June 21, 2017

Background:

  • Two individuals, married to others, who work together fall in love.
  • Man continues to tell the woman that he will get a divorce and when questioned – When? – he replies you must have “LOVE, TRUST AND FAITH”.
  • Tells her that he needs money to clear up his debts in order to get a divorce.
  • Promises continually and eventually woman gave $275,000.00 to him as they were newly-in-love and she must believe in his “LOVE, TRUST AND FAITH” concept.
  • Man gets a new job so that their relationship doesn’t affect their jobs.
  • Man uses woman’s charge accounts and she sees that he charged a trip with his wife and furniture for his home.
  • Man disappears and cannot be found; says woman changed (might be tied to the fact she is putting his feet to the fire?)
  • Man Files for Chapter 7.
  • Woman files an adversary proceeding so that his debt to her is non-dischargeable.

Court Ruling

  • Woman did rely on promises and statements made to her.
  • There was justifiable reliance on the man’s word and promises; there were arguments that the justifiable reliance test is entirely subjective.
  • When a person is presented with a horse with one eye, that person has an obligation to look at the horse. In this case, after it was presented to her that money she gave him was used for the sole benefit of his wife – she could not rely on justifiable reliance.
  • All debts after she learned that the “horse” was spending her money on his wife for a cruise and appliances were dischargeable. All debts that were incurred where there was reasonable and clearly justifiable reliance would not be dischargeable.

When situations are presented to you that start looking questionable, you need to look and look again to see the whole picture.   You can also speak to an attorney for guidance.