How do I protect myself from being affected by my legally separated husband filing for bankruptcy? 18 Answers as of February 11, 2013

I am legally separated from my ex-husband, since October 2012. We have not signed a legal agreement, or filed for divorce. He is considering filing bankruptcy. How do I protect myself from his lenders coming after me? We have no joint debts other than a house mortgage.

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Law Office of Norman Moore
Law Office of Norman Moore | Norman P Moore Jr
If you live in Wisconsin ( a community property state) all (or almost all) of his debts are yours (as yours are his). I do not know of a way to protect yourself from the creditors coming after you, short of filing for bankruptcy protection yourself.
Answer Applies to: Wisconsin
Replied: 2/11/2013
Reger Rizzo & Darnall LLP | Kathleen DeLacy
You cannot stop him from filing bankruptcy. Any unsecured debt that is joint with you he can discharge and you can be held liable.
Answer Applies to: Delaware
Replied: 2/6/2013
Philip R. Boardman, Attorney at Law
Philip R. Boardman, Attorney at Law | Phil Boardman
You can rest easy. If your husband files bankruptcy, the creditors can not come after you if you were not on the loan originally. This is not true if you live in a community property state. There are a handful of those. Virginia is not a community property state.
Answer Applies to: Virginia
Replied: 2/6/2013
Law Office of Susan G. Taylor
Law Office of Susan G. Taylor | Susan G. Taylor
If you're on the house note and no other debts, that is the only debt for which you will be responsible after his bankruptcy.
Answer Applies to: Texas
Replied: 2/6/2013
Law Office of D.L. Drain, P.A.
Law Office of D.L. Drain, P.A. | Diane L. Drain
The answer depends on the state where you live. Talk to a good bankruptcy attorney in your state.
Answer Applies to: Arizona
Replied: 2/4/2013
    CARL C SILVER ATTORNEY AT LAW
    CARL C SILVER ATTORNEY AT LAW | Carl C Silver
    The fact you are "legally separated" means nothing. You are married. You are not responsible for your husband's individual debts. If there are no joint debts then you have nothing to worry about.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 2/4/2013
    A Fresh Start
    A Fresh Start | Dorothy G Bunce
    You have no protection from your husband's creditors seeking payment from you if you co-signed on the account. If the debts are in your husband's name alone, he is the only one who will be responsible for paying the debt. However, any joint accounts you still maintain could be vulnerable should a judgment be entered by any creditor.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 2/4/2013
    Diefer Law Group, P.C.
    Diefer Law Group, P.C. | Abel Fernandez
    If you have no joint accounts, his creditors should not come after you. What you need to protect are assets acquired during marriage that you are in possession of.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 2/4/2013
    Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney
    Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney | Janet Lawson
    If you never signed to be liable on a card, you are safe. If the mortgage is a purchase money mortgage, you are safe, (assuming the property is in California which is the only state I am licenses in).
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 2/4/2013
    Law Offices of Terrell Monks
    Law Offices of Terrell Monks | Terrell Monks
    In Oklahoma a lender for someone other than you may not collect from you unless you sign a document wherein you agree to be responsible (and for certain medical necessities for your spouse). It may save money for the two of you to file together if it is going to happen eventually anyway.
    Answer Applies to: Oklahoma
    Replied: 2/4/2013
    Attorney at Law | David Holbrook
    His lenders cannot collect from you. As long as the mortgage gets paid, you should be OK.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 2/4/2013
    The Law Office of Darren Aronow, PC
    The Law Office of Darren Aronow, PC | Darren Aronow
    You are only liable for debts that you co signed for, but the trustee can seize any assets, if unexempt, that you may have received in the separation.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 2/4/2013
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC | John F Brennan
    If you have a joint liability only on the mortgage that will be your issue. See an attorney about you options and best course of action. It may be time to file for the divorce.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 2/4/2013
    Bodow Law Firm PLLC | Ted Araujo
    You cannot protect yourself from the ex or a spouse filing bankruptcy. You may have to object to the discharge of otherwise non-dischargeable support obligations, but there is not enough information in your fact pattern to tell if you have a right to argue that certain debts are not dischargeable as against you. IF you were liable to creditors before you got divorced you remain liable to them now. Nothing in your divorce decree can absolve you from that liability.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 2/4/2013
    Law Office of Michael Johnson
    Law Office of Michael Johnson | Michael Johnson
    If you have joint debt then it is your responsibility and should consult with an attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 2/4/2013
    Granger Law Firm
    Granger Law Firm | Katharine Granger
    Only loans that you are co-signer on can come after you. Sometimes loans in which you may have been listed as an authorized user will try to pursue you as well. Otherwise, the loans that he is solely responsible for will be discharged with him in the bankruptcy.
    Answer Applies to: Ohio
    Replied: 2/4/2013
    Benson Law Firm
    Benson Law Firm | David Benson
    Generally speaking, you cannot be held responsible for debt that does not carry your name.
    Answer Applies to: Ohio
    Replied: 2/4/2013
    Ken Love Law | Kenneth Love
    You don't have to do anything, married or separate, you are not liable for his debts, unless you signed on to them yourself.
    Answer Applies to: North Carolina
    Replied: 2/4/2013
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