Is a husband liable for a wife's debts?

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Re: Is a husband liable for a wife's debts?

Postby bismarck » 11 Sep 2010, 17:14

Toasty wrote:
lbksig wrote:
Toasty wrote:Interesting thread. I think the advice I would give would be to understand the wife's motivation for the cover up and forgive her for it. With debt comes feelings of shame and embarrassment. She likely felt to ashamed to mention the debts. In the end, 400k in debt isn't chump change, but it's hardly crippling either, given the OP and his wife's combined earning powers. Try to eliminate the debt in short order and, in future, try to encourage more open communication and transparency in the family finances in the future.


It isn't just 400k. It's 400k + CC interest which the OP said is 25%. That indeed could be crippling since the interest payment alone would be around 8k a month. That's quicksand territory.

Is there any way the OP can get loan from a bank and pay off the 400k? A loan against some property or even a personal loan from the bank? Borrow from family? Any interest you'll pay has got to be lower than what CC's charge.


Sorry, it isn't a crippling amount. It's not fun, no. But you should be able to manage. A foreign teacher and a local spouse should be able to clear together at least 1.2mil a year without breathing hard. A foreign teacher should be able to reasonably do that himself, actually.

Not sure what they pay up north, mate, but the days of NT100k are over. Down south, in Tainan at least, if you're pulling NT60-70k a month you're one of the extremely lucky and the bitterly few. Most people here have a hard time scraping 20-25 hours a week together from multiple schools, at 600/hour (before tax).
So, besides the 25% interest rate, currently 400K is a tough number to pay off, and will take about two years at least (depending on how much other debt or financial commitments the couple may have). But it is doable, and it isn't crippling, if you're aware of the debt and you've taken to doing something substantial about it. Which brings us back to the main issue, the trust involved.
Toasty wrote:I think the advice I would give would be to understand the wife's motivation for the cover up and forgive her for it. With debt comes feelings of shame and embarrassment. She likely felt to ashamed to mention the debts.

That seems like sound advice to me too. My wife, for example, doesn't seem keen on talking about her debts etc, because she doesn't want to "bother me with her problems" and doesn't want to "look my face" (her words). Hence it's been an uphill battle (one I've mostly lost) to get her to understand that there isn't such a thing as "her debt" as it affects us both, and our family as a whole...

Maybe the OP has a similar problem in terms of communication regarding debt and finances. I would live Ironlady's cultural take on this...
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Re: Is a husband liable for a wife's debts?

Postby Tomas » 11 Sep 2010, 20:48

bismarck wrote: I would love Ironlady's cultural take on this...


Ironlady is an undisputed expert, no doubt, but old uncle Tomas knows a few things too.

Hiding this from you isn't necessarily deception. That's my cultural take. If you want a deeper explanation, let me know. I'm a bit tipsy tonight and not very articulate, but another time I can explain some of the cultural antecedents here that might look like deception to someone who grew up in a very different culture, but really aren't as malevolent as all that.

My coaching/counseling take on this is that walking around with so much judgment in your heart toward the person you love most in the world is an awfully big burden to bear. Talk it out, figure out what works for both of you, have a conflict if necessary, but drop all of the judgment. Don't recriminate. It only distorts your view on things and makes you unhappy. And remember, none of us are as infallible as we think we are.
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