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10 months ago I started a business with someone I thought I knew well. Now he’s run off with all my $, the company profits and a 10,000 investment my son put up in May ’07, plus he ran up $8,000 woth of debt on one of my credit cards, and I’ve also had to use some of my credit cards to keep operating, until my cc debt is now approaching $10,000. AND if things don’t improve dramatically in the next few weeks I’ll have to close up shop. What do I do to deal with the cc co’s without ruining my credit?

Sounds like there are 2 issues, one is dealing with your former partner and deciding if you should take legal action against him and for that you obviously should talk to the police and a lawyer. The other issue is to determine how to handle the credit card debt you are now responsible for before it gets out of hand and sinks your business. As there may be a criminal element to your situation, the credit card companies MAY handle your situation differently but I’d imagine they would need police reports, etc to consider doing so. You should contact them and ask.

Unfortunately, if the debt is in your name and you do not want to legally pursue the former partner, you will be liable to repay it. You can talk to a debt management company to learn how they may be able to assist you lower your interest rates and fees on the debt but it will still have a slightly negative impact on your credit. Good luck.