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When the wedding doesn't happen

When couples make wedding plans, it is done with the idea that the money spent will be used to celebrate an important day. However, Arizona residents may wonder what happens if the engagement is broken partway through the planning and purchasing stage. The question may arise as to who is really responsible for credit card debt incurred for items like dresses and engagement rings.

The reality is that the person responsible for the credit card is the one who legally has to pay it off. It can't be disputed with the credit card company because it isn't fraud when the card holder authorizes the purchase. If there were agreements between the couple to pay the bills, it might be possible to sue the defaulting party for the money. It is also the law in many states that the engagement rings must be returned to the purchaser if the marriage doesn't happen. In some cases it might be possible to sell the dress and return the ring to try and recoup some of the loss.

If the balances can't be paid off on a high-interest credit card by selling or returning the merchandise, it may be possible to transfer the balances to a credit card with a lower interest rate. Another option is to simply not pay the bills, but that will put the card holder's credit rating in jeopardy.

Sometimes financial circumstances make it difficult to pay bills, such as purchasing a dress or ring beyond the cardholder's means. If an individual is feeling overwhelmed, a bankruptcy attorney might review the financial situation. It may be possible for the attorney to negotiate with the credit card companies for more reasonable terms. If that's not possible, bankruptcy might allow for the debts to be discharged.

Source: FOX Business, "Fiancee Leaves Ex with Big Pre-Wedding Debts", Erica Sandberg, October 04, 2013

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  • MCBA | Maricopa County Bar Association
  • State Bar of Arizona
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  • Oregon State bar
  • NACBA | National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys
  • NACA | National Association of Consumer Advocates
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The Dodds Law Firm, PLC, is located in Surprise and serves clients throughout the West Valley area. To schedule a consultation with a lawyer, call 623-208-6098 or toll free at 877-827-9906. You can also contact us online.

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