If I file for bankruptcy is my spouse affected? 15 Answers as of July 10, 2014

I owned a home with my ex-wife prior to getting married again and it's in foreclosure.

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EDWARD P RUSSELL | EDWARD P RUSSELL
Only the person filing the petition for bankruptcy is affected by the bankruptcy though your spouse's income would have to be included in the income schedule assuming that you are living together.
Answer Applies to: Minnesota
Replied: 7/10/2014
Ronald K. Nims LLC | Ronald K. Nims
You current spouse isn't required to file bankruptcy with you, however, her income will be considered part of your household income for determining if you qualify for Chapter 7 or have to file a Chapter 13. In addition, whether you can be discharged from the debt on?the joint debt with your former spouse depends on the terms of your divorce/dissolution.
Answer Applies to: Ohio
Replied: 7/10/2014
Hicks, Massey & Gardner, LLP
Hicks, Massey & Gardner, LLP | Robert M. Gardner, Jr.
A current spouse is only affected to the extend that your have debts or property together. A non-filing spouse's income is used in your budget, and a tightening of the household budget will affect her somewhat.
Answer Applies to: Georgia
Replied: 7/9/2014
Law Office of Peter M. Lively
Law Office of Peter M. Lively | Peter M. Lively
Whether your spouse is affected by your bankruptcy filing depends on several facts not provided. You should consult with a bankruptcy attorney who can review all of your facts and circumstances. If you are still on title to real property that was awarded to your ex-wife through a property separation judgment during your divorce, then the automatic stay applies to the lender conducting the foreclosure of that property.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 7/9/2014
Garner Law Office
Garner Law Office | Daniel Garner
It's not clear which spouse you are concerned about, or whose house is being foreclosed upon. Assuming your ex-wife is still in the house you co-owned with her, and she has been unable to make the payments, I surmise that you are contemplating bankruptcy to avoid liability for the defaulted mortgage. If my assumptions are correct, it is still not certain that you would need to file bankruptcy because of the foreclosure, and your current spouse could be affected financially if you are forced to file a Chapter 13 bankruptcy in the event that your income or assets exceed the limits of a Chapter 7. The "means test" requires evaluating all the household income for you and your current spouse, and you would be viewed as an economic unit even if your current spouse does not file with you (and that is not uncommon.) So I would advise you to wait and see what happens with the foreclosure, and if you are held liable for a deficiency between the auction price and the mortgage debt, then you can do a cost-benefit analysis of the advantages and disadvantages of a bankruptcy.
Answer Applies to: Oregon
Replied: 7/9/2014
    GARCIA & GONZALES, P.C.
    GARCIA & GONZALES, P.C. | Richard N. Gonzales
    In a Chapter 13, they will want to look at your wife's income and expenses (e.g., her own car payment, her own medical bill payments, her own charge card payments, etc.). Generally, a non-filing spouse has very little affect on the Chapter 13. By all means, of course, confer with your counsel.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 7/9/2014
    A Fresh Start
    A Fresh Start | Dorothy G Bunce
    Well, if your ex spouse's name is in the mortgage, the fact that the payments aren't being made and that the property is in foreclosure has already affected your ex wife in a negative way. You filing bankruptcy won't make much of a difference other than the mortgage payments will no longer be reported on her credit.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 7/9/2014
    Law Office of Melissa Botting | Melissa Botting
    Texas is a community property state so your wife's income will be considered in your bankruptcy. She does not need to file but your eligibility to file and any payments you must make if you choose to file a 13 to save the property would be determined including her income.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 7/9/2014
    Novakov & Associates, PLLC
    Novakov & Associates, PLLC | LINDA S. NOVAKOV
    If your former spouse was a signer on the note, she will be subject to a judgment lien. If the spouse you are asking about is a current spouse, the answer is no, unless you have joint debt, and after you discharge the amounts owed, she would still be responsible for the balance on any debt in your joint names. Your current spouse's dower interest will be listed and foreclosed in the action that is pending. She would not be subject to a money judgment however, unless she signed the note.
    Answer Applies to: Kentucky
    Replied: 7/9/2014
    Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney
    Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney | Janet Lawson
    Your bankruptcy will not affect her.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/9/2014
    Arany & Associates
    Arany & Associates | Lawrence C. Arany
    Unfortunately, there is no clear-cut answer to your question. The true answer is: "It depends." Yes, your wife can be affected by your bankruptcy - indirectly. Her income must be disclosed and included in determining your financial circumstances and your ability to pay some of your debt. Her expenses, too, are relevant. You should consult with an experienced bankruptcy attorney, and you should bring your wife alone for that consultation. Good luck!
    Answer Applies to: Indiana
    Replied: 7/9/2014
    The Law Office of Darren Aronow, PC
    The Law Office of Darren Aronow, PC | Darren Aronow
    Generally, your spouse will remain liable for any debts that you co signed together after you have been discharged from your liability.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 7/9/2014
    Thomas Vogele & Associates, APC | Thomas A. Vogele
    These are separate issues. Your bankruptcy will stop the foreclosure sale if you notify the lender. Assuming you live in California, the lender cannot sue to recover any deficiency on the sale and your ex-wife is entitled to her exemption amount if the house gets sold through your bankruptcy, as you are. Talk to your lawyer before you do anything because the rules are very tight. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/9/2014
    Law Office of Andrew Oostdyk
    Law Office of Andrew Oostdyk | Andrew Oostdyk
    If your spouse does not file with you, she will not be considered in Bankruptcy and her credit report should not list that she has filed a Bankruptcy. But, if she has any debts that she is a co-signer with you, that debt may show as being in bankruptcy on her credit report.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 7/9/2014
    John Ceci PLLC
    John Ceci PLLC | John Ceci
    It's hard to say for sure. Your filing does not affect her debts. She will still owe her creditors. What it means for you is that if there is money owed on the home even after it sells through the foreclosure process the bank cannot collect from you, they can only try to collect from her. Whether they do so depends on the bank and its policies in these situations. What that means for you also depends on whether your divorce agreement/judgment covers such a situation.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 7/9/2014
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