Is it possible to be removed from a chapter 13 that was filed jointly with my husband? 17 Answers as of June 04, 2014

I was told by him at the time, I had to file jointly even though I had no need to file bankruptcy, he did need to. Now we are separated for 2 years, close to divorce and I cannot do anything to proceed on my own because of this bankruptcy. He pays the payments. Can I remove my accounts and get out of it with him? He is also trying to make me half responsible for his business debts he put in it. All I want is to be out of anything that is joint with him and have everything in my own name and responsible for my own debt. My accounts did not compare in the size of his at all.

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David R. Fondren, Attorney at Law
David R. Fondren, Attorney at Law | David R. Fondren
You have accounts in the ch 13 and he is making all the payments. Therefore, you are currently benefiting from the bankruptcy. You did not describe what these accounts are. Secured vs unsecured. Yours alone or joint with your spouse. Or a mix of both. The unsecured creditors are probably not being paid yet. If you are dismissed, they will all be in default and will sue you. At the end of the bankruptcy, any joint debts not paid in full will also be able to sue you. Same with secured debts that were "crammed down". Your bankruptcy will still be on your credit report even if you dismiss. I don't know what you are trying to "proceed" with. So I can't say if dismissal will allow for that. Make an appointment with your attorney, or with another attorney.
Answer Applies to: Missouri
Replied: 6/4/2014
Ronald K. Nims LLC | Ronald K. Nims
You have the right to be dismissed from a chapter 13 by filing a motion to dismiss. Your joint debtor might attempt to modify the plan, dismiss it in total or convert to chapter 7. Nothing in a Chapter 13 makes you responsible for debts that you didn't sign for - however, a divorce decree can make you responsible for those debts.
Answer Applies to: Ohio
Replied: 5/9/2014
Law Office of Marlin Branstetter
Law Office of Marlin Branstetter | Marlin Branstetter
A chapter 13 is always voluntary. If you stop paying and your husband does not make the full payments the case will be dismissed. At that time all unpaid debts come back into play. Whether you would be responsible for his business debts would be governed by the laws of the state in which you live. You divorce attorney should be able to advise on what debts you would be responsible for at the time the marriage is dissolved.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 5/2/2014
The Law Office of Darren Aronow, PC
The Law Office of Darren Aronow, PC | Darren Aronow
You would have to dismiss the case and he would have to start over on his own
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 5/2/2014
Stephens Gourley & Bywater | David A. Stephens
To the best of my knowledge you cannot get out of a joint chapter 13 unless it is dismissed by both parties or converted to chapter seven.
Answer Applies to: Nevada
Replied: 5/1/2014
    GARCIA & GONZALES, P.C.
    GARCIA & GONZALES, P.C. | Richard N. Gonzales
    Yes, you can extract yourself from the Chapter 13. I would proceed carefully however. You may want to consider paying a very experienced attorney for one hour of his or her time to review the Chapter 13 file with you. Also be sure to pull your credit report.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 5/1/2014
    EDWARD P RUSSELL | EDWARD P RUSSELL
    The Debtor or Debtors can terminate a Ch. 13 bankruptcy at anytime by just filing a form so stating with the court.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 5/1/2014
    Portland Bankruptcy Law Group
    Portland Bankruptcy Law Group | Christopher J. Kane
    Yes, you can file a motion with the Court to dismiss the case as it pertains to you. In Chapter 13, you can voluntarily dismiss your case at any time and get out of it.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 5/1/2014
    Hicks, Massey & Gardner, LLP
    Hicks, Massey & Gardner, LLP | Robert M. Gardner, Jr.
    The cases can be severed, and you can then either proceed with your own case, convert the case, or dismiss it. You should discuss your options with an attorney before you do anything, so that you can determine the best course of action both financially and related to the divorce.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 5/1/2014
    Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney
    Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney | Janet Lawson
    You can file a motion to do this. I suggest you see a lawyer.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/1/2014
    Law Office of Shawn N. Wright | Shawn N. Wright
    When you say that you are "close to divorce", what exactly does that mean? You need to contact a lawyer who can analyze your situation to see if you are a good candidate to have your bankruptcy case severed from your husband's, and then your case converted to Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Your existing bankruptcy lawyer will be in a conflict of interest situation, so he or she won't be able to represent both of you if you want your case to be converted to Chapter 7. Alternatively, you indicate that you don't have much debt, perhaps your case can be dismissed from Chapter 13 as well. In any event, meet with a new lawyer to consider these options.
    Answer Applies to: Pennsylvania
    Replied: 5/1/2014
    Deborah F Bowinski, Attorney & Counselor at Law | Debby Bowinski
    You really need to speak to a lawyer knowledgeable in both divorce and bankruptcy. It might be possible to "bifurcate" or "deconsolodate" your joint case into two separate ones, but whether that is a good idea or not is a big question. By now, two years into a chapter 13 case, any debts that were in your name only or that were in joint name will be severely delinquent. You would not be able to just get back to paying regularly on your own accounts. Your chapter 13 lawyer probably cannot advise you separately from your husband because of potential conflict of interest issues. It would be a good idea to arrange for a consultation with separate counsel to review your situation.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 5/1/2014
    Garner Law Office
    Garner Law Office | Daniel Garner
    You have a right to drop out of a Chapter 13 at any time, but notice of your dismissal will go to all your creditors and you can expect them to start calling and billing you again. State law controls which of the debts you might be responsible for. Oregon has a "family expense statute" that makes both spouses in a marriage responsible for certain debts, but his business debts are not necessarily yours unless you guaranteed them. Community property states all have unique rules governing the debts you are responsible for during your marriage. So you can drop out of the Chapter 13 easily but you might have to file another bankruptcy if more creditors pursue you than you were expecting. Now that your are separated, you might qualify for a Chapter 7 instead of a 13 because only your income has to be used in the means test. It is not necessary to be divorced for you to file another bankruptcy.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 4/30/2014
    Law Office of Andrellos Mitchell
    Law Office of Andrellos Mitchell | Andrellos Mitchell
    Two years into a Chapter 13! Sounds very unlikely!
    Answer Applies to: District of Columbia
    Replied: 4/30/2014
    A Fresh Start
    A Fresh Start | Dorothy G Bunce
    Yes, you absolutely have the right to withdraw from the Chapter 13. To see if doing this is really in your best interests or may have some unexpected consequences, consult with an experienced Chapter 13 attorney that does not also represent your husband.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 4/30/2014
    Idaho Bankruptcy Law | Paul Ross
    Visit with an attorney. You do have some options. You can bifurcate your case and dismiss your 13 or convert it to a 7, which is probably best.
    Answer Applies to: Idaho
    Replied: 4/30/2014
    Law Offices of Alexzander C. J. Adams, P.C.
    Law Offices of Alexzander C. J. Adams, P.C. | Alexzander Adams
    Hello - The easy part of this is that yes - you can remove (or sever) yourself from the case. You can the proceed to do your own bankruptcy, or elect to not file. The bigger issue is the martial debt. Make sure your divorce attorney knows how martial debt in a bankruptcy setting works. It can get sticky to say the least if you get assigned the debt in the divorce and he is not responsible for them.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 4/30/2014
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