Can I File Bankruptcy Without My Spouse In 2021
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In a Nutshell
Yes, you can file bankruptcy without your spouse. A variety of factors play a role in determining whether filing bankruptcy with or without your spouse makes the most sense for you. This article will explore some of these considerations, then provide you with an overview of how to file bankruptcy without your spouse.
Written by Attorney Eva Bacevice. Â;
Yes, you can file bankruptcy without your spouse. A variety of factors play a role in determining whether filing bankruptcy with or without your spouse makes the most sense for you. This article will explore some of these considerations, then provide you with an overview of how to file bankruptcy without your spouse.Â;
Things You Should Know If You Are Married But Want To File Bankruptcy Alone
| Oct 18, 2017 | Uncategorized
This post lists three things you should know if you want to file for bankruptcy without your spouse. Contact Phoenix Law for more information today.
Using bankruptcy to help you get out of debt is something you could consider if you are overwhelmed with bills you cannot pay. If you are married, but you are considering filing individually, without your spouse, here are some of the main factors you should know before you sign the bankruptcy documents.
1. You Can File Individually If You Are Married
Married couples have the freedom to file for together or individually. Couples typically file together when they have joint debts, but spouses can file by themselves if they choose to.
There are several reasons a spouse might want to file individually, and you might have your own reasons. For example, if you want to buy a house in the near future, you could prevent damage to your spouses credit if you file individually, and put the house in only your spouses name.
If both spouses want to file for bankruptcy, it is always better to file jointly. By filing jointly, you can pay just one filing fee and one fee for the legal assistance from a lawyer.
However, it is important to understand how filing individually could affect your spouse, and you can find out more about this by meeting with a bankruptcy lawyer.
2. Joint Debts Do Not Get Fully Discharged
3. Your Spouses Income Counts
How To Deal With A Car Loan When Only One Spouse Files
In a Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing there are three ways to deal with car loans:Â;
You keep everything basically the same including the car loan and its terms. This is called reaffirming your car loan. The debt is not discharged.
You borrow money to pay the bank what the car is actually worth and eliminate your responsibility to pay off the rest of the car loan. This is called redeeming your car.Â;
You walk away from the debt and surrender the car to the bank. No matter how much you owe on your car loan, itâs eliminated by the bankruptcy discharge. You get to start fresh with a new car after filing bankruptcy.
If you have a co-signer on your car loan , you may be able to keep everything the same without signing a reaffirmation agreement. More on that in this article titled What happens to the co-signer of a car in bankruptcy in 2021?
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Explore Your Joint Bankruptcy Options
If you are interested in filing a joint bankruptcy petition, it is highly recommended that you consult a bankruptcy attorney first. While this process can be advantageous for many couples, you should not hesitate to explore all of your options before making a final decision.
For this reason, the legal team at Hensel Law Office encourages you to contact our firm today for a free consultation. In doing so, you will have the chance to discuss your goals and concerns, develop an effective plan of action and begin taking steps toward a debt-free future.
When you at 258-0651, you will have the opportunity to schedule an appointment with our very own attorney Thomas Hensel.
How Will Filing Bankruptcy Affect My Spouses Property
In a common law property state, your separate property that is under your name and not jointly with your spouse would become part of your bankruptcy. Your spouses separate property and;their share of joint property are not included in your bankruptcy.
In a community property state, all community property is part of your bankruptcy even if you file without your spouse unless you have some exemptions.
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Which Debts Do You Want To Wipe Out
Getting rid of debt is one of the foremost concerns when deciding whether to file a joint bankruptcy with your spouse. Through a joint bankruptcy, you can wipe out all of the dischargeable debts you both owe. However, if only one spouse files, the non-filing spouse will still be on the hook for his or her own debts as well as any joint debts . So when you share many of the same obligations, filing a joint bankruptcy is usually the better option.
On the other hand, if you have few or no joint debts and your spouse has a lot of individual debts, the better course might be to let your spouse file alone. You’ll retain the option of filing for bankruptcy later on if necessary.
