How can I protect myself in my ex's bankruptcy? 11 Answers as of March 08, 2011

My ex wife is filing for bankruptcy. We had a car that I co signed on and in our divorce settlement she took responsibility of it and was suppose to pay it off. Now she is filing for bankruptcy and said the car company will attempt to collect the remainder of the debt for me. Is there anything I can do to protect myself?

Ask a Local Attorney. 100% Anonymous. Free Answers.

Free Case Evaluation by a Local Lawyer: Click here
David R. Fondren, Attorney at Law
David R. Fondren, Attorney at Law | David R. Fondren
The way you phrased the question, it is probably not maintenance to you. You may try to get the car transferred to you from your wife. If you can make the payments, fine, you have another car. If not, you can try to sell it yourself on the open market. This would get a better price than an auction. The deficiency would be less for you to pay. If your wife damages the car for spite after the bankruptcy is filed, it is a new claim against her and not part of her discharge. But you have the burden to prove when it happened.
Answer Applies to: Missouri
Replied: 3/8/2011
Mercado & Hartung, PLLC
Mercado & Hartung, PLLC | Christopher J. Mercado
In a Ch 13, the automatic stay extends to a CO-debtor (a consignor, or a non-filing spouse). However, the Creditor can seek relief from the Co-debtor stay if "(1) as between the debtor and the individual protected, such individual received the consideration for the claim held by such creditor; 20 the plan filed by the debtor proposes not to pay such claim; or 3) such creditor's interest would irreparably harmed by continuation of such stay.
Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 3/3/2011
Rhonda R. Werner Schultz, PL
Rhonda R. Werner Schultz, PL | Rhonda R. Werner Schultz
You will need to file a claim in the Bankruptcy Court when your Wife files. Since you have a property agreement that states she is to be responsible for the car, you may be able to hold her to that agreement in the bankruptcy court - it will depend on the language in your divorce judgment.
Answer Applies to: Wisconsin
Replied: 3/3/2011
Gus Johnson Attorney at Law
Gus Johnson Attorney at Law | Gus Johnson
You need to file an objection to discharge.
Answer Applies to: South Dakota
Replied: 3/2/2011
Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney
Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney | Janet Lawson
You might want to check you marital settlement agreement and see if there is a "hold harmless" clause that requires her to pay you if she defaults (so you can pay them). OR you can get the car back, pay it off and keep it.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 3/2/2011
    Greifendorff Law Offices, PC
    Greifendorff Law Offices, PC | Christine Wilton
    Sure. You should get notice of her bankruptcy case and you can take a copy of your divorce papers, which is a court order for her to pay the car and show it to the trustee.

    You could file a proof of claim for the amount owed on that vehicle because legally the car company will not get involved in your divorce, so the lienholder will come to you for the payments. You could even file a lawsuit in her bankruptcy case against her for the amount owed as agreed upon in your bankruptcy case and although you would be paying the car, she would be paying you. Just a few options for you to consider.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/2/2011
    Cohen & Kendziorra, P.A.
    Cohen & Kendziorra, P.A. | Robert S. Cohen
    If you co-signed the loan, then the bank will look to you for payment unless your ex-wife agrees to sign a reaffirmation agreement with the bank to reaffirm the debt and continues to make the car payments.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 3/2/2011
    Ferguson & Ferguson
    Ferguson & Ferguson | Randy W. Ferguson
    Probably not. If you co-signed you are on the hook for the bill, even though she got it in divorce.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 3/2/2011
    The Carmichael Firm
    The Carmichael Firm | Booker Carmichael
    You could file a proof of claim in the bankruptcy and may recieve payment from the estate if the bankruptcy is am asset case or chapter13. Or you could file for bankruptcy protection yourself.
    Answer Applies to: Louisiana
    Replied: 3/2/2011
    William C. Gosnell, Attorney at Law
    William C. Gosnell, Attorney at Law | William C. Gosnell
    No you cannot protect yourself.
    Answer Applies to: Tennessee
    Replied: 3/2/2011
    The Law Office of Mark J. Markus
    The Law Office of Mark J. Markus | Mark Markus
    Other than filing bankruptcy yourself, no. If she is filing a Chapter 7, however, you will be able to seek repayment from your ex-wife in family law court since that debt she owes to you is not dischargeable in a Chapter 7, but is in a Chapter 13.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/2/2011
Click to View More Answers: