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To put stbex's post back in the postbox marked 'not known at this address'?

(26 Posts)
woundedplacerias Tue 03-Jan-17 21:01:20

He moved out in the summer of 2014 and has had his own place for just under a year, yet all his mail still comes to me. Usually I pass it on but a couple of times I have opened it.

He has always been appalling with money and has never had a career to speak of. It seems he has built up at least £6K of debt since leaving me. I have seen two letters threatening him with the involvement of debt collection agencies. It is very, very rare for me to open his mail, so I struggle to believe these are the only two letters there have been, so he seems to be taking no action. I took a call from his bank the other day and there had been numerous missed calls from the same number. I told them the situation and they urged me to put all his post back in the post marked 'not known at this address', but I am worried about what he will do if he finds out. We are going through a divorce and I am scared he will be less reasonable over the children and finances if I do this. I have 5 letters marked up in my bag but can't bring myself to post them.

My solicitor has even said the house could be at risk and this situation could jeopardise a financial settlement. I just don't know what to do - it feels like he is dragging me, and the dc, down with him and there is nothing I can do about it.

mytimewillcome Tue 03-Jan-17 21:03:16

You need to separate your finances. Not sure how you do that though.

mytimewillcome Tue 03-Jan-17 21:04:25

I mark return to sender with my ex's letters. I think that it fine. It might be illegal to open his mail though.

pipsqueak25 Tue 03-Jan-17 21:21:28

return mail to sender and get help with separating finances, moving your thread to relationships might be better as there are loads of wise mners on this subject who might help advise more.
is the house in joint names ? are you renting or buying ?

Duckiesprettycrazy Tue 03-Jan-17 21:39:23

Yes, send it back, I just did the same with a letter from HMRC addressed to my XH - he moved out 3 years ago.

Marzipants Tue 03-Jan-17 21:46:46

One reason it's important to return to sender is because the credit companies can't keep adding on interest if they know it's not going to the correct address. We once had a fine for driving in a bus lane, but DH hadn't updated the address for the car (because we were sofa surfing for a few months). By the time it found it's way to us a couple of years later it was £2K!! shock

Thankfully the council checked their records and a letter had been returned to sender fairly early on in the process but not been logged. It meant that the £2K debt reverted back to £100.

So you might actually be doing your ex a favour.

goose1964 Tue 03-Jan-17 22:21:00

I still get mail for DS and he moved out 4 years ago, don't know what mail it is though, sending it back as not known doesn't seem to work

Cherrysoup Tue 03-Jan-17 22:33:42

Yanbu, do it, or you will have debt collectors demanding money/goods! We had this for the son of the old owner, who had never lived here. We finally opened a letter and rang the debt agency to give them the owner's new address.

MagicMarkers Tue 03-Jan-17 22:49:51

If you get tax credits or benefits, HMRC or DWP may find out that he's using your address and think you're still a couple. This could trigger an investigation and suspension of tax credits if you're claiming as a single person.

I don't know if you're on benefits, but that is another reason to just return the letters to sender. There is also the danger of bailiffs coming to your door if he's getting debt letters.

TwoAndTwoEqualsChaos Tue 03-Jan-17 22:50:59

I do

jellybelly16 Tue 03-Jan-17 23:18:11

What magicmarkers said. I was investigated by hmrc as my ex had opened a credit account using my address so they advised to return to sender with any mail i get for him. He's been gone over 2 years and dvla letters etc still come here!!xx

BoredOnMatLeave Wed 04-Jan-17 07:15:45

I would send it back. But it is illegal to open someone else's mail so if you don't send it back do not open it.

ChuckSnowballs Wed 04-Jan-17 07:20:43

But it is illegal to open someone else's mail so if you don't send it back do not open it.

No it is not illegal to open someone else's mail.

AndNoneForGretchenWieners Wed 04-Jan-17 07:25:17

My DH used to be a postie. He recommends writing "gone away" or "no longer at this address" rather than "not known at this address". When that is returned to sender it doesn't send the message that you are lying - because that could be inferred if you previously cohabited so he is known at the address but doesn't live there now.

angeldelightedme Wed 04-Jan-17 07:32:44

Chucksnowballs- it absolutely is.

throwingpebbles Wed 04-Jan-17 07:34:34

we do this. I'm not being a postal storage for exH. He also still had all his bank account at this address and his company registered to this address until I started returning all his post with "not at this address".

OnionKnight Wed 04-Jan-17 07:42:32

Chucksnowballs- it absolutely is.

Only if you are intending to deprive the recipient of the contents.

girlywhirly Wed 04-Jan-17 08:35:38

Wounded, keep on forwarding his mail, marked 'no longer at this address.'

When my ex and I started separation proceedings, arrangements for children and division of assets are sorted as a priority. We were advised to freeze any jointly held accounts and share payment of bills 50:50. The most important thing for you is to remove any access he has to joint accounts which he could just clean out leaving you with nothing, perfectly legally. You must make sure that all the various agencies know he is no longer resident at your address and that a divorce is pending.

Regarding the DC, make it clear that either he goes with what is best for the DC and doesn't make life difficult, or he can go to court which will cost a lot and end up with an order for maintenance and contact, maybe not what he would find affordable or even sustainable.

It sounds as though you have been the one carrying him financially and it's time he realised this is at an end, and is to stop using your address.

RedHelenB Wed 04-Jan-17 08:48:19

If you are married his debts will have an impact on any financial settlement as they will negate some of the assets. The sooner you are divorced and the financial order is signed off the better!

ChuckSnowballs Wed 04-Jan-17 21:59:02

Chucksnowballs- it absolutely is.

ChuckSnowballs Wed 04-Jan-17 22:00:22

Chucksnowballs- it absolutely is.

No it is not. This is an urban myth.

CherrySkull Wed 04-Jan-17 22:17:35


The Postal Services Act 2000 is clear that an offence is created if anyone intentionally delays the post or intentionally opens a mail bag. The Act goes on to say: "A person commits an offence if, intending to act to a person's detriment and without reasonable excuse, he opens a postal packet which he knows or reasonably suspects has been incorrectly delivered to him."

totally illegal. HTH!

CherrySkull Wed 04-Jan-17 22:20:18

woundedplacerias Wed 04-Jan-17 22:56:57

Well I put them all back in the post today so that's that.

If you are married his debts will have an impact on any financial settlement as they will negate some of the assets. What does that mean? My solicitor has mentioned something similar but I couldn't really get a clear and precise answer as to what could happen as a result of this. We have no assets other than the house, which only has about £50k equity. I have remained in it with the children and pay all bills and the mortgage alone. My solicitor seemed to think that the house is not at risk because it is the children's home. The only other asset is my pension - surely his debts don't negate that??

I think my solicitor is concerned because our current agreement is that I will pay him out, but I can only raise £17.5K and will deduct £3k to cover his share of debts I took over of £7K. Apparently, his creditors could see this as him deliberately taking a low offer to avoid paying them (though afaik he would be able to pay them - I really hope he doesn't owe more than £14K!). What would happen in that case I have no idea - a split of the shared equity wouldn't necessarily get him anymore if the house sold for less than its valuation (likely to happen imo).

ChuckSnowballs Thu 05-Jan-17 18:49:04

A person commits an offence if, intending to act to a person's detriment and without reasonable excuse

Yes. Which means that unless the person is intending to act to a person's detriment, it is fine. Hence, not illegal.

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