Forum Rules (Everyone Must Read!!!) (updated: 04/28/2015)

Welcome to the Bankruptcy Forum. Bankruptcy (BK) Forum is known as and will be referred to as BKF hereinafter. In order to ensure a long term success of our vibrant community, we have established certain rules and guidelines to which everyone must adhere to. Please take your time to carefully read our rules, before you start to participate in the community.

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Authorized User

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  • Authorized User

    Sorry I asked this question slightly differently in another section, but the situation is changing so here goes. I am an authorized user on my husband's AMEX. I did not declare it in my BK because although it appeared on my credit report (as an authorized user) it is HIS card and I didn't want to get him in trouble. If he ends up declaring BK in the future (he is considering but not sure) will I end up being responsible for the balance as the authorized user. I do not want to add it to my BK at this point (am currently awaiting discharge) because he is still undecided. I was thinking that rather than amend my petition to include it, if he decides to file down the line, perhaps he could remove my name as an authorized user prior to filing. Or would they still come after me?

  • #2
    If you are an authorized user I do not see how that will matter. Course being married I hear can matter depending on the state. My lawyer already said just because I am authorized doesnt mean anything. That is assuming you are just authorized. As an authorized user, you never signed anything. They would have no legal recourse. I could add you as an authorized user right now, will you then be responsible for my debt? No, but again husband/wife might be different in your state.


    • #3
      Your attorney is incorrect on this one, or probably just referring to regular credit cards like VISA, M/C, Discover. American Express is different. If you actually read American Expresses Additional Cardholder agreement, you are bound by the terms of that agreement which makes you, the cardholder, liable for all charges made with that specific card. (It also binds the primary cardholder as well). If you read the back of your card, it reads that signing or using it binds you to the cardholder agreement.

      If you made no charges on that additional card or you can prove that you made payments to pay off all those charges, American Express will back off it you show them that. Otherwise, you're bound by the terms of the agreement.

      How do I know this? I had a problem like this and after working with Amex for 4 weeks, it was straightened out because I could absolutely prove that I paid MORE than what I charged on my specific card.

      American Express may be the smartest credit card issuer out there. They specifically issue additional cards that have a different last 4 numbers. For the last 4 digits, the primary cardholder is always 1XXX unless that card was lost/stolen. Cardholder 2 will be 2XXX and so on.

      Now, as for your specific question, I would have made sure that I was no longer an authorized user and that I made not one single charge on the American Express card after I filed for Bankruptcy. The key will be whether you made charges and paid for them. Your specific bankruptcy would have only removed any debt you owed prior to filing. Sounds like you need to get off that account.
      Chapter 7 (No Asset/Non-Consumer) Filed (Pro Se) 7/08 (converted from Chapter 13 - 2/10)
      Status: (Auto) Discharged and Closed! 5/10
      Visit My BKForum Blog: justbroke's Blog

      I am not an attorney. Any advice provided is not legal advice.


      • #4
        OK, so what if my husband pays off what he owes in current charges to AMEX (he is past due at the moment and owes $4900, some of which may be my old charges). The balance after that is his Sign and Travel, which he no longer uses, but has been paying off over time (has about $35,000 on it). Those are all old travel expenses of his. Can they go after me for that?


        • #5
          American Express can't go after you unless you made those charges on the specific card issued to you and you can't prove that you paid them off. In other words, if you have thousands of those sign & travel items yourself on your specific card, you can discharge them in the bankruptcy. Anything after the petition date (date you filed) could come back to haunt you.

          Unfortunately, anything you discharged in the bankruptcy would be the primary cardholder's responsibility. American Express is just a tricky creditor to deal with because they do in fact issue different card numbers to all cardholders. So, it makes it easy for them to clearly show that the additional cardholder made the charges.
          Chapter 7 (No Asset/Non-Consumer) Filed (Pro Se) 7/08 (converted from Chapter 13 - 2/10)
          Status: (Auto) Discharged and Closed! 5/10
          Visit My BKForum Blog: justbroke's Blog

          I am not an attorney. Any advice provided is not legal advice.


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