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What is considered financial abuse or financial coercion?

If you ask yourself “is my spouse abusive?” or “does my spouse abuse me?”, it’s important to know there are many different types of abuse. The best way to understand the signs of abuse is to read up on the warning signs for each type. Here are some examples of financial abuse that if you are experiencing, may qualify you for VAWA:

  1. Ruining the spouse’s credit: If your spouse has more debt than you (compared to income) and they apply for a loan or mortgage together with you, it might be denied. Even if your application is approved, their one’s poor credit or high DTI could land you with a higher interest rate. If your spouse is intentionally ruining your credit, especially without your permission, that is a sign of financial abuse.
  2. Opening credit cards in spouse’s name and credit without their consent or knowledge.
  3. Running up credit cards and never repaying them
  4. Ruining spouse’s credit.
  5. Locked spouse out of joint bank accounts by spouse
  6. Your spouse is demanding receipts for the spouse’s spending on necessities
  7. Your spouse blocked your debit and credit cards
  8. Taking away all the spouse’s earnings
  9. Spending all the joint money and spouse’s money without their consent
  10. Gambling away family savings
  11. Letting family rent, mortgage and tax bills and utilities lapse to the point of eviction, foreclosure and utilities turnoffs.
  12. Creating joint IRS tax debt without the other spouse’s knowledge 

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Shepelsky Law Group
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