spouse rush to be the first to get the mail? Ask yourself why that may be.

4. Why don't thinks seem to add up? A lot of people have difficulties getting each paycheck to stretch. But if you make at least decent money and seem to have reasonable expenses and are still forever coming up short, you need to ask yourself why that is.

If you are considering filing for bankruptcy, contact Los Angeles bankruptcy attorneys at the Nader Law Firm to schedule your free consultation. Call 1-800-568-0707.

Additional Resources:
Is your spouse hiding debt?, By Liz Weston, MSN Money

More Blog Entries:
Los Angeles Bankruptcy Attorneys Applaud Sanctions of Debt Collectors, March 8, 2012, Los Angeles Bankruptcy Lawyers Blog