2

My wife put an electric bill and a cable TV bill in my name without me knowing and now I have a $700 electric bill and a $400 cable TV bill from a house I never lived in. We have been separated since 2014 and this was done during that time. Is there anything I can do to get these bills off?

3

Apparently, this is an identity fraud. Bear in mind that, don't accuse anyone if you are not sure, whether it is a relation feud or whatever. Bear in mind that, this is a serious crime under 1st world country jurisdiction. A utility company cannot put anyone under a contract without any consent, one must provide the identity and consent documents.

In such case, only a person that stealing or forged OP identity (e.g. putting the social security ID, credit card no ) can make it happens. An act of revenge doesn't give either side the rights to conduct identity theft.

I suggest OP change all the online password and call up the ex to verify it (in a calm way like, "I see a strange bill and the utility company want me to report it as identity theft, just want to ask whether you know about it." ) . If the ex didn't do it, report the identity theft. Otherwise, you have the choice to talk up (possible to the parents as well) to settle it or burn the bridge.

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You're married. That's why she can do it.

In my state, at least, if either of you has filed for divorce, then you can show those documents to the electric and cable companies showing how she fraudulently opened the accounts. Then point them towards her.

However, they might not care.

  1. Since they're in your name -- close the accounts.
  2. Sue her for the money.
  3. Check the credit bureaus to see if those bills are on your report, and -- if so -- send them copies of the divorce filings showing that you have no responsibility for her actions.

Of course... if you haven't filed for divorce, you're probably stuck. Take this as a lesson learned in what happens when you procrastinate.

Also, talk to a lawyer.

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    Can she really do that? I only have experience in germany or poland and here she can NOT do it. As husband you are liable for common debt, but she can not enter both parties or the other parties name into a contract without signature, that is document fraud. – TomTom Sep 1 at 13:57
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    Just because the utility agreed to put the bill in his name doesn't mean he consented to it, though. "Talk to a lawyer" is definitely the best advice. – chepner Sep 1 at 15:29
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    Eactly. If you put a bill in someone else name it is fraud, period. Even if it is your husband. They have to ask for consent, not imply him being the sole owner. This is generally handled lax, but it also generally explodes legally in case of disagreement. – TomTom Sep 1 at 15:46
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    Being married does not give one spouse the authority to enter the other spouse into a binding contract without their consent. You do no become one personally legally, you are still individuals. – Andy Sep 1 at 21:08
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    @RonJohn And yet, no they won't. Please cite the law that allows spouses to enter each other into contracts without consent. You're flat out wrong on this. – Andy Sep 1 at 22:09

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