How do I sort out debts caused by my ex?

Dear James,

My financial life is a complete mess. My ex left me and my son with a huge amount of debt and a ruined credit rating. Over three years my ex bullied me into getting credit for his drug and alcohol problems. Eventually he was arrested and charged with serious domestic abuse. Although he is gone now and it is three years later, I am still struggling to pay off the debt he caused so I cannot move on. Is there anything I can do? I’d really appreciate anything!

Gemma, Minehead

Dear Gemma,

I’m sorry to hear about your situation – you’ve clearly been through a terrible ordeal. While your ex has now thankfully moved on, it’s clear you’re still dealing with the financial fallout of this relationship. It’s important for anyone struggling with unmanageable debt to face up to the situation and seek help as soon as possible. For many, the hardest step is admitting there is a problem in the first place and turning to someone for advice, so I’m really glad you got in touch. Thankfully, there are a number of excellent not-for-profit outlets that I can recommend you contact for help and advice, including National DebtlineCitizens Advice and the StepChange Debt Charity. Any of these organisations will be able to give you free, professional and impartial advice and support to help you get your finances back on track as soon as possible. Once this happens, your credit rating will start to recover and, if you wish, you can monitor progress by obtaining regular credit reports. I hope that you’ll very soon be able to put this whole episode behind you, so you and your son can get on with the rest of your lives. (November 2012, updated June 2017)

James
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