Can I File Bankruptcy Without My Spouse Knowing
Yes, although for the reasons discussed herein and the significant emotional impact that bankruptcy can have on your life, as well as the practical implications of its effects on joint property, it is not generally recommended to keep a bankruptcy filing a secret from your spouse.
Additionally, even though it is legally possible to file a bankruptcy case without your spouse, you will need to include certain information about your spouse on the bankruptcy forms, which ask for household income, marital assets, life insurance policies and beneficiary information, and information about whether debts are independent or joint.
If Im Married Will My Spouse Have To File Bankruptcy With Me
No. Keep in mind, however, that only the person filing for bankruptcy gets the benefit of the automatic stay and the discharge. So, if you and your spouse have joint debts and only you file bankruptcy, then those creditors will still be able to pursue your spouse for collection, unless you file for Chapter 13 and propose in your plan to pay those joint debts in full.
Being married, however, does not necessarily make one obligated for the debts of the spouse. Nor does merely being an authorized user on a credit card make that person personally liable. Only the person who signed the loan documents or credit application is liable for the debt.
Make sure to carefully check your documents to see who in fact signed them. One exception to this is taxes. Filing a joint tax return makes both spouses liable for the tax, regardless of whose tax it is.
If you and your spouse own property jointly, that property may be subject to liquidation in the rare case where the property is not fully exempt.
As far as future credit is concerned, the bankruptcy of one spouse will have some effect on the ability of the nonfiling spouse to obtain credit in the future if credit is applied for jointly. Otherwise, it should not.
We are a debt relief agency. We help people file for bankruptcy relief under the Bankruptcy Code.
Will I Be Responsible For My Spouses Unpaid Debts If They Go Bankrupt
The act of marriage on its own does not give your spouses creditors the right to demand payment from you for your spouses unpaid debts if they file bankruptcy.
You will not be responsible for repaying the creditors for the debts eligible to be discharged unless you have co-signed on the debts included in your spouses bankruptcy. In the event that there was a co-signer on the debts then the responsibility of repayment would then fall to that person. A spouse could also wind up liable for credit card debt if they used a supplementary card with their own name on it.
Don’t Miss: What Is A Bankruptcy Petition Preparer
Can I File Bankruptcy In Georgia Without My Spouse Do I Need A Bankruptcy Lawyer
Yes, you can file Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy in Georgia without your spouse. When you file bankruptcy without your spouse, you will not list your spouses name or personal information anywhere in the bankruptcy petition. However, both Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy filings reqiure that you disclose all household income, which includes your spouses income, for the purpose of the means test. Thus, you may be required to produce your spouses paystubs to the bankruptcy trustee for the purpose of proving income. When you are unsure as to whether or not your spouse needs to be looped into your bankruptcy filing, dont hesitate to ask a bankruptcy lawyer for help.
How Will Filing Bankruptcy Affect my Spouse? Will a Bankruptcy Lawyer Keep It Confidential?
Filing bankruptcy in Georgia should not really affect your spouse significantly, as the filing will be under your name and social security number only. There are a few things a bankruptcy lawyer can advise on as well, including:
The Bottom Line: You Are Responsible For Your Debts
The lesson to be learned from this post is simple: your debts are your debts only, and only you are responsible for them. This rule has big implications if youre preparing for bankruptcy because if you file without your spouse, your joint debt will become your spouses full responsibility.
In order to make the correct decision, make a list of the debts that are really holding you back. Are they primarily incurred in one spouses name? If so, it may be best for the heavily indebted spouse to file bankruptcy to preserve the others .
If, on the other hand, joint debts are your main problem, it will be necessary for both spouses to file in order to truly rid yourselves of debt.
Who Owes The Debt
There’s also a lot of confusion among married couples as to whos responsible for what debts in a marriage. Marrying someone does not mean that youve suddenly taken on your spouses financial responsibilities. The;debt remains the responsibility of the one who originally contracted for it. Youre only responsible for debt that you entered into yourself or debt that you entered into jointly .
Therefore, Mark is liable on his credit card and medical debts, the bank credit card, the home loan, and his car loan. Ellen is liable on her credit cards and medical debts, the bank credit card, the home loan, and her car loan.;
When Shouldnt You File For Bankruptcy Without Your Spouse
Its not recommended to file bankruptcy without the spouse under these situations:
- You and your spouse have joint debts.;Filing bankruptcy separately will still negatively affect your spouses credit score. The bankruptcy discharge will only apply to you but it wont protect your spouse from debt collectors.
