Is bankruptcy before marriage a good idea? 12 Answers as of May 17, 2011

I owe 40K in credit card debt and only can afford to make minimum payments. I'm getting married is bankruptcy a good idea? My fiancee has good credit.

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Law Offices of Michael J. Berger
Law Offices of Michael J. Berger | Michael J. Berger
Whether or not bankruptcy is right for you depends on your individual facts and circumstances. To help you decide, I would need detailed information about your assets, debts, income and expenses. If you are going to file bankruptcy, it is a good idea to do it before you get married so as to avoid any adverse impact on your spouse.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 5/17/2011
Benson Law Firm
Benson Law Firm | David Benson
If you want to discharge the $40K in credit card debt and you qualify for a Chapter 7 on your own, you may want to file as soon as possible. If you were to get married and your combined income with your new spouse exceeded the median for your locale and family size, you would most likely have to file a Chapter 13 and enter into a 5-year payment plan to address your debt. This is worth a free consultation with a qualified bankruptcy attorney.
Answer Applies to: Ohio
Replied: 4/8/2011
Mercado & Hartung, PLLC
Mercado & Hartung, PLLC | Christopher J. Mercado
Your BK filing will not affect your spouse's credit unless you are applying for something using both your credit histories.
Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 4/7/2011
Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney
Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney | Janet Lawson
Getting married or not married has nothing to do with it. If you can not afford your bills bankruptcy may be a good idea. Your new spouse will not be affected.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 4/5/2011
Burnham & Associates
Burnham & Associates | Stephanie K. Burnham
It depends on your circumstances. You may not qualify for Bankruptcy if you have an ability to pay and steady income. If you are unable to pay the credit card debt and your normal expenses, then you should consider Bankruptcy. In the meantime, your fiance will still have good credit after you get married, unless you take out joint debt together and default on payments. Spouses do not have the same credit score unless all of the debt is joint. A purchase in the future, like a home or car, may be affected by your credit if you need both of you to qualify for the loan.
Answer Applies to: New Hampshire
Replied: 4/5/2011
    Cohen & Kendziorra, P.A.
    Cohen & Kendziorra, P.A. | Robert S. Cohen
    Whether it is a good idea depends on whether in the future as a married couple you want to purchase a car or house together, then your credit comes into play. It might cause tension in the marriage if your poor credit effects her lifestyle and vice versa. Money issues are one of the top causes for marital breakups.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 4/4/2011
    Ferguson & Ferguson
    Ferguson & Ferguson | Randy W. Ferguson
    Probably better before marriage. It will hurt your credit only.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 4/4/2011
    Indianapolis Bankruptcy Law Office of Eric C. Lewis
    Indianapolis Bankruptcy Law Office of Eric C. Lewis | Eric Lewis
    Whether bankruptcy is "good" for you or not is highly dependent on your unique situation. For many people, bankruptcy is a good idea prior to marriage to get things cleaned up and get a fresh start going into the marriage; however, this may or may not be true for you. You should seek the guidance of a local bankruptcy attorney to explore your options.
    Answer Applies to: Indiana
    Replied: 4/4/2011
    Carballo Law Offices
    Carballo Law Offices | Tony E. Carballo
    Yes, it would be better because otherwise your spouse's income would have to be reported and you might not qualify for Chapter 7. Also, you do not need to worry about the issue of community property. Most importantly, you can go into the marriage free of debt and don't have to worry about having your spouse's savings being taken through a levy of a joint bank accounts.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 4/4/2011
    Law Offices of Geoffrey Nwosu
    Law Offices of Geoffrey Nwosu | Geoffrey Nwosu
    This is actually a personal decision that you have to make. However, it may be a good idea to file Chapter 7 bankruptcy and elimonate all your unsecured debts before marriage. Filing chapter 13 means that you will still be making the payment during your marriage. Please consult with a bankrupcty attorney to see how this will affect you. Many factors like income or Community property system in your state may affect your decision.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 4/4/2011
    Bankruptcy Law Office of Robert Weed
    Bankruptcy Law Office of Robert Weed | Robert Weed
    You are much more likely to be eligible on income while you are single than when you are married. So if you need to take care of it, now would be a good time.
    Answer Applies to: Virginia
    Replied: 4/4/2011
    Law Office of L. Paul Zahn
    Law Office of L. Paul Zahn | Paul Zahn
    Filing now will wipe the slate clean and protect her good credit. It is a reasonable idea to pursue. If you are in my area, please contact me for a free consultation.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 4/4/2011
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