Jul
03
2013

Removing ex-spouse’s address from your credit report

 

Dear Experian,

I had you remove my ex-wife’s address from my report, and now it is back on there. I need to know why, and I would like it to be removed and to stay removed.

- RPR

 

Dear RPR,

A common misunderstanding in divorce is the misperception that the divorce decree alters the contracts you have with your lenders. The decree is in fact only an agreement between the divorcing couple and the court with regard to who will take responsibility for repayment of each debt.

The appearance of your ex-wife’s address on your report suggests you may still be associated as an authorized user or joint account holder with an account that she is responsible for under the divorce decree.

If you are still a joint account holder or authorized user on an open account with your ex-wife, her address can be reported by the lender and be included in your credit report because it is associated with the account, even if you never lived at that address. As long as your name is on the account, it is possible that the address will continue to be reported when the creditor updates the account information.

In order to remove your association with the account, you must go directly to the lender, and the lender must agree to change the contract.

If you are an authorized user on the account, you can contact the creditor and request that you no longer be an authorized user. Typically, it will agree to remove you because you have no responsibility for making payments. After being taken off the account by the lender, you can request that the account be removed from your credit report.

If you are listed as a joint account holder you will need to contact the creditor and ask that you they change the account contract to remove you as a joint holder. If there is an outstanding balance, it may not remove your association until the debt is fully paid. If that can’t be done immediately, you may want to close the account to further charges or notify the creditor that you will not be responsible for any additional charges.

It is important for divorcing couples to work with all their creditors to ensure that all financial relationships are completely eliminated.

Thanks for asking.

The “Ask Experian” team

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