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Ok long story short, I'm a divorced lady, my ex bitter husband, racked up our joint sears card (on furniture for his new wife) 4 years ago, I didn't know about these charges until it was in the R9 status, and as they coudlnt' collect from him, they collected from me, I've been paying off his 5K for the past 4-5 years. And finally made my FINAL payment Feb 15th.

I sent a fax in *everything for me always has to be in writing*
Saying HERE your last of the money, please cancel my account and send me appropriate proof and documents to XXXXXXX

Never heard anything, Just got back from the Bank to get a loan (first ever!) and they said they can't, becuase a balance is still showing my Sears Card, and I need to supply them with proof the account is closed, and paid up. And my Equifax shows R9 AS OF MARCH 1st (15 days after I paid my balance!)

I think this should be easy enough. i call SEARS CARd, punch in my card # Says I have an outstanding balance of 3$ Far from what the lady at the bank was saying I owe (over 500$) ... press zero like a madman and talk to a lady that say "I can't view your account, I'll pass you through to someone" comes back in a minute "Thier line is busy here is their direct line"

JP Morgan National Collectiosn or some sheet ... well no matter WHAT I press it's an answering machine ...

Has anyone successsfully closed down one of these cards?
My mom just got back from SEARS and she has a zero $ balance, and was charged 3$ interest on a Zero balance statement, tried to cancel her card but couldn't ... wtf
 

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If it were me. I would keep hounding sears for a paper statement to prove that the balance has been paid. Get and keep all contact #'s.

Us those #'s to give to Equifax to contact to verify. They won't take the paper statement.

Then have the bank do the check for the loan.

Can't it be so frustrating when you actually want to talk to someone knowledgeable on the phone.

Hope that helps!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
If it were me. I would keep hounding sears for a paper statement to prove that the balance has been paid. Get and keep all contact #'s.

Us those #'s to give to Equifax to contact to verify. They won't take the paper statement.

Then have the bank do the check for the loan.

Can't it be so frustrating when you actually want to talk to someone knowledgeable on the phone.

Hope that helps!
Thanks Cal it does ... So keep the Contact numbers for everyone I try to call? I called back SEARS (regular number) and tried to get a statement, and it cost me 2$ ? I haven't done it, but maybe I should Grrrrr ...
 

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Yeah, I had to get Equifax to make some corrections to my credit report the other year, and I was able to provide them with all of the contact info that they needed, and they were able to clarify and correct things almost immediately.
 

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Sears Card was sold to JPMorgan a few years ago. You need to go through the credit tel # to reach anyone that can help you. No one else can see your credit card history due to privacy laws. Problem is you end up caught between the two companies that can only see their half of the info.

I think there is an inactivity fee of some sort these days?
 

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The thing I find surprising about this story is that you could be held responsible for debts incurred by an ex-spouse after divorce. However, if you still had an outstanding joint credit card with your ex-spouse, I guess it doesn't matter whether you are divorced or not!

I had plenty of joint credit with my ex-husband but I closed all accounts and notified the credit bureaus when we separated that I would no longer be responsible for debt incurred in his name.

This should be a basic step, in my view, in the process of financially settling a marriage breakup. I actually was inspired to become a financial advisor when I was getting divorced and my otherwise-fantastic lawyer kept saying, "I don't know" to what I thought were basic financial questions ("should I keep the house or sell it? What is the process of buying my husband's interest out? How would I know what is the best option for me?" etc.) In addition, this should happen at the separation stage, not the divorce stage - I was separated for years before I actually got divorced.
 

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If you only made the last payment on March 15th, it is possible that the payment is not yet reflected on Equifax as Sears or their collection agency likely only update once per billing cycle. Also, the R9 status on your credit file will not disappear just because the balance has been paid in full. The status should be changed to a PAID R9, but the fact that Sears had to go to collections and chase down the balance will still be recorded on your credit file. Remarks to the credit bureau stay for 7 years in Canada. You will likely have to explain your situation and provide proof of payment in full to potential creditor for a few years to come.

