Can my husband file bankruptcy without his co-signer? How? 13 Answers as of June 29, 2015

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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GARCIA & GONZALES, P.C. | Richard N. Gonzales
No question he can file. I don't know about the ramifications on the divorce matter. He should probably call his divorce lawyer and pay for an hour of his or her time to make sure everything will be alright assuming he files for BK.
Answer Applies to: Colorado
Replied: 6/29/2015
Richard B. Jacobson & Associates, LLC | Richard B. Jacobson
He may not file jointly with someone who is no longer his spouse. They could each file separately, if they wished. As to the joint debts, if he files and she does not, the creditors are free to collect from her. This does not make for good relations among the divorced spouses. Also, if he was allocated the debts in the divorce they really are not discharged in the BR, and he may have to pay them anyway at least if he does not live in a marital (community) property state.
Answer Applies to: Wisconsin
Replied: 6/26/2015
The Law Office of Darren Aronow, PC
The Law Office of Darren Aronow, PC | Darren Aronow
He can file alone and he will no longer be liable. She will be liable still after he completes his bankruptcy.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 6/26/2015
The Schreiber Law Firm
The Schreiber Law Firm | Jeffrey D. Schreiber
The they cannot file jointly as you have to be married at the time the petition is filed to file a joint bankruptcy petition. If he files and receives a discharge, he will no longer be legally liable for the debt, but she will. He also should check to make sure he is not trying to discharge jointly incurred debts which he was obligated to pay in the divorce as that can potentially have consequences to him.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 6/25/2015
Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney
Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney | Janet Lawson
They can not file together, they are not married. The each have to file their own case. If one files and the other does not, then the non-filer is stuck with the debt.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 6/25/2015
    Ronald K. Nims LLC | Ronald K. Nims
    Only married couples can file bankruptcy jointly. So, it's not possible to file a joint bankruptcy with an ex-spouse. As cosigner, she will remain liable on the debts that he has discharged in bankruptcy.
    Answer Applies to: Ohio
    Replied: 6/25/2015
    Garner Law Office
    Garner Law Office | Daniel Garner
    Yes, he can file without his co-signer but he should list his ex on Schedule H and identify the debts they share. He should make sure that she gets notice of his bankruptcy, because it is likely that the creditors will come after her next. From your description, he should have no problem discharging his responsibility on those debts, but his filing will not relieve his ex of her responsibility on those debts. She may need to file bankruptcy too, depending on how big the debts are. She cannot file jointly with him because they are no longer married. She would have to file her own case if she decides to go that route.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 6/25/2015
    A Fresh Start
    A Fresh Start | Dorothy G Bunce
    A joint bankruptcy petition can only be filed with a current spouse, not an ex-spouse. The fact that the ex was a co-signer is of no importance at all.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 6/25/2015
    Stephens Gourley & Bywater | David A. Stephens
    He can file separately if he wants.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 6/25/2015
    Marc S. Stern
    Marc S. Stern | Marc S. Stern
    He can file individually. Only currently married spouses can file jointly. Since he is married to you, he cannot file a joint petition with the ex. The question is whether you should file with him. I don't see why you should but that is a vastly different and much more complex question.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 6/25/2015
    Eranthe Law Firm
    Eranthe Law Firm | Cate Eranthe
    Your husband can't file with his ex. Please have him go see a knowledgeable local bankruptcy attorney to discuss the impact of filing and the best chapter and approach to take.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/25/2015
    John W. Lee, PC
    John W. Lee, PC | Kim A. Lewis
    Yes he can file bankruptcy although if his divorce decree requires him to pay those debts he may be in violation of that court order. He will need to review the papers before he filed.
    Answer Applies to: Virginia
    Replied: 6/25/2015
    Law Office of Stuart M. Nachbar, P.C.
    Law Office of Stuart M. Nachbar, P.C. | Stuart M. Nachbar
    If they are not married, they can not file together. She should be listed in the Petition as a responsible party or Co-Debtor for those Debts. Not to throw a monkey wrench in his plans, but did his divorce decree determine that he is responsible for those debts? If so, you really need to check with a lawyer as to the ramifications of doing this.Just being cautious.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 6/25/2015
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