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Found out that my fiance is 280k in debt - what happens should I still marry him?

(344 Posts)
BornToShopForcedToWork Fri 28-Sep-12 22:09:52

Last night my fiance confessed that he is 280k in debt. I am devastated and consider not to marry him anymore. Although we always kept our finances separate and I don't mind marrying him with the debt I am a bit worried that I will be liable for the debt as well. I am not English and therefore not sure how it's handled in the UK. I have assets that I would like to protect.

How shall I handle this situation?

BornToShopForcedToWork Fri 28-Sep-12 22:19:07

He never had to lie to me about money. We kept our finances separate from Day One and I don't know how much is in his bank account and he doesn't know about my finances either.

RandomMess Fri 28-Sep-12 22:19:17

Absolutely not then. He will continue to live beyond his means.

He needs to declare himself bankrupt and then prove to you that he is a reformed character or he will bleed you dry...

Error404 Fri 28-Sep-12 22:19:20

x-post. Well. Worried. Yes.

UnexpectedItemInShaggingArea Fri 28-Sep-12 22:19:31



And again no.

WildWorld2004 Fri 28-Sep-12 22:19:40

No way would i marry someone with that much debt.

EdgarAllanPond Fri 28-Sep-12 22:20:38

leave him : he's an idiot who didn't listen to his accountant, who'd have told him to limit his liability.

would he listen to you on financial issues? that strength of error says not.

BornToShopForcedToWork Fri 28-Sep-12 22:20:53


I wish it was a mortgage. He said a business deal went wrong, but I am not stupid and as he owns limited companies he wouldnt be responsible for it with his personal assets.

EionMcLove Fri 28-Sep-12 22:22:08

He sounds too immature to get married. I couldn't marry someone who lived so outrageously above their means, I simply couldn't abide the childishness of it.

SkippyYourFriendEverTrue Fri 28-Sep-12 22:22:15

How did he get £280k in debt? Who is the debt too?

How long hve you been with him?

Brycie Fri 28-Sep-12 22:22:37

I'm sorry to say this but I think he'll be after your money. The law is very unclear in the UK on protection of assets owned by one marriage partner before the marriage. (If you're interested and can look on BBC online there was a radio programme about this may be a week ago? which perhaps you can listen again). Pre-nup agreements MAY be attended to but not necessarily. Basically this is just stuff I've picked up from the media but my advice would be to see a lawyer and find out what happens to your assets if you marry. This will help you make a decision about marriage. Then you can make an emotional decision about the relationship, because at the moment you are getting them mixed up.

Vijac Fri 28-Sep-12 22:23:38

I wouldn't marry him, sounds like a nightmare and whilst I don't think you'd be liable for debts under his name, you certainly would be if you ever bought anything together, had a joint account etc...

Romilly70 Fri 28-Sep-12 22:23:39

He's just a spendthrift and will never change. you will always have differing attitudes towards money and he probably has loads of other issues which have not come to the fore if he can rack up that much debt on basically just living and shopping

NellyJob Fri 28-Sep-12 22:24:16

He said a business deal went wrong, but I am not stupid
so you know he is lying to you?
definitely don't marry him!!

bohemimum Fri 28-Sep-12 22:24:56

I would seek proper financial advice. Maybe a pre-nuptual agreement (sounds a bit Hollywood) may be worth exploring? I would say that he hasn't lied to you but he hasn't been upfront; what else could you discover further down the line?. Exercise caution - the wedding can wait. If you love each other and can support each other then that is worth fighting for. It may make or break you but you should be prepared for either and only time can tell. I wish you luck.

sookiesookie Fri 28-Sep-12 22:25:23

With the additional info, never marry him.

Run like the wind. He is irresponsible and is not owning up to what happened. He is lying to you. He is trying to deceive you now. He is terrible with money and you have assets.

Run away unless you want to find yourself 'Mrs No assets left and £1 million in debt' in a couple of years time.

This is worth ending the relationship over, imvho.

EugenesAxe Fri 28-Sep-12 22:26:43

I'd love to think love would pull people through anything, but at that level I think a degree of sense has to come into it.

I can't really remember, but I'm sure at one stage I was about £30-40k in debt and I thought it was insanely high. I somehow managed to clear it but £280k??? You are going to be stiffed, surely. The only way to protect your family money/assets I would guess is to get them held in trust. Marriage would surely open you up a lot more, for potential liability.

It would put me off starting a family with him, hugely.

sookiesookie Fri 28-Sep-12 22:28:03

Pre-nups do not currently HAVE to be taken into account in the UK.

The fact that the OP knows about the debt would probably come down in his favor. Or more than had hid it until they married.

BornToShopForcedToWork Fri 28-Sep-12 22:28:41

I am a nanny and I earn 25k a year and I have rental income. I don't pay rent and apart from a Payday loan I had to take out in summer and paid back in within 24h I've never had any debts. I have on credit card but I pay it off every month and I really just use it to improve my credit rating in the UK so that I can get a mortgage later on in life. However I inherited a large amount of money and properties last year which I would like to protect. They have been in my family for decades and my mother would not be happy if I would end up losing them.

DameKewcumber Fri 28-Sep-12 22:28:53

he might be responsible for it even with a limited company. Nothing to stop him personally guaranteeing a loan even for a limited company.

Eitehr way if its not reputable debt (eg mortgage) and you have only just find out, at the very least I would put marriage plans on hold until he has a credible plan to repay it. At worst I would say that you are linking yourself to an untrustworthy financial fuckwit (technical accountants term).

sookiesookie Fri 28-Sep-12 22:30:09

OP please do not financially involved yourself with him.

I honestly think he is going to financially (and emotionally) ruin you.

MadBusLady Fri 28-Sep-12 22:30:12

OP, it's very hard to tell on the internet, so apologies if this sounds crass, but would you say you are a pretty obviously moneyed person yourself? You say you have properties and an inheritance - he may not know about them in detail, but you must have mentioned them in passing to him. If so, I also think there is a chance he is after your money. Definitely postpone the wedding and speak to a solicitor asap.

How did you find out? What was his reaction like? Tears? Trying to laugh it off?

TwllBach Fri 28-Sep-12 22:30:53

I would run like I was being chased by a thousand flaming bailiffs.

xkcdfangirl Fri 28-Sep-12 22:32:21

If you actually love him and want to marry him, then:
(i) he should declare himself bankrupt before you marry
(ii) you should put all your significant assets in some kind of protection e.g. a trust which will only give you a set income, or a house which is in your name only
(iii) you should keep your finances separate, permanently.

If you aren't prepared to do those things then either don't marry him or you'll be looking forward to some quite deep poverty yourself before too long.

DameKewcumber Fri 28-Sep-12 22:33:22

As Eugenes said - prenups have no legal status in the UK - you cannot legally "contract" anything to do with a marriage (except the marriage itself). However since a supreme court ruling in 2010 a precedent was set that pre-nups could have "decisive or compelling weight". But there's no guarantee.

BornToShopForcedToWork Fri 28-Sep-12 22:33:39

NellyJob He is lying because he is embarrased. He thinks I only love him because of "his" money. That's not true. I don't care. I realise that he sounds like a real idiot at the moment, but apart from the financial issues he is a great guy. I am not a girl that's madly in love, otherwise I wouldn't ask people on here for advice but go straight ahead and marry him. No wedding is planned yet as I wanted to wait until next year. I am glad that we didn't rush and I found out this bombshell before we got married.

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