Is my husband be responsible for my debts if I file bankruptcy individually? 27 Answers as of February 21, 2014

I am married but want to file bankrupt individually. Will my debtors come after my husband for my debt if he doesn't file with me?

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Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney
Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney | Janet Lawson
No, not as long as he is not a co-signer.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 2/21/2014
Law Office of Marlin Branstetter
Law Office of Marlin Branstetter | Marlin Branstetter
California is a community property state which also means it is a community debt state. All property and debts acquired after the marriage (with a few exceptions) belong to both parties. Many times creditors will pursue the non-filing spouse, especially if he is employed or has attachable income or assets. His assets as well as his income must be listed on the bankruptcy petition so creditors will be aware of them. You should consult with an experienced bankruptcy attorney to explore your options.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 2/21/2014
Hayward, Parker, O'Leary & Pinsky, Esqs.
Hayward, Parker, O'Leary & Pinsky, Esqs. | Michael O'Leary
If you and your husband are jointly liable on a debt, when you file bankruptcy the creditors will still be able to come after him for the joint debts. However, if only you are obligated on a debt, your creditors will not be able to pursue your husband for debts that are solely your responsibility.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 2/21/2014
Stuart P Gelberg
Stuart P Gelberg | Stuart P Gelberg
Absolutely not
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 2/21/2014
The Law Office of Darren Aronow, PC
The Law Office of Darren Aronow, PC | Darren Aronow
If he is not a co signor then no.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 2/21/2014
    The Law Office of M Grater LLC
    The Law Office of M Grater LLC | Mark O. Grater
    They cannot come after your husband for debt that is solely yours if you file alone.
    Answer Applies to: Connecticut
    Replied: 2/21/2014
    MCBRIDE LAW OFFICE | Robert E. McBride
    If YOUR personal obligation to pay is discharged (wiped out) in bankruptcy, YOUR discharge will not wipe out the obligation of your husband. If he wants HIS obligation discharged he must file bankruptcy.
    Answer Applies to: Pennsylvania
    Replied: 2/21/2014
    Stephens Gourley & Bywater | David A. Stephens
    Generally they will not pursue your husband unless he is also liable on those debts.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 2/21/2014
    Garner Law Office
    Garner Law Office | Daniel Garner
    Oregon and many other states have what are called "family expense statutes" making both partners in a family unit responsible for basic living expenses incurred by any family member while they are together. Since many bankruptcy attorneys offer free consultations, you should see one to describe the situation in detail and the attorney would know how to apply the law in your specific circumstances. It's certainly a risk worth investigating.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 2/21/2014
    Goldsmith & Guymon
    Goldsmith & Guymon | Marjorie Guymon
    Technically your husband is liable for your debts incurred during the marriage. However, as long as he stays married to you the creditors would be prohibited from attempting to collect from him due to the co-spousal stay which prevents creditors from seeking payment of your debt from your community assets. Additionally, if the debt is solely in your name odds are the creditors won't bother with your husband anyway.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 2/21/2014
    GARCIA & GONZALES, P.C.
    GARCIA & GONZALES, P.C. | Richard N. Gonzales
    Yes and no. If the debts "help" the family (e.g., medical treatment, food, shelter, clothing, etc.), the other spouse can be jointly liable for the debt under Colorado's "Family Purpose Doctrine". Not all debt qualify for this treatment. Furthermore, the creditor has to take affirmative action against the spouse who did not sign for the debt/obligation. Hope this helps.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 2/21/2014
    Rhymer Law Firm
    Rhymer Law Firm | William Rhymer
    No. The only reason he would be responsible would be because he cosigned on the debt. That means you owe the debt and he also owes the debt, in his own name. If you wiped out your debt, he would still owe the debt that he personally signed on.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 2/21/2014
    Kirby G. Moss PC | Kirby G. Moss
    Only if the debts were for your support as in medical bills etc. Otherwise, unless you used the card as an authorized user, no.
