Ellen's husband Allen has always been a big spender. He was a partner in a successful law firm when they met. He wore custom made monogrammed shirts, Armani suits and drove a new SL Mercedes. Unfortunately for Ellen, Allen spent more than he earned. He got disbarred and sent to prison for 2 years for illegally using his client's escrow money. They had been married only one year.
After his release from prison, Allen soon reinvented himself. He found a fairly lucrative position, and convinced Ellen he had changed. He would allay Ellen's fears of his continued overspending; assuring her he was making more than enough money working in sales for commercial real estate. They had rented a townhouse in Manhasset, and continued a lavish lifestyle: a new car from Rallye Motors, shopping sprees at The Americana, vacations, etc. Ellen was content to live the life she had missed, and chose to let Allen deal with their finances.
Allen though, could not get credit. He told Ellen to take a Visa out under her name, and have him as a secondary cardholder. Ellen's American Express had already been declined from their previous bouts of reckless spending. Ellen was naive and trusting enough to never check the statements.
Ellen went to Prada to purchase a gift for her mother's 75th birthday last month. Her card was declined. When she phoned Visa they informed her of some 'concerning charges'. The account was also accumulating serious finance charges, as the minimum was only being paid for almost a year. They also informed her that Allen had charged a weekend trip to California which included first-class plane tickets for two, a suite at The Beverly Hills Hotel, along with nearly $2000 in room charges incurred there.
Ellen checked her datebook for that weekend. Allen had told her he was going to California on business. He had supposedly flown coach and stayed alone in a cheap motel.
Ellen has taken Allen's name off her credit cards, moved out of their townhouse and plans on filing for divorce. She has been left with the daunting task of paying the debt and attempting to reestablish her credit. Most importantly, she is now taking responsibilty for her own finances and I give her credit for that!