If your card is in R9 status, then it is closed. Creditors do not let people who are in collections or very delinquent continue to use credit. That being said, you are entitled to proof that the collection agency has received your payment and closed your file. How did you pay? Was it by cheque? If so, you can get a copy of the cancelled cheque from your bank. If you paid by telephone banking, you have your verification number as proof if the creditor disputes your payment history.

The $3 charge on your account could be interest accrued from the date they last generated a statement until the date you paid in full. If they were giving you a grace period from the statement date to the payment date, interest would have still accrued.

I use to be a credit counsellor and, unfortunately, you are not alone. I have heard many stories of people who have been stuck with debt that they did not incur on a joint credit card/credit line after the relationship broke down. It sucks that he did that to you.
 

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Ok long story short, I'm a divorced lady, my ex bitter husband, racked up our joint sears card (on furniture for his new wife) 4 years ago, I didn't know about these charges until it was in the R9 status, and as they coudlnt' collect from him, they collected from me, I've been paying off his 5K for the past 4-5 years. And finally made my FINAL payment Feb 15th.
It's too late now after you accepted responsibility for the debt by paying it off. But perhaps you should have gone to your divorce lawyer 4 years ago and had him/her write Sears a letter telling them you were divorced on such & such a date and have no responsibliity for any subsequent purchases made by your ex. For $5k it would have been worth a try.

PS. I wrote to Sears to cancel my late father's account when he moved into long term care 3 years ago, and they never sent me any acknowledgment. Seems like they have pretty poor business practices all around.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
The thing I find surprising about this story is that you could be held responsible for debts incurred by an ex-spouse after divorce. However, if you still had an outstanding joint credit card with your ex-spouse, I guess it doesn't matter whether you are divorced or not!

I had plenty of joint credit with my ex-husband but I closed all accounts and notified the credit bureaus when we separated that I would no longer be responsible for debt incurred in his name.

This should be a basic step, in my view, in the process of financially settling a marriage breakup. I actually was inspired to become a financial advisor when I was getting divorced and my otherwise-fantastic lawyer kept saying, "I don't know" to what I thought were basic financial questions ("should I keep the house or sell it? What is the process of buying my husband's interest out? How would I know what is the best option for me?" etc.) In addition, this should happen at the separation stage, not the divorce stage - I was separated for years before I actually got divorced.
My situation was a bit different because he was British and I was his sponsor to live in Canada, which held me financially responsible for him. If he collected EI or Welfare, it would have come out of my pocket directly for example. We had SEARS and BAY cards jointly, I was the main contact as I was the only citizen, but he had a separate card. I never once used mine, but he used his to furnish our home after I left with everything, as he kept our apartment, also where the bills were going, i had no idea about this until it was in bad R9 debt.

I am no longer responsible, I have 4 other lines of credit (Credit Cards etc) that are in R1 status, with not even 1 payment a day late. And this pesky R9 keeps me from getting a loan, mortgage or even overdraft ... and I'm only 27 years old, and trying VERY hard not to be bitter about the situation. Yes I could have sued him or whatever, but I was 23 at the time, green, and not wanting the fight. He wanted me to fight him, badly, but I didn't have it in me
 

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Discussion Starter #11
It's too late now after you accepted responsibility for the debt by paying it off. But perhaps you should have gone to your divorce lawyer 4 years ago and had him/her write Sears a letter telling them you were divorced on such & such a date and have no responsibliity for any subsequent purchases made by your ex. For $5k it would have been worth a try.

PS. I wrote to Sears to cancel my late father's account when he moved into long term care 3 years ago, and they never sent me any acknowledgment. Seems like they have pretty poor business practices all around.
No divorce lawyer ... we just went to court and signed ... he paid for it all as he needed to marry another girl ... I had no choice but to accept the debt, as I was responsible for him financially in the governements eyes as I sponsored him to live in Canada. He threatened to go on Welfare etc, if I tried to come after him, which would have also held me financially responsible. It was the most stressful few years of my life waiting for that sponsorship contract to expire. I can't even tell you the Health problems that incurred from 23- 26 ... lesson learned
 

