How will I be affected if my wife files for bankruptcy? 29 Answers as of August 17, 2011

If my wife files bankruptcy, how would that affect me?

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

Free Case Evaluation by a Local Lawyer: Click here
Lehn Law, PA
Lehn Law, PA | Joseph W. Lehn
There will be an issue if you have debt in common. Though she will discharge her obligation to the debt, if you are a co-debtor, you will still be held responsible.
Answer Applies to: Florida
Replied: 8/17/2011
Breckenridge and Walton
Breckenridge and Walton | Alan D. Walton
Should have no effect what-so-ever
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 8/11/2011
Mercado & Hartung, PLLC
Mercado & Hartung, PLLC | Christopher J. Mercado
If you are a co-debtor, creditors might look to you for collection.
Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 8/10/2011
The Law Offices of Kristy Qiu
The Law Offices of Kristy Qiu | Mengjun Qiu
Unless you have property together, and the value of her half of the property is over the exemption limit, you won't be affected. If you have a joint account in Wachovia or Wells Fargos, however, the account will be frozen when she files for bankruptcy.
Answer Applies to: Florida
Replied: 8/10/2011
Mankus & Marchan, LTD
Mankus & Marchan, LTD | Tony Mankus
You should not be affected if your wife files bankruptcy in her name alone, although your joint household income and expenses will have to be declared in her bankruptcy if you live together.
Answer Applies to: Illinois
Replied: 8/10/2011
    Theodore N. Stapleton, PC
    Theodore N. Stapleton, PC | Theodore N. Stapleton
    It should only affect you if you have joint debts or debts which you are both liable for. After she files BK the creditors will come to you for payment. I am happy to discuss the issue with you.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 8/10/2011
    Indianapolis Bankruptcy Law Office of Eric C. Lewis
    Indianapolis Bankruptcy Law Office of Eric C. Lewis | Eric Lewis
    It could affect jointly held assets. It will not affect your credit.
    Answer Applies to: Indiana
    Replied: 8/10/2011
    Heupel Law
    Heupel Law | Kevin Heupel
    It depends on if you have joint debts with her. If you don't, then her filing bankruptcy will not affect you at all. If you do have joint debts, then you'll be solely responsible to pay them after she files bankruptcy.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 8/10/2011
    Advanced Litigation Services
    Advanced Litigation Services | Joseph Iarussi
    It will not affect you. You will still be responsible for all the debts in your name only.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 8/10/2011
    Lewis Adams and Associates
    Lewis Adams and Associates | Lewis P. Adams
    If you have joint debt, the creditor can still look to you for payment. If you have joint assets, the assets are considered property of her bankruptcy estate and her share of the asset are an undivided interest in the whole. Your income and expenses are required to determine her eligibility because the Bankruptcy Code requires disclosure of all household income and expenses. Sometimes, mortgage companies will stop sending monthly statements to you, even though you are not a party to the bankruptcy. Your credit report may include a statement that a joint debt has been included in a bankruptcy.
    Answer Applies to: Utah
    Replied: 8/9/2011
    The Law Office of Marvin Wolf
    The Law Office of Marvin Wolf | Marvin Wolf
    Generally speaking, both spouse's gross income is considered for purposes of bankruptcy's Means Test even if only one spouse is filing. Because every individual is supposed to have an individual credit report, one spouse's bankruptcy is not supposed to - (yet sometimes does) - show up on the other's credit report, however, it normally would not affect that spouse's individual credit score. It might affect credit where both spouses are required to be on a loan. It may be useful to check the credit report to see how things are being reported pre-filing and then again post-filing. If the spouses have joint debts, and one spouse files a 7, the other spouse would still remain liable for payment on the joint debt. In a Chapter 13 case, however, the automatic stay would protect the other spouse until the end of the case (by which time, that debt might be paid by the filing spouse, so there would be no remaining debt). NJ is not a community property state, so there might be some protection for assets held solely in one spouse's name (with exceptions for fraudulent transfers or other fraud). However, any property owned jointly by the spouses would become part of the bankruptcy estate unless it is exempt and a trustee might threaten action against it, so more specific legal analysis and advice is necessary prior to filing a case. If there is a joint credit card, or one spouse adds the other as an authorized user, try to get hold of the original credit agreement to verify who signed. Generally, authorized users are not responsible, but creditors want to be paid so sometimes misrepresent the facts. Even then, some store receipts have you sign that you are responsible for debts on that card. Believe it or not, that receipt can be claimed to be a contract by a credit card company, even if the additional user agreement stated that the other spouse was responsible. In other words, sometimes you have to fight over this issue, regardless of who originally opened the account.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 8/9/2011
    Bankruptcy Law office of Bill Rubendall
    Bankruptcy Law office of Bill Rubendall | William M. Rubendall
    Either spouse can file a bankruptcy. The non-filing spouse should not have credit affected.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/9/2011
