Can I be held responsible for credit card debt incurred by my husband? He has a credit card that he has been using since the start of the pandemic. I’m not sure if he signed a contract for this or if it was just mailed to him at the house that he started using, but I’m sure I haven’t signed any credit card agreement with him. My friend told me that I could be held jointly responsible. Is it true?
Joint and several liability exists when the obligation expressly states it, or when the law or the nature of the obligation requires joint and several liability. This is clearly provided for in Article 1207 of the New Civil Code of the Philippines, which states:
“The concurrence of two or more creditors or of two or more debtors in the same obligation does not imply that each of the former has the right to demand, or that each of the latter is required to render, the full performance of the service. . There is joint and several liability only when the obligation expressly states it or when the law or the nature of the obligation requires joint and several liability. (emphasis provided)
Between spouses, our laws stipulate that their patrimonial relations are governed in the following order: (1) By matrimonial agreements executed before marriage; (2) By the provisions of the Family Code; and (3) By local custom. (Article 74, Philippine Family Code) In the absence of a matrimonial agreement, or when the regime agreed upon by the spouses is void, they are governed by the system of absolute community of property as established in the Code of family. (Article 75, Id.)
Regarding the previous arrangements to the problem you mentioned, we submit that you should review the provisions of your marriage agreement, if you and your husband executed one before your marriage ceremony to determine the extent. of your responsibility insofar as the debts incurred by your husband.
If you and your husband do not have a marital agreement and are therefore governed by the regime of absolute community of property, your community of property may be held liable for debts incurred by your husband with your consent, or for his debts contracted. without your consent, but may have benefited your family. If your joint assets are not sufficient to cover these debts, then you could be held jointly and severally liable with your separated assets. Article 94 of the Family Code provides in particular:
“Article 94. The absolute community of goods is held for: xxx
â2 Â° All debts and obligations contracted during the marriage by the spouse-administrator appointed for the benefit of the community, or by both spouses, or by one of the spouses with the consent of the other;
â(3) Debts and obligations contracted by one of the spouses without the consent of the other to the extent that the family has been able to benefit from them; xxx
âIf the common goods are not sufficient to cover the above charges, with the exception of those referred to in paragraph (9), the spouses are jointly responsible for the unpaid balance with their separate goods.
We hope we have been able to answer your questions. This advice is based solely on the facts you have related and our assessment of them. Our opinion may vary when other facts are changed or developed.
Editor’s Note: Dear PAO is a daily column for the DA’s office. Questions for Chef Acosta can be sent to [emailÂ protected]