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On a positive note to this Monday ... I did hear back from CHASE about an hour ago, who faxed me a letter saying my debt has been paid off, and Account closed, got to update my address so I can move ahead. Banker says even with that letter with the R9 chances of a loan are minimal. But never hurts trying ... I will still continue working on my good credit, and will just have to wait until I'm 35 years old to get a mortgage to become a home owner. Not the worst thing in the world, who knows by then I might even have won the lotto

/pipe dream

Thanks everyone for responding
 

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Since the R9 from sears is an anomoly on your credit history, has an explanation, has been paid off and is closed, I am shocked that underwriters aren't trying to make an exception if your credit is otherwise R1. Do you know what your credit score is? Also, what is your Debt service ratio? (What percentage of your monthly income do your monthly payments consume). Have you tried other lenders, or only this one? What kind of loan are you applying for?
 

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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
Since the R9 from sears is an anomoly on your credit history, has an explanation, has been paid off and is closed, I am shocked that underwriters aren't trying to make an exception if your credit is otherwise R1. Do you know what your credit score is? Also, what is your Debt service ratio? (What percentage of your monthly income do your monthly payments consume). Have you tried other lenders, or only this one? What kind of loan are you applying for?
Whew ... that's a lot of questions! lol I do not know what my credit score is. I have three Credit cards (two with banks, one with Capital 1) all have 2000$ limit, and all have between 600 - 1200$ owing on them - each of them, I owe basically 3300.00$ )

I'm moving to New Zealand for a year in November, and want to be debt free, so I applied for a consolidation loan to pay off my cards, cancel two, and pay the remainder at 13.5 % intereste instead of 19 + % interest. Can pay it all off by July - and save save save! This was my first time applying for a loan. I talked to a Financial advisor in January for my first time ever, because I honestly had No idea what financial shape I was in, Back then she told me I was dong great, and would be approved a 200 + K mortgage, but then this R9 happaned litterally 3 weeks after talking to her! She says I will be declined a mortgage because of it :(

I make 40 K a year, and own two cars outright, Only pay 500$ a month in rent, and less than 200$ in bills, don't even have a cell phone ... I would think my ratio would be good!

And I haven't tried anywhere else because a) I developed a 'relationship' with this lady at my bank, thought she could help me out and b) don't want too many people doing credit checks on me becasue I read through research it really hurts your score
 

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You are right that having too many creditors check your credit report will reflect negatively on your score - you may be labelled a credit seeker. However if you check your own credit it will not reflect badly on your credit report. I suggest that you (and everyone else) visit www.equifax.ca and www.transunion.ca and get copies of your credit report including the score. Do this once per year to make sure the information is correct and there are no surprises. Armed with this information, get a referral from a friend or family member who has a good relationship with their banker and see what the competition has to say.

It sounds like you are young and upwardly mobile. This makes you the type of client that banks like to snare now while you still have years of financial service needs ahead of you.

If this doesn't pan out, have you thought of calling each of your creditors and asking for a lower rate on your cards? Even if only one of them lowers the rate, you can transfer the balances to the lowest rate card and pay them off from there.

Remember also that if you close your credit cards as you pay them off this will negatively effect your credit score. This is because a portion of your score is determined on what percentage of available revolving credit you use and if you close the cards with no outstanding balance, you raise that percentage. It is better to close them after you have paid them all off and close them a few months apart.

Good for you for being proactive and getting your financial life in order before you start your new adventure in New Zealand.
 

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You are right that having too many creditors check your credit report will reflect negatively on your score - you may be labelled a credit seeker. However if you check your own credit it will not reflect badly on your credit report. I suggest that you (and everyone else) visit www.equifax.ca and www.transunion.ca and get copies of your credit report including the score. Do this once per year to make sure the information is correct and there are no surprises. Armed with this information, get a referral from a friend or family member who has a good relationship with their banker and see what the competition has to say.

It sounds like you are young and upwardly mobile. This makes you the type of client that banks like to snare now while you still have years of financial service needs ahead of you.

If this doesn't pan out, have you thought of calling each of your creditors and asking for a lower rate on your cards? Even if only one of them lowers the rate, you can transfer the balances to the lowest rate card and pay them off from there.

Remember also that if you close your credit cards as you pay them off this will negatively effect your credit score. This is because a portion of your score is determined on what percentage of available revolving credit you use and if you close the cards with no outstanding balance, you raise that percentage. It is better to close them after you have paid them all off and close them a few months apart.