    Jackson White, PC
    Jackson White, PC | Spencer Hale
    There are many ways it could affect you in both positive and negative ways. For instance all the community debts could be discharged as to the community property, but you may also have some adverse affects on your property if it is not exempt.
    Answer Applies to: Arizona
    Replied: 8/9/2011
    Law Office of Lynnmarie A. Johnson
    Law Office of Lynnmarie A. Johnson | Lynnmarie Johnson
    Generally, it would only affect you if you have any joint debts. She could discharge them in bankruptcy and then you would be left responsible. If the debts are in her name only, it should not affect you or your credit.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 8/9/2011
    Edward Papa, Esq.
    Edward Papa, Esq. | Edward Papa
    You will still be responsible for any joint debts that will be discharged as to your wife only. If there are non exempt joint property, for example, joint bank accounts or other assets, that could be used to satisfy her creditors then you will want to make an appointment with your own counsel.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 8/9/2011
    Law Office of L. Paul Zahn
    Law Office of L. Paul Zahn | Paul Zahn
    You alone would be responsible for any debt in your names jointly (as you are now) but she wouldn't be responsible for any of them in the future.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/10/2011
    Judith A. Runyon, Esq. Attorney at Law
    Judith A. Runyon, Esq. Attorney at Law | Judith A. Runyon
    Talk to a bankruptcy attorney about that
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/9/2011
    Law Office of Michael Johnson
    Law Office of Michael Johnson | Michael Johnson
    If you dont have any joint debt it will not affect your credit.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 8/9/2011
    Ashman Law Office
    Ashman Law Office | Glen Edward Ashman
    It may, especially if you have joint debts or assets, or if you and she have transferred property or money between each other in the past.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 8/9/2011
    Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney
    Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney | Janet Lawson
    it will not unless you have joint cards, in which case the creditors will be looking to you for payment.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/9/2011
    Bird & VanDyke, Inc.
    Bird & VanDyke, Inc. | David VanDyke
    All your community property becomes her bankruptcy estate and must be properly exempted.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/9/2011
    Melinda Murphy Dionne, PC
    Melinda Murphy Dionne, PC | Melinda Murphy Dionne
    Your wife filing bankruptcy should have little to no impact on you if you have no debt or assets in common. If you have debts in common, your creditors will still look to you to pay those debts. If you have assets in common, and you have significant equity in the properties, a Chapter 7 trustee could sell the assets and pay you your share of the proceeds. In a Chapter 13 case, your wife could propose to pay the value of her equity into her case and keep the assets. While you will not be a debtor in the bankruptcy case, your income will have to be disclosed if you are living together. Your expenses are also included. Your last 60 days of pay stubs will have to be filed with the Court as well. You should monitor your credit report after her filing to make sure that one of her creditors does not erroneously report information about her bankruptcy on your report.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 8/9/2011
    Eric J. Benzer, Attorney at Law
    Eric J. Benzer, Attorney at Law | Eric Benzer
    Greatly.
    Answer Applies to: Maryland
    Replied: 8/9/2011
    Mauritz Van Niekerk, Attorneys at Law
    Mauritz Van Niekerk, Attorneys at Law | Christiaan van Niekerk
    Unless you signed on the debt you will not be affected.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 8/9/2011
    Ross Smith, Attorney at Law
    Ross Smith, Attorney at Law | Charles Ross Smith III
    You will not be affected. It is barely possible that a credit reporting agency could accidentally report you as filing. That is easily corrected the few times that it happens.
    Answer Applies to: Ohio
    Replied: 8/9/2011
    Goldsmith & Guymon
    Goldsmith & Guymon | Marjorie Guymon
    All community property comes in to a spouse's bankruptcy estate. You could possibly lose assets to satisfy community debt. I highly recommend discussing the details with an attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 8/9/2011
    Law Office of Maureen O' Malley
    Law Office of Maureen O' Malley | Maureen O'Malley
    Shouldn't affect you at all except that she'll have to show your income and expenses. Or if you have joint debts.
    Answer Applies to: Virginia
    Replied: 8/9/2011
    Dan Shay Law
    Dan Shay Law | Daniel Shay
    Your credit scores are separate and go by social security number unless someone pulls a joint credit report.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/9/2011
    The Schreiber Law Firm
    The Schreiber Law Firm | Jeffrey D. Schreiber
    That depends on her circumstances, which state you live in and the property owned by you, by her and jointly. Your income will have to be included in the means testing, property owned between you may be subject to being taken by the trustee, you cannot use her income to support any credit purchases in the future as her credit will be adversely affected.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/9/2011
Click to View More Answers:
12 3 4 5 Free Legal QuestionsConnect with a local attorney