Question: How can I ensure that any debt my mother incurs, I will not be liable for?   My mother has a 25,000 credit card bill, limited income, a mortgage (which is current) and several other credit cards which she has defaulted on. The 25,000 credit card is current. Her credit score is in the low… Read More


Question: If my husband died and he had a lot of credit cards, do I have to pay?  I did not even know he had them. Answer:   Only his estate, if he had enough money to open one, is liable.  You are not personally liable. Attempts are often made to put relative’s names on accounts or… Read More


Question: Can I close my bank account and try to make reasonable payments without being sued?    I have taken out 2 Internet payday loans through a tribal lending company. Answer:  Tribal lenders are not licensed to make loans in Illinois and you are not obligated to repay the loan at all.  Consumer loans made by… Read More


Question: How long does a judgment against me from a local credit union in 2009 stay active?   The judgment is against me and not my business. Can they still attach the funds from my business? If I change my business from a sole proprietor to an L.L.C., will I be protected from the credit union… Read More


Question: Is it possible for me to go to jail if I cannot pay my medical bill due to being jobless?   I cannot pay a medical laboratory bill. I got a letter from a collection agency saying they are going to sue me. I have no money and no job. Will I have to go… Read More


Question: Am I liable for a deficiency on my ex-spouse’s repossessed vehicle?   In 2006 my then-spouse purchased a vehicle.  He defaulted on the payments and the bank repossessed the vehicle.  Now the bank is suing me for the rest of the balance.  The contract  was under his name only. Answer:   First, make sure you… Read More


Question: I was added to a credit card account as an authorized user.  Can the credit card issuer sue me? Answer:  An authorized user  of a credit card is not liable.  Attempts to impose liability on authorized users may violate the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.  Such attempts are common in several situations.  (1) If the… Read More


Question: If I am unable to pay a judgment against me, can the plaintiff come after my primary residence if I own it? Answer:   In theory, yes.  However, the judgment creditor would have to obtain an order for the sale of the house, and the proceeds would have to be used to pay off… Read More


Question: My husband passed away  in 2008 leaving a large medical bill (no insurance).  Am I responsible for paying this? Answer:    Illinois has a Family Expense Act, under which one spouse is liable for “necessaries” (generally including medical expenses) of the other.  However, if one spouse contracts for the extension of credit in their… Read More


Question: How can I insure that I am not liable for my mother’s debt?   My mother has substantial credit card bills, which she is unable to pay from her limited income.   She refuses to consider bankruptcy.  I want to make sure that I cannot be held liable for any of her debt.  I am… Read More