Good for you for being proactive and getting your financial life in order before you start your new adventure in New Zealand.


Thank you very much for your advice, especially about cancelling the cards. If this loan falls through, I will deffinately try the competition, My mom has been with CIBC for over 35 years, I can try them next, I also have a Credit card with them, so that could be a bonus for me as well. I'll keep you posted! :)
 

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I'm not sure why you want a mortgage when you're heading off to New Zealand in a few months.

Depending on how the consolidation loan is structured it may have hurt your credit. If you go through an agency this can sometimes happen.

As for your problems with your ex you are not alone. My ex and I had a successful small business and he left me one day while I was at work and moved in with a new girlfriend. I ended up devastated and all the credit cards were in my name. I had about 25K balance on them. With the income from the business it was easy to pay them. Obviously I no longer worked in the business at this point. I went through a major major funk and it took me months to get a job.When I did get a job it didn't even pay enough to cover the minimum payments.

Anyways my credit was entirely ruined by this episode. I did work things out and settled every one of these debts which I seriously regretted because it did not help out my credit one little bit. I still had to wait 7 years for this stuff to clear from my credit. 7 years from the last payment.... Had I declared bankruptcy as soon as it happened I would be a lot further ahead. I am almost done waiting for this stuff to clear my credit report and I am actively working on my credit. This December I got a secured Mastercard finally. My credit was so bad that I was refused for other secured cards.

In your case where you have only the one item with R9 you can go to a mortgage broker and they know which lenders will accept you.
 

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I'm not sure why you want a mortgage when you're heading off to New Zealand in a few months.

Depending on how the consolidation loan is structured it may have hurt your credit. If you go through an agency this can sometimes happen.

As for your problems with your ex you are not alone. My ex and I had a successful small business and he left me one day while I was at work and moved in with a new girlfriend. I ended up devastated and all the credit cards were in my name. I had about 25K balance on them. With the income from the business it was easy to pay them. Obviously I no longer worked in the business at this point. I went through a major major funk and it took me months to get a job.When I did get a job it didn't even pay enough to cover the minimum payments.

Anyways my credit was entirely ruined by this episode. I did work things out and settled every one of these debts which I seriously regretted because it did not help out my credit one little bit. I still had to wait 7 years for this stuff to clear from my credit. 7 years from the last payment.... Had I declared bankruptcy as soon as it happened I would be a lot further ahead. I am almost done waiting for this stuff to clear my credit report and I am actively working on my credit. This December I got a secured Mastercard finally. My credit was so bad that I was refused for other secured cards.

In your case where you have only the one item with R9 you can go to a mortgage broker and they know which lenders will accept you.
I am so sorry that happened to you! that is quiet a debt to pay off ... It's hard not to seek revenge ... try to move on and be the 'bigger person' as they say ... sucks ...

Just out of curiosity, if you declared bankruptcy, how woulld that have helped you rebuild your credit faster? Because you start with a clean slate and just move forward? Isn't bankruptcy declaration a red flag for creditors? I see it on some forms I've filled out.. if I've ever declared etc...

I wasn't going in for a mortgage at all, I still feel too young to own at this point ... I just basically went in in February and talked to her becuase I'm with a fine gentleman right now, and have been for a few years, he's 10 years older, and pretty put together. I know he wants to get married (one day!) and own a home with me, but because I didn't know where my credit was at, I didn't want to embarass myself ... so went and talked to an advisor ... who did a 'mock up' mortgage loan with me, to show, at this point in my life what I could be approved for.

We just decided in February to move to Taurranga NZ (his home town) for a year, before we decide if we want children, or to marry etc ... so trying to square everything away before I go :d

whew I talk a lot!
 

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Loan officially rejected, due to the R9 ... only option is a Co Signer ... hate to ask my mom that at this age! lol

Does anyone have any idea, how many years (if less than 7) my credit history will be in good enough standing to get loans? or have people say 'Oh well that was ___ years ago!, I'm sure you're a good candidate'

lol I found out a few hours ago, finally out of my funk ... :cool:
 
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