Ex-wife is guilty of fraud
Dear Dave: My husbandís ex-wife used his Social Security number to establish credit card accounts. Weíre disputing the charges, and writing the credit card companies. Can we do anything else to protect ourselves? — Kim
Dear Kim: Yes. Put a fraud victim alert on your credit bureau reports immediately. You also need to file a police report and, if possible, have her arrested. She has committed criminal fraud.
You also should be talking directly with the fraud victim division at the credit card companies. This isnít a dispute, Kim. Itís a denial of responsibility. Let them know that you will not be paying these bills because theyíre the result of a criminal act perpetrated against you.
Make sure you stand your ground with the credit card company and show your teeth if you have to. Theyíll probably try to make you feel like you should pay this bill. Donít do it. — Dave
Roommate is a loafer
Dear Dave: My boyfriend has been my roommate off and on for the past five years. Heís gotten himself severely into debt, so now Iím stuck paying everything instead of just my half of the expenses. He spends most of the time sitting around, he wonít listen to me or try to work with me and Iíve had enough. I love him, but I donít know what to do. — Brenda
Dear Brenda: It sounds more like youíre shacking up with this guy when the mood strikes you instead of having a legitimate roommate situation. And from the way youíve described it, he doesnít sound like a good roommate, much less marriage material.
Youíve spent a lot of time with this guy, and I know there are some deep feelings involved. But if you canít see a long-term future with him and heís unwilling to even try, then I think you need to just call this relationship what it is, move on and start putting your own life together — financially and otherwise. — Dave
Where to sell car
Dear Dave: We have a new mortgage, a car payment and credit card debt. We have one vehicle that we had to pay off in order to get the mortgage approved — an older Durango worth $16,000. My car is a newer Saturn. We owe $9,000 on it and its worth about $10,000.
Weíre thinking about selling my car and buying a cheaper one for cash, but Iím concerned about the possibility of being without a car for a while. Also, whereís the best place to sell a car? Ė— Sandy
Dear Sandy: You see all those ads selling cars in the newspaper because that method works. If you price your vehicle reasonably, chances are it will sell pretty fast.
I can understand that you donít want to be without transportation, but you can probably avoid that with a little planning.
From the figures youíve given me, Iíd suggest selling both vehicles, pay off your Saturn and then pay cash for two great $8,000 cars.
You can really begin attacking that credit card debt with a vengeance once your car payment is out of the way. And once thatís done, you can begin saving for two nicer cars later.