Special Note for Community Property State Residents: If you live in one of the few community property states, the calculation might be different. In many of these states , community debts are discharged even if only one spouse files for bankruptcy, and discharged creditors cannot go after any community property so long as both spouses are alive and still married . Conversely, you might lose more property in these states if you file individually .
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.;
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Can One Spouse File Bankruptcy Or Do Married Couples Have To File Together
When filing for bankruptcy, do married couples have to file together or can one spouse file bankruptcy? Find out here.
The bankruptcy rate per 1,000 people was 5.3 percent last year alone. People file bankruptcy for a variety of reasons, but if youre married, you might have some questions when it comes to filing bankruptcy documents.
Can one spouse file bankruptcy is a question that is sitting at the forefront of your mind right now, and we want to provide you the answers youre looking for. Continue reading on now for everything that you need to know about can one spouse file bankruptcy without affecting the other?
How To File Bankruptcy When Married
If youre contemplating filing for bankruptcy, youll want to sit down with an experienced bankruptcy attorney and figure out whether it makes sense for you to file jointly or on your own.
For married couples initiating bankruptcy on a joint basis, it will be less expensive than filing on your own because the filing fees are exactly the same whether you go in as a joint file or a single file. Attorneys may also charge less for joint filings than they would for two separate individual filings. All of the property becomes subject to bankruptcy proceedings in these cases.
If one spouse is filing on their own, they might want to protect the spouses credit or some of their property. If you had a property in your name before getting married and the spouse initiates a bankruptcy proceeding, that property does not become part of the bankruptcy estate. Meaning the court and trustee dont have jurisdiction over the property regardless of the value. All debts are discharged if both parties in the couple file jointly.
The personal debts and any debts incurred together are eliminated. When only one spouse files for bankruptcy, however, that spouse is the only one to get a discharge. Meaning that the non-filing spouse will still have to pay any joint debts or any personal debts.
As you can see, there are very complicated factors involved in determining whether or not its in your best interests to file for bankruptcy on your own, or as a couple.
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Should I Remove My Spouse As An Authorized User On My Credit Cards If I File Bankruptcy Without My Spouse
There is a difference between a joint account holder, a supplementary account holder, and an authorized user on an accident. The terms of the credit agreement define the roles and liability for each person.
A joint account holder promises to pay the debt if the other account holder does not pay the debt. The joint account holder is equally liable because the account is in the names of both parties. As explained above, a supplementary account holder may or may not be liable for the debt, depending on the terms of the agreement.;
However, an authorized user is a person that an account holder grants the authority to use the account. The authorized user cannot change the account in any way and is not responsible for payments on the account. Therefore, if the account holder files for bankruptcy relief, the creditor cannot collect the debt from the authorized user. Also, the bankruptcy filing should not impact an authorized users credit score.
Even so, it may be a good idea to remove authorized users from credit accounts before filing the bankruptcy case. Removing the authorized user can avoid any errors on his or her credit report that would need to be corrected. Often, creditors incorrectly report the status of a credit account on an authorized users credit report, which can be frustrating and time-consuming to correct.;
Filing For Bankruptcy Individually
If the majority of debt is owned individually, filing separately may be the better option. It may also be the right choice if:
- You want to preserve one spouses credit rating. Since filing for bankruptcy in Jacksonville will cause an individuals credit score to drop, filing separately may be the better option so that one spouses credit is preserved.
- Your combined assets exceed the bankruptcy exemptions. In Florida, property acquired during a marriage is often NOT the property of a bankruptcy estate. So, even if a couple has household furnishings worth tens of thousands of dollars, those assets are not the property of a bankruptcy estate if only one spouse files and if the couple acquired those assets after they married.
If youre married and considering filing for bankruptcy in Jacksonville, contact the attorneys at Parker & DuFresne today to learn more about which option best suits your needs.
How Filing Separately Affects A Spouse’s Debts
If your spouse owes separate debts , they won’t be affected by your separate bankruptcy filing. Your spouse will continue to owe that debt, which won’t be discharged when your case is over.
