QLD Credit Card Debt in Joint Names with Ex Husband

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Active Member
6 August 2014

My partner is being chased by a Bank for repayment of a credit card debt.
The card was in joint names with her ex husband.
He suffers from Bi Polar and he went on a large spending binge that racked up the card to over its maximum limit.
He also cleaned out their joint private super account. Her solicitor has clawed back some money from the super account.
My question is does she have any argument to the bank regarding her ex spending all of the limit on the card, considering his medical condition. He is not earning any money and has no capacity to repay the card. The Bank cannot trace him , hence they are chasing her.
She is struggling bringing up three teenage children on one income, and cannot repay the card debt.
Her solicitor can support the bi polar condition with her ex.

Sarah J

Well-Known Member
16 July 2014
Melbourne, Victoria
Hi Randwick,

Given that the credit card was set up under a joint account, your partner unfortunately appears liable for the debt incurred by her ex husband. This is especially true if your partner made a guarantee under the credit agreement to repay debts incurred by both or either party.

These pages from Legal Aid Queensland can provide you with further information:
- Debt for debtors
- Consumer credit and guarantees

As a guarantor, your partner has a right to subsequently recover the monies paid from her ex husband. However, this will not be appealing if her ex husband has little assets to begin with.

Generally, claims of mental illness or no money to repay the debt are not defences to paying of debt. You may try the argument that your ex husband had no mental capacity to enter into a credit card agreement due to his mental illness, however, this will require a court determination on competency.

I would suggest speaking with the Financial Ombudsman Services to see if there are any grounds for minimising the debt and seeing what procedures are in place for people in financial hardship situations and possibly organising a payment arrangement for the debt. FOS is a free service that offers advice, information and dispute resolution services for consumers who have problems with a financial institution such as a credit company. You can contact them here: contact.
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