- You dont want to include your spouses assets in the bankruptcy estate. Whether you file for bankruptcy, all your marital assets will be included in the bankruptcy estate if you live in a community state, even if the assets belong to your spouse alone.;
Also Check: Diy Bankruptcy Chapter 13
Which Property Is Part Of Your Bankruptcy
In a common law property state, your separate property and your portion of any jointly owned properties become part of your bankruptcy. This means that if you do not have enough exemptions to cover these assets, then they can be taken and sold by the Chapter 7 bankruptcy trustee to pay your creditors.
Your spouse’s separate property and his or her share of joint property are not included in your bankruptcy. However, if you have nonexempt joint property, the trustee can still force the sale of the entire asset to get to your portion . Before doing this, the trustee must usually try to partition the property to sell only your share if possible. If it cannot be divided, the trustee must show that the benefit of selling the property outweighs the detriment to the co-owners.
Can I File Bankruptcy Without My Spouse
Can you file bankruptcy without your spouse? The answer is yes, filing bankruptcy without a spouse is legally permissible, although you may have to include information about your spouse on your forms, also known as schedules, when you make your petition to the bankruptcy court.
Here are some valid considerations and answers to frequently asked questions. If you file for bankruptcy without your spouse, it will typically not affect your spouses credit, unless the debts you are attempting to discharge are joint debts, meaning that you and your spouse applied for them together, such as a credit card or bank loan with both of your names on it. In this case, your bankruptcy filing may appear on your spouses credit report, and your creditors may have a second option coming after your spouse even if bankruptcy results in a discharge of your debt.
Beyond just debt, another issue for married couples to consider when evaluating bankruptcy is property owned by the spouses. If one spouse owns property in their name only and is not the spouse filing bankruptcy, it generally wont become part of the bankruptcy estate. This is especially important in Chapter 7 liquidation bankruptcies, because the non-filing spouses completely-separate property will not become part of the bankruptcy estate, will not be subject to sale to pay creditors, and can exceed any applicable Texas or federal exemption amounts that would typically be applied in order to protect the property.
Don’t Miss: What Is A Bankruptcy Petition Preparer
Can I File For Bankruptcy Without My Spouses Knowledge
Yes, it would be possible for one spouse to file for bankruptcy without the other partner ever finding out. However, Chapter 7 bankruptcy uses income as a test for eligibility and utilizes income garnishment as a means of settling debt. The non-filing spouse will certainly notice if the bankruptcy court for debt repayment is garnishing their paychecks.
Even outside Chapter 7 bankruptcy, there are plenty of other ways for a spouse to discover his or her partners financial situation. Hiding bankruptcy is a temporary solution at best and is not healthy for any marriage.
Doing The Right Thing Can Save You Heartache
In deciding when to file for bankruptcy, weigh your financial health with that of your marital health. The course of action you take may drag down your partners financial and credit health and, in turn, hurt your relationship. So have a candid conversation and put everything on the table before making your commitment. The good news is that filing for bankruptcy will likely change the way you spend and manage your money. This can help reduce the risk of money-related problems in your marriage and steer you and your spouse toward the right direction financially.
You May Like: Toygaroo Worst Deal
Debts That Can Get Discharged
We know that dealing with bankruptcy can be challenging, especially if you dont know what debts you can get discharged. If youve got any legal judgments that are present against you those can get discharged by way of bankruptcy.
If youve got any specific responsibilities that youre locked into because of a lease, that can get discharged. Other things, like or medical bills, also qualify. In some cases, unless you can provide a solid case for why something should get discharged, it will remain on your credit report.
Or if a creditor takes the time to argue why you should still pay or why you owe money for a specific debt, there could be a chance that its not discharged.
Can One Spouse File For Bankruptcy In Florida
What happens if you get intofinancial trouble and need to file for bankruptcy in Florida? Will your spousebe affected, too? Do you have to file for bankruptcy and risk ruining yourcredit if your spouse needs help getting out of debt? The answers to these questionsdepend on a few different factors.
While its true that many assets can be owned jointly in a marriage, both spouses dont necessarily need to file. How the ordeal plays out, though, depends on the circumstances of your case.
You May Like: Epiq Corporate Restructuring
Can I File Chapter 13 Without My Spouse
Yes, you can file a Chapter 13 bankruptcy case without your spouse, but your spouses income is included in your Chapter 13 case. Your spouse is not required to help you pay your Chapter 13 plan payment, but his or her income could increase the plan payment in some cases. Again, household income and household expenses are included in a bankruptcy case even though only one spouse files for bankruptcy relief.
However, you can use the marital adjustment to reduce the impact your spouses income has on your Chapter 13 plan payment. The marital adjustment allows you to deduct your non-filing spouses separate and personal expenses from his or her income.;
You will find that the jurisdiction will view the martial deduction differently. However, some examples of items that can be included in the marital deduction are:
- Non-filing spouses car loan payments and vehicle expenses;
- Debts that are in the non-filing spouses name only;
- Child support and alimony paid by the non-filing spouse;
- Medical expenses for the non-filing spouse;
- Vacations that the filing spouse did not attend;
- Cell phone bills for the non-filing spouse;
- Entertainment subscriptions in the non-filing spouses name; and,
- Business travel expenses for the non-filing spouse.
