Dave Says

Friday, November 9, 2007 at 1:42am

DAVE SAYS

Dear Dave,

A friend of mine recently got married to a guy after dating him for more than a year. Less than a month after the wedding she found out he had lied about having no debt. He has more than $100,000 in debt that he had filed bankruptcy without telling her. How is this going to affect her and them?

— Janice

Dear Janice,

It’s definitely going to affect her on more than just a financial level. And I’m not talking just about the fact that he filed bankruptcy. I’m talking about the fact that she just found out that her brand-new husband lied to her.

Trust and honesty are cornerstones in a good, healthy marriage. Filing bankruptcy behind her back and having $100,000 worth of debt he lied about is a trust issue, and a pretty big one. At this point your friend is probably confused and wondering what’s going to come out next. Hopefully, it won’t be something along the lines of “Oh, honey! I forgot to tell you about that wife I have in another state.”

The financial situation goes like this. No, the bankruptcy won’t jump off of his credit report and onto hers. The only way it would affect her credit is if they had gotten into all that debt and filed bankruptcy together.

The real issue here is the trust. Lying is not a great way to begin a marriage. Now, it could be that he was just scared, messed up and this was a one-time thing. But damage has been done here, and it needs to be addressed.

They definitely need to sit down and have a good heart-to-heart talk about all this. Seeing a marriage counselor wouldn’t be a bad idea, either. But it’s ridiculous for anyone to hide something like that from their spouse.

Or hide anything from a spouse, for that matter!

— Dave

Dear Dave,

Other than negotiating a vehicle purchase at a dealership or with a private seller, where else can I find a great deal on a car? I’ve heard that auctions may be a way to find good deals, but how do I find information about them?

— Oscar

Dear Oscar,

If I were you I’d call several of the banks in your area and ask them how they dispose of their repossessions. Just ask them if they’re having a repo auction in your area. You might also want to contact some of the dealers and ask them where their repos go.

If you’re in a big city, chances are there will be local sales from time to time. These generally don’t happen every week, but I’m guessing you could find them three or four times a year.

But honestly, Oscar, some of the best deals you’ll ever find on cars are from individuals who are trying to sell a car for one reason or another. Most private sellers you come across aren’t selling to make a profit. They’re usually trying to get a little money in their hands so they can pay off the car or to help buy another one.

Another advantage in dealing with a private seller is that you can use the power of cash to get a better deal. If you are buying a car from an individual and you have thoroughly checked it out and are ready to make an offer, do it in cash. Even if the asking price is $7,000, if you walk up to a seller with $5,000 in $100 bills in your hand, you just might just find yourself driving away in your new car.

Trust me, there’s something very emotional and attention grabbing about flashing the green when you make a purchase. Lots of people will react positively to the surety and immediacy of cash money.

Good luck!

— Dave

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