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A joint account from 20 years ago....please can someone advise me

(50 Posts)
Everythingwillbeok Mon 01-Jun-15 22:05:56

Myself and husband at the time opened a joint account with the Abbey National as it was then. I was 20 he was 26, he use it for wages to go into, I never had an ATM card or cheque book or used the account at all.
We split 2 years later after a horrible abusive marriage, not seen him since neither has my daughter who is 18 at the end of this year, I'm nearly 40.
Out of the blue I had a letter from Nottingham county court last week saying the account was passed to them and was overdrawn by £1900.
It's a lot of money and I don't have it.
I'm so upset and angry this is not my doing, I've never used the account and didn't even know it had an overdraft facility on it.
Please can someone help me or advise me.
I'm tempted to dispute it which would cost me £105 in court fees is this worth it or do I not stand a chance of them going after just him for his debt? Thanks very much for any replies, I'm desperate as I only work part time and get about £500 a month that's it. I do have a partner but he will be so resentful if he has to pay anything of this as its really nothing to do with him.

eurochick Mon 01-Jun-15 22:10:13

Legally I think it would be jointly and severally your debt - I suspect that is in the ts and cs of the account. But I wonder if he had to forge your signature or something to get the overdraft (unless you applied for it when you were still married and willingly signed back then). I think I would write to the bank and ask for copies of the paperwork in the first instance.

Everythingwillbeok Mon 01-Jun-15 22:16:40

Thankyou eurochick, I'm under the impression banks only keep paperwork for 7 years legally usually in off site storage I think, I wonder if the overdraft has just crept up over the years with him asking for more all the time.
The account must have been in a mess for ages if its gone to this stage mustn't it?
I'm so upset a bloody CCJ at my age I really have tried so hard to sort out my finances after a few disastrous years, I could cry.

Everythingwillbeok Mon 01-Jun-15 22:18:21

I'm sick with worry as I only have ten days to reply too. I couldn't sleep last night with visions of bailiffs calling.

Chapuys Mon 01-Jun-15 22:24:31

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Everythingwillbeok Mon 01-Jun-15 22:48:10

It arrived Friday, I've been worrying all weekend, but will ring up tomorrow. Will the bank even speak to me? It's probably closed off now? If its at CCJ stage.

HeresMyBrightIdea Mon 01-Jun-15 22:54:02

It won't be closed, although they might refer you to the court.

Realistically, the debt is jointly and severably yours and unless you can force your ex to pay, you'll need to come to an arrangement to pay. That could be with the bank, or with the court.

From what you've said, it doesn't seem like you have any grounds to appeal this unfortunately.

gaslamp Mon 01-Jun-15 23:03:27

You mentioned this was an abusive relationship. Was it your choice to enter into an account with your ex / sign up for an overdraft? If not,and he coerced or forced you in some way, you may be able to argue against this. You might want to post in legal if so.

Everythingwillbeok Mon 01-Jun-15 23:08:03

No gaslamp he was a horrible person but I never even went into the bank with him. I didn't even know it had an overdraft on it. We had to produce passports but went in separatly to open it, think they must have been a bit more relaxed about procedure then.

AlpacaMyBags Mon 01-Jun-15 23:08:57

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

prepperpig Mon 01-Jun-15 23:12:19

It won't be time barred if the exH has still been using it.

Everythingwillbeok Mon 01-Jun-15 23:12:53

I feel as though I should make some sort of contact, I don't want someone turning up at my house my anxiety levels recently are through the roof I feel so churned up inside. I could bloody kill my ex. Not paid a penny for our daughter for 17 years and now this.

Everythingwillbeok Mon 01-Jun-15 23:14:06

Would this be better in legal then ?
Sorry a bit out of my depth here.

BertieBotts Mon 01-Jun-15 23:15:52

Read everything on this page. It sounds like there might be something else you can do especially as it's so old.

Purplehonesty Mon 01-Jun-15 23:16:42

Hmm I would seek legal advice before responding. If its 20 years ago and you never used the account or had a card they will be able to see from bank records that his card has been used for all the spending.
Plus you argue you haven't seen him or lived with him for all this time, a joint account requires both parties to sign to have an overdraft AND to have the statement address changed so if he has changed it and you haven't been receiving statements so you were able to check the account then that is their fault.
I think you could state that you wrote to them to ask them to remove you from the account 20 years ago. If records are only kept for 7 years how do they prove you didn't?

I would fight this tooth and nail it's very unfair.

BertieBotts Mon 01-Jun-15 23:17:37

It sounds as though you might want to contact one of the debt counselling agencies mentioned at the end of that article.

Purplehonesty Mon 01-Jun-15 23:18:27

Sorry I misread your post - thinking you had told them you no longer wanted to be on the account.

prepperpig Mon 01-Jun-15 23:19:57

Purplehonesty advising the OP to be dishonest is not a good idea hmm This is already with the court.

The fact that you haven't spent on the account is irrelevant, the debt is joint and several meaning they can go after either of you because the debt is in your joint names.

Everythingwillbeok Mon 01-Jun-15 23:24:15

Thankyou for all the replies I'm worried sick. I look at my little girl and could cry...I feel like I've let her down as I probably can't even take her on holiday or any days out this year now because of this.

notapizzaeater Mon 01-Jun-15 23:27:39

You need to ring them and ask for paperwork. If the account hasn't been used for 6 years it might be statue barred.

Everythingwillbeok Mon 01-Jun-15 23:29:04

Who should I ring first? Santander as it is now or the court? I'm terrified of bailiffs of anything like that. I'm in tears now and should be asleep I'm at work at 6am.

BertieBotts Mon 01-Jun-15 23:30:14

I would not contact them yet. Try contacting one of the agencies on the MoneySavingExpert link I posted. The National Debtline looks like a good one, in fact, they are mentioned in the "old debts" section. This is because if the debt is older than 6 years and there has been no contact in that time, it might have to be written off. But if you contact them first, then that might be reset. So check your rights first. I'm not saying avoid it indefinitely, of course that would be a bad idea, but I would first speak to debt agencies before you try to deal directly with them.

The national debtline also looks to have a website, which might be worth a trawl through.

Everythingwillbeok Mon 01-Jun-15 23:32:18

I think it's been used more recently than 6 years, my sister saw him working in a nearby DIY store last year so I'm guessing he will have will been using the same account for wages from there.
I can't talk to anyone in RL as they thought I was stupid marrying him. It's from so long ago I'm embarrassed too. My parents have both passed away recently and I feel like I can't take much more.

BertieBotts Mon 01-Jun-15 23:32:56

Time Limited Debts

BertieBotts Mon 01-Jun-15 23:34:15

Speak to the National Debtline. It sounds like a very specific situation. I'm sure they'll be able to advise. If you didn't know that the account was still being used, that might count for something. (I don't know, I'm not a legal person.)

Best of luck with it all, anyway.

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