Are My Spousal Consolidation Loans Really a Trap for My Ex-Husband?

Question:

Dear Steve,

My ex-husband and I were married for 25 years during which we took out several student loans. We consolidated them as a Spousal Consolidation loan of about $50,000.

After a divorce, bankruptcy it grew to $90,000. I’ve attempted to get deferments, forbearances, make a payment plan but he REFUSES to sign anything to do with the loans. (I’m the primary he is the co-maker). He feels I should be responsible for them. They are now in default.

Is there anything I can do to get them to back off some of the fees? Is there anything I can do if I cant get my ex-husband to sign anything? What are my options and what will happen if they come after me and try garnishing my wages? Thank you!

Melanie

Answer:

Dear Melanie,

I’m sorry to say while your husband has a certain belief he should not be responsible, the government sees it entirely differently.

Spousal Consolidation Loans were a trap. As far as the Department of Education cares you can’t divide the loan or roll it into another loan. You are both trapped and both owe the entire balance.

He can refuse to sign anything but it only hurts him. The irony is he is trying to get back at you by hurting himself.

If you don’t pay the spousal consolidation loans your husband may find himself at the sharp end of collections activity or even an Administrative Wage Garnishment or tax refund intercept.

Right about now your husband will insist I’m full of crap and don’t know what I’m talking about.

Spousal Consolidation Loans Are a Bitch

Did you catch that last bit?

In the event that the spouse’s divorce, each spouse is still mutually responsible for repayment of the spousal consolidation loan.

You know your ex-husband better than I do so you can find the right words to tell him you know how he feels but he’s wrong and hurting himself by ignoring the spousal consolidation loans.

Steve Rhode
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This article by Steve Rhode first appeared on Get Out of Debt Guy and was distributed by the Personal Finance Syndication Network.