NSW Ex Not Paying Joint Personal Loan - What to Do?

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5 July 2017
Good morning,

4.5 years ago my ex and I split and divorced a year ago. He found a new partner and has since had a child with her, I assume living in a de facto relationship. We have a 60K personnel loan, of which he paid around 12K of, then stopped.

They sold her home for 1.2 million and the three of them moved to WA. I asked about the loan and he replied "you better pay it". The loan is in both names and the bank is pounding me for the money to be repaid. I do pay what I can, but when asking the bank what he is paying, they reply that we don't know where he lives, so we can't contact him, you need to pay.

I have a child with him as well and I've explained my financial situation to them. Is there anything I can do to make him pay and is his new partner with the million dollars liable for the debt as well?

Please help

Rob Legat - SBPL

LawTap Verified
16 February 2017
Gold Coast, Queensland
If you are having trouble meeting the repayments on a loan due to a change in circumstances (and what you've described would definitely constitute that), you can give notice of hardship to the bank to request a change be made. Be aware this is not a solution to your problem, but is designed to give you some breathing space.

Since the loan is joint, both you and your ex are liable for the amount outstanding until the loan is repaid. The bank is not required to apportion the debt between you, or deal with you both. If you're the easier one to find, you can get stuck with dealing with them. You do have a general right of contribution from you ex, and can take legal action against him to seek a balancing out - but that's often little comfort when you couldn't afford to pay it out in the first place.

The bank might be more persuaded to chase him if hardship is raised, and you give them his contact details. If they don't agree to the hardship change, you can take the complaint to their external dispute resolution provider (probably the Financial Ombudsman Service) for free, and make the case to them about your ex. The bank will have to comply with any Ombudsman finding.

As for this new partner being liable for the debt? She has no legal obligation, unless there's something relevant which hasn't been raised.