17 Year Old Debt

I am 35 years old.  When I was about 17 – 18 years old I got a department store credit card.  Well I thought that I paid it off.  The company went out of business.  Seventeen years I am getting a call from a credit collection company saying that I owe the money.  I have not heard anything from anyone until now.
I think that in most states a collecting a debt that has been outstanding for 17 years would be barred by statutes of limitations.  Technically the expiration of the statute of limitations does not mean that you do not owe the debt.  It means that the courts will no longer enforce the obligation.

 

Bad Checks from a Bad Boss at a Bad Company

Our company has been writing us NSF payroll checks. I can not cash my checks and my co-worker can not cash her checks at our respective banks anymore because our owners have written us so many bad checks. We have gone so far as to open accounts at the bank that the checks are drawn on and we went there to cash them this last week and there was not enough money in there account to cover either one of them. This was a holiday weekend and no money for food or bills or anything. We live from check to check what can we do legally to rectify this situation? We are looking for new jobs but until we can find one we are stuck!

In North Carolina, it is a crime to write a check knowing that there are insufficient funds in the account to cover the check, if you could convince the District Attorney to prosecute, that might give you some leverage.  You could also try to contact a state agency like the Department of Labor.
The laws of man cannot overcome the law of physics one of which is “You cannot get blood from a turnip.”  If your employer is in financial trouble your chance of a meaningful recovery for unpaid wages is low.

 

Assisted Living and Divorce

My husband has suffered with MS 25 out of the 27 years of our marriage.  He was recently placed in an assisted living facility in Oct. 7 2004.  We have not been husband in wife for 6 years due to sexual dysfunction from his MS.
Now that he is in an assisted living facility with cognitive memory loss and impaired reasonability why can’t I file a separation with the courts having to appoint him a lawyer so I can live life finally without fear of being sued.  I am only 50 yrs old and he is 52.  How does the law read and play into this?
I am going to assume you live in North Carolina.  Divorce laws vary considerably from state to state so if you live elsewhere don’t rely on this answer.
There is no procedure for “filing” a separation in North Carolina.  I get about 5-10 calls per week from people who want to do this though.  North Carolina allows for a no-fault divorce based on spouses living “separate and apart” for one year.  Many couples decide to separate and agree on:
  • how they will divide the marital property
  • how to divide the marital debt
  • how the children will be cared for
  • whether there will be any alimony

Once there is an agreement on those points, the parties put their agreement in writing.  That writing is a separation agreement.  A separation agreement does not have to be “filed” to be valid, but sometimes separation agreements are recorded in the county Register of Deeds office.

If the the spouses cannot agree, they can still separate.  This means someone has to leave the marital residence.  If spouses still live under the same roof, even if they don’t sleep in the same room, that is not considered living separately.

As of October 7, 2004, you were living separate from your husband.  As far as being sued, I’d have to know by whom and for what.  Until the end of marriage each spouse owes the other a duty to support.  Sometimes health providers try to collect from one spouse to cover treatment costs for the other, but this is fairly rare.  After the marriage, a dependent spouse may get support through alimony.  The amount of alimony awarded depends on the needs of the dependent spouse and the ability of the supporting spouse to pay.

A last word.  All this is general advice based on the limited information you gave me.  This matter is too complicated for you to try to handle on your own.  You need to hire a lawyer to guide you.