Bankruptcy without affecting spouse

Spouse after bankruptcy

Spouses and bankruptcy

Sometimes only one of the parties in a marital relationship has debt and needs to file for bankruptcy.  Sometimes some or all of the debt is held in both parties names.  If one spouse files for bankruptcy individually, only the person who filed for bankruptcy will be able to get a discharge or relief from their debts. If you both parties have debts and only one of the parties files, the non-filing person will still owe money even after one spouse has filed for bankruptcy. The bankruptcy filing will appear on the filing parties credit report, and not his spouse’s report. Even if you file alone though, your bankruptcy can still affect your spouse. These are some of the factors will determine whether or not it will affect your spouse:

  1. Do you have joint property with your spouse?
  2. Did you own the property prior to the marriage?
  3. What are the property laws of your state?
  4. Are there any medical debts involved?
  5. Are you filing for a Chapter 7 or 13 bankruptcy?
  6. Are you separated from your spouse or soon to be divorced?

Again these are the types of questions you need to be prepared to discuss with your attorney as you make the decision to file for bankruptcy.  All too often this issue is over looks by parties looking in filing for bankruptcy.  Usually bankruptcy won’t affect your spouse’s credit. If you have joint debts though, it could appear on both your credit report. Your creditors will know you filed for bankruptcy and can usually still try and collect from your spouse for any joint debts.

As you can tell these issues get messy and you need the help of an experienced bankruptcy lawyer.  That’s where we come in.  Give us a call and let us help you make some smart financial decision and obtain a fresh financial start.

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