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Bankruptcy Law Blog

Friday, September 22, 2017

The Link Between Bankruptcy & Domestic Abuse

Moving in together, opening shared financial accounts, and sharing things like a phone plan or Amazon prime account are all big milestones in a healthy relationship. But in a relationship that goes bad, each of these things can be weaponized by an abusive partner.

When you hear that someone has been a victim of domestic abuse, you might assume that they have suffered some sort of physical abuse. But there are many different types of domestic abuse. One type that is shockingly common, but is often ignored by the authorities is financial abuse.

Financial abuse comes in all sorts of forms. Sometimes one partner will clean out all the joint accounts before leaving town. In other cases, a partner simply withholds all financial information and access to accounts, making it impossible for their victim to finance an escape. Other abusers find a way to put all the assets in their own name and all the debts in their partner’s name.

One thing we see a lot of is credit card abuse. There are very few truly joint credit card accounts these days. Most cards are put in the name of one person, the primary account holder. Oftentimes, however, primary account holders can add other authorized users to the account. Authorized users can charge items to the account, but they are not responsible for paying the bill. Only the primary account holder is financially responsible for the account. Abusers will often get themselves added as authorized users on their partner’s cards, run up a lot of debt, and never help pay it off. If the primary account holder is not able to pay off the account every month, this will slowly ruin his or her credit score. If the primary account holder ever leaves the abusive relationship, his or her terrible credit score may make it difficult to find housing, get utilities turned on, or even find a job.

Our firm has helped many victims of domestic abuse file for bankruptcy. The law allows us to become a shield between our clients and their abusers, so that we can help victims of abuse get their financial life back in order.

 


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Padgett and Robertson assist clients with Bankruptcy, Personal Bankruptcy, Consumer Bankruptcy, Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, Chapter 13 Bankruptcy and The New Bankruptcy Law in Mobile, Alabama and throughout southern Alabama. Alabama State Bar Association Regulations require the following: "No representation is made that the quality of the legal services to be performed is greater than the quality of legal services performed by other lawyers." 11 U.S.C. 528 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code requires the following: "We are a debt relief agency. We help people file for bankruptcy relief under the Bankruptcy Code.”



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Alabama State Bar Association Regulations require the following: "No representation is made that the quality of the legal services to be performed is greater than the quality of legal services performed by other lawyers." 11 U.S.C. 528 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code requires the following: "We are a debt relief agency. We help people file for bankruptcy relief under the Bankruptcy Code.”