Can my husband file bankruptcy without his co-signer? 17 Answers as of January 18, 2013

My husband wants to file bankruptcy as soon as possible. But he has 3 joint accounts with his ex-wife, (2 repossessed cars and 1 foreclosure on TimeShare), she was the co-signer. Can he file for his or do they have to file jointly?

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Mankus & Marchan, LTD
Mankus & Marchan, LTD | Tony Mankus
Your husband can file bankruptcy independent of any co-signers or co-obligors, although he has to report them in the appropriate sections.
Answer Applies to: Illinois
Replied: 12/29/2010
DiTocco Law Group, PLLC
DiTocco Law Group, PLLC | Tony DiTocco
Generally speaking, any individual can file Bankruptcy without the joinder of a co-debtor, even if the co-debtor is the filer's spouse.
Answer Applies to: Florida
Replied: 12/29/2010
William C. Gosnell, Attorney at Law
William C. Gosnell, Attorney at Law | William C. Gosnell
He should file a chapter 7 and get a fresh start. Only a married Husband and Wife can file jointly. If already divorced they must file separately.
Answer Applies to: Tennessee
Replied: 12/28/2010
Stuart Jon Bierman  Attorney at Law
Stuart Jon Bierman Attorney at Law | Stuart Jon Bierman
To answer your question, he can file on his own, BUT there could be repercussions on his co-signor, and they could be very significant. These could include that the co-signor might be compelled to pay off the debts if the primary debtor was discharged from paying, such as in a chapter 7 scenario.

Thus, it would be a good idea to talk with a bankruptcy attorney before proceeding.

The ex-spouse may also have remedies if she decides to take him back to divorce court and explain any inequities about this situation to the Judge.
Answer Applies to: New Jersey
Replied: 12/28/2010
DiManna Law Office, LLC.
DiManna Law Office, LLC. | Dawn DiManna
He can file individually, but depending on his final decree in state court he might be liable to her even though his debt is forgiven with the creditor if the ex-wife is still responsible and the creditor goes after her. You should have him consult with an attorney so that the decree can be reviewed and he can get advice based on the documents and his specific situation.
Answer Applies to: New Hampshire
Replied: 12/28/2010
    Bankruptcy Law Office of Robert Weed
    Bankruptcy Law Office of Robert Weed | Robert Weed
    People can only file jointly if they are (still married) so he cannot file jointly with his ex. Now, assuming he's filing a Chapter 7 (not paying the debts under Chapter 13), the repo and foreclosed timeshare will still come after her for their money. Depending on how those debts were handled in the divorce, that could still be a problem for him.
    Answer Applies to: Virginia
    Replied: 12/28/2010
    Steven D. Keist, Attorney at Law
    Steven D. Keist, Attorney at Law | Steven D. Keist
    YES. In fact they cannot file jointly if they are no longer married.
    Answer Applies to: Arizona
    Replied: 12/27/2010
    Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney
    Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney | Janet Lawson
    He cannot file with ex wife because they are not married. He can file without her but he may have a problem with the marital settlement agreement. He should see a lawyer.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 12/27/2010
    Law Offices of Lady Justice
    Law Offices of Lady Justice | Mona Patel
    He can file a separate bankruptcy. His cosigner might be liable for the debt though. If it was a repossessed car, do they still owe money on it? Usually after a repossession or a foreclosure, there is no debt left.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 12/27/2010
    Law Offices of Michael J. Berger
    Law Offices of Michael J. Berger | Michael J. Berger
    Your husband can file bankruptcy without his cosigner. Your husband may receive a discharge of his obligation to pay the dischargeable debts listed in his bankruptcy petition, but his cosigner will still be liable for the debts that she cosigned for.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 12/27/2010
    Greifendorff Law Offices, PC
    Greifendorff Law Offices, PC | Christine Wilton
    Yes, he can still file for bankruptcy.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 12/27/2010
    Carballo Law Offices
    Carballo Law Offices | Tony E. Carballo
    A person cannot file with an ex-wife. He can file with you (his present wife) if necessary or alone. His liability related to those three joint accounts will probably be discharged in the bankruptcy case if he is eligible for a bankruptcy discharge. However, the creditor can still pursue his ex-wife for payment since her debts will not be discharged in your husband's bankruptcy case. She will continue to owe the debts in full. In other words, she will be left holding the bag! In the divorce decree there might have been an allocation of debts so she might be able to go after your husband for reimbursement if the divorce court required your husband to pay those debts and he didn't.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 12/27/2010
    Henry, DeGraaff & McCormick, P.S. | Jacob DeGraaff
    Only an current husband and wife can file a joint bankruptcy case. Your husband can file on his own, but be aware that he divorce decree may contain provisions that will effectively prohibit the discharge of some of these debts in bankruptcy.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 1/18/2013
    The Orantes Law Firm
    The Orantes Law Firm | Giovanni Orantes
    He can file by himself without his ex-wife's signature. That will only wipe out his liability, though, and she will have to file her own petition if she needs bankruptcy protection if she cannot afford to pay off the debt.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 12/27/2010
    Diefer Law Group, P.C.
    Diefer Law Group, P.C. | Abel Fernandez
    He can file his own bankruptcy. He does not need to, in fact he cannot, file with his ex wife.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 12/27/2010
    Royzman Law Firm
    Royzman Law Firm | Natella Royzman
    He does not have to, and in fact cannot, file bankruptcy jointly with his ex-wife. If he files for bankruptcy, he can discharge his personal liability for the debt. The liability of the co-signer will not be affected.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 12/27/2010
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