The marital adjustment can be challenging to use. Spouses must be careful not to misreport income and expenses because that could result in a denial of the spouses bankruptcy discharge.;
How Will The Bankruptcy Affect Both Of Your Credit Scores
Filing bankruptcy jointly with your spouse makes sense if you are both burdened by debt in both your names. If your spouse files but you dont, your jointly-held debt will become your responsibility.
However, if you file jointly, both of your credit scores will be adversely affected. This will hinder your ability to buy a home, car, or start a business for several years following discharge.
If you and your spouse plan on doing any of these things, you may need to consider filing alone. It may be better for the more indebted spouse to file so the other spouse retains a good credit score. The spouse who doesnt file can even help the other improve their credit score by co-signing on new debts and credit cards.
Thus, its important for both spouses to review their credit reports when considering whether to file bankruptcy alone or jointly. Its also vital that the spouse who does not file reviews their credit report regularly. They will need to ensure that the other spouses bankruptcy does not show up on it.
You May Like: What Is Epiq Bankruptcy Solutions Llc
Weigh Your Situation Before Deciding To File Bankruptcy Separately Or Jointly
There are a lot of factors going into the decision of filing bankruptcy separately or jointly. You will want to consider
- What property you own
- Of that property, what is designated community property
- What property is separate property of you and your spouse
- Your credit score and that of your spouse
- The amount of your debt and what kind of debt it is
- Your income and that of your spouse
- Whether you want to make a major purchase that could be denied if you both file bankruptcy
- Other issues your attorney will pinpoint
Your California bankruptcy attorney can analyze your situation and advise you whats best for your situation.
Individual And Joint Debt
Make sure to speak with your spouse and discuss how filing for bankruptcy will affect them.
Joint debts are handled differently than individual debts. The individual debt of one spouse who files for bankruptcy will be discharged; the other spouses debts remain unaffected.
When a husband and wife share debt, as in joint debt, the spouse who files is equally responsible for the repayment of that debt as the non-filing spouse. Although one spouses debt is discharged, the debt may appear on the other spouses credit report.
Illinois bankruptcy laws allow spouses who file bankruptcy jointly to claim a set of exemptions. In Illinois, exemptions can be described as personal property, such as condos or farms, motor vehicles and health or disability benefits, among others.
Filing bankruptcy jointly will increase the number of exemptions the married couple can claim. As a result, the trustee assigned to your bankruptcy case has no power to put your property up for sale.
How One Spouses Bankruptcycan Affect The Other Spouse
So, how does the bankruptcy ofone spouse affect the other? In short, it depends on how you own your assetsand whether both spouses are in debt. For instance, if you file for Chapter 7bankruptcy, any property that you and your spouse own togethersuch as anyvehicles or real estatewill become part of the bankruptcy estate. These assetscan be liquidated to pay down debts. If you hold debts jointly and only onespouse files, only the filing spouses debts will be discharged, which means thenon-filing spouse will still have to pay.
One advantage of singlebankruptcy filing for married couples is that only one spouses credit will bedamaged. This is an important fact if you and your spouse need to make a largepurchase in the future.
Community Law Property State
All community property becomes part of the filing spouses bankruptcy estate regardless if the other spouse is part of the Filing. This means more property is in jeopardy when only one spouse files in a community property state than in a common law property state. Prior to Filing, the filing spouse should verify that there are enough exemptions to protect all of the community property . Most states, when both spouses file bankruptcy, permit the exemption amounts to be doubled. Therefore, if the filing spouse is unable to exempt all community property, it may be in the married couples best interest to file jointly in order to double the amount of the exemptions to protect more property.
Don’t Miss: Dave Ramsey Engagement Ring Cost
Can Creditors Come After My Spouse If I File For Bankruptcy
When you file for bankruptcy, it eliminates only your personal liability for debts that are discharged in your case. Your individual bankruptcy doesn’t wipe out your spouse’s obligation to pay back his or her own debts or any joint debts you have together. This means that creditors can still pursue your spouse to collect your joint debts.
But there is an exception. If you live in a community property state and discharge the debts you owe jointly with your spouse, those creditors can only go after your spouse’s separate property after your bankruptcy. Because almost all property your spouse acquires during the marriage is community property , your spouse essentially receives the benefit of your discharge as well for your joint debts. This is commonly referred to as a phantom discharge.
For more information on how joint debts are treated in Chapter 7 bankruptcy, see What Happens to My Cosigner in Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?