    Answer Applies to: Indiana
    Replied: 2/21/2014
    Law Office of Shawn N. Wright | Shawn N. Wright
    Not in Pennsylvania. I'm not sure which state you reside in, but in Pennsylvania, your husband would have to be an actual co-signer in order to have liability. In other states, the laws are different, but it's pretty well-established in Pennsylvania that your spouse will not have any liability as long as he or she is not on the account itself.
    Answer Applies to: Pennsylvania
    Replied: 2/21/2014
    Paul Stuber, Attorney at Law
    Paul Stuber, Attorney at Law | Paul Stuber
    They will only come after him if he is on the debt as well.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 2/21/2014
    A Fresh Start
    A Fresh Start | Dorothy G Bunce
    It depends on the kind of debt you have & where you live. For example, if it is medical debt & you live in a noncommunity property state, your husband may continue to be responsible for your debt. Same with jointly held credit card or other debt. But in Nevada, both kinds of debts can be eliminated by your bankruptcy.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 2/21/2014
    Ferguson & Ferguson
    Ferguson & Ferguson | Randy W. Ferguson
    If he is on the debt they will.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 2/21/2014
    Patrick W. Currin, Attorney at Law | Patrick Currin
    Your spouse is granted a "phantom" discharge even if not filing. All of your community property shall not be accessible to pay debts.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 2/21/2014
    Law Offices of Linda Rose Fessler | Linda Fessler
    Yes. Even if his name is not on debt in California they can come after you for your spouse's debt if it was acquired during marriage.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 2/21/2014
    Deborah F Bowinski, Attorney & Counselor at Law | Debby Bowinski
    If there are debts that are in joint name then then your bankruptcy filing will not protect your husband at all. If the debts are in your name only then it is harder to predict. Depending upon the nature of the debt and the timing I when it was incurred, the creditors could have the ability to try to sue your husband for payment under the "family purpose" doctrine. In Colorado those types of lawsuits are fairly uncommon, but it depends upon the amounts involve and the underlying reasons for the debt in the first place. You really should consult with a bankruptcy lawyer. Sometimes there are good reasons for only one spouse to file, but sometimes it makes much more sense to file a joint case. Often times I find that the assumptions made by individuals planning to file without their spouse are incorrect. Meet with a lawyer and obtain good, accurate, reliable information before you move forward.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 2/21/2014
    Law Offices of Eric W. I. Anglin
    Law Offices of Eric W. I. Anglin | Eric W. I. Anglin
    He would be responsible for joint debts and possibly for medical debts of children and your medical debts incurred during marriage
    Answer Applies to: Indiana
    Replied: 2/21/2014
    Law Office of Lynnmarie A. Johnson
    Law Office of Lynnmarie A. Johnson | Lynnmarie Johnson
    Not as long as he is not a co-debtor on the debts or an authorized user.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 2/20/2014
    Havkin & Shrago | Stella Havkin
    Debts incurred during marriage in California are considered community property debt, so technically your husband is responsible. However, your husband does not have a contractual relationship with your creditors, so they will not go after him.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 2/20/2014
    Law Offices of Marc Weinberg | Marc Weinberg
    If he is "jointly" responsible for your debts, the answer is yes. Example: You both guaranteed a note or you both are on a car loan. You both signed an agreement for the use of a credit card. You are both on lease that has been breached.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 2/20/2014
    Law Office of Robert Sisson | Robert Sisson
    He can be a non filing spouse. However you should hire a bankruptcy attorney to review all the rules that apply.
    Answer Applies to: Wisconsin
    Replied: 2/20/2014
    Idaho Bankruptcy Law | Paul Ross
    In Idaho, if the debt was incurred while both were married, that creditor could sue the husband (even if the name is not on the debt). Creditors do not always do this, but it is permitted and happens. Idaho is a community property state and if one qualifies, both might as well file.
    Answer Applies to: Idaho
    Replied: 2/20/2014
    Law Office of Michael Johnson
    Law Office of Michael Johnson | Michael Johnson
    As long as they are not joint debt, the creditors cannot attempt to collect from your husband.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 2/20/2014
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