If you owe debts together, however, your bankruptcy could leave your spouse on the hook alone for the entire amount you owe. Your Chapter 7 bankruptcy wipes out your liability for dischargeable debt, but it won’t affect your spouse’s liability. You could conceivably exit your Chapter 7 bankruptcy debt-free — and headed for divorce court.
This is why many people choose Chapter 13: As long as you the debt is included in your plan and you make your plan payments, your spouse or other codebtor will be protected from collection actions while your bankruptcy proceeds. If you repay the debt in full through your plan, your spouse or other codebtor will no longer be liable once your bankruptcy ends.
Why Would You File Separately
Here are some reasons why spouses may decide to file independently:
- One spouse has already filed bankruptcy in the past 8 years.
- One spouse has all the debt and the other has none.
- One spouse owns assets free and clear and doesnt want to lose them.
- One spouse has a clean credit record and doesnt want that damaged and that spouse has not cosigned on the filing spouses debts.
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How Filing Jointly For Bankruptcy Affects A Spouse
Whether you file for bankruptcy under Chapter 7 or Chapter 13, you have the option of filing alone or filing jointly with your spouse. If you file jointly, all property both of you own, whether you own it separately or together, will be part of your bankruptcy case. So will all of your debts, which means your discharge will apply to both of you; in other words, neither of you will still be liable for discharged debts.
Some states allow married couples who file jointly to “double” their exemptions. For example, if an individual can exempt up to $30,000 of home equity, a married couple filing together could exempt $60,000. Not all states allow doubling, however, and those that do sometimes allow only certain exemptions to be doubled.
Husband And Wife Can File Bankruptcy Together Or Separate
Can a husband and wife can file bankruptcy together or separate?
- One spouse can file bankruptcy alone
Whether to file bankruptcy in Minnesota jointly or alone is a complicated decision, and several factors weigh into it.
The biggest factors are:
- How the debts are split up between husband and wife
- How much income each spouse makes
- Who owns the property
- If a debt is joint, then both spouses owe 100% of it
This is true even if it is only one spouse that incurred the debt.
- If your name is on the bill, then you owe it
- If you are an authorized user on a credit card, then you are completely liable for the full balance of the credit card, whether or not you charged anything on the card
- Tax debts are also joint for couples that file joint income tax returns
You can pursue an innocent spouse defense with the IRS if everything is your spouses fault, but bankruptcy is often cheaper and more efficient than dealing with the IRS.
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The Benefits Of Filing A Joint Bankruptcy Petition
First, you should address the positive aspects:
- Joint Bankruptcy Will Save You Time & Money – Whether you decide to file together or individually, the bankruptcy filing and attorney’s fees will be the same. This means that you could save time and money if you and your spouse file jointly.
- Joint Bankruptcy Eliminates Both Parties’ Debt – Since both spouses would be responsible for repaying any shared debts incurred over the course of their marriage, it may be counteractive for one spouse to file individually. The non-filing spouse would still be liable for their separate debts and their share of any joint debts that were not discharged during the bankruptcy.
- Joint Bankruptcy is More Efficient –Filing for bankruptcy is no simple matter. You must provide extensive financial documentation in your petition, and you will be required to attend at least one hearing with a bankruptcy trustee. For this reason, it may be more efficient for you and your spouse to file jointly, as you would only be required to do this once.
- Joint Bankruptcy Protects More of Your Property – In the state of Michigan, married couples that file a joint bankruptcy petition will be allowed toprotect more of their property. For example, you and your spouse could each exempt up to $3,250 in motor vehicle equity.
Do I Need A Bankruptcy Lawyer
Filing for bankruptcy is a very complicated process. Bankruptcy law varies depending on where the action is filed and which chapter of bankruptcy is being pursued. A local bankruptcy lawyer will know the particulars of filing for bankruptcy, can recommend what chapter of bankruptcy is right for you, and can ensure that your paperwork is filed correctly.
If creditors are still trying to collect after a bankruptcy action has been filed, a lawyer may be able to halt such collection efforts and may be able to get you some money damages.
- No fee to present your case
- Choose from lawyers in your area
- A 100% confidential service
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