My wife has most of the credit card debt. Will my credit be hit with a bankruptcy in California? 12 Answers as of February 12, 2011

My wife and I are interested in filling bankruptcy. My wife has most / all of the credit card debt. Will my credit take a hit also?

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Law Offices of Michael J. Berger
Law Offices of Michael J. Berger | Michael J. Berger
If you and your wife both file bankruptcy, then "yes" both of your credit scores will be affected by the bankruptcy filing. If most or all of the debt is under your wife's name, she should consider filing alone. If your wife files alone, her bankruptcy filing will not affect your credit. However, because California is a community property state, any debt incurred for the benefit of the community is considered an obligation of both spouses, regardless of whose name shows on the card. Although it seems to happen only rarely, a creditor could sue the non-filing spouse for payment of the debt based on "community property benefit" theory. For specific advice about your situation, call me for a free consultation.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 2/12/2011
Greifendorff Law Offices, PC
Greifendorff Law Offices, PC | Christine Wilton
Yes, both spouses credit scores are impacted even though one spouse files the bankruptcy. If the non-filing spouse has debts, those debts will also be disclosed and discharged and will show on the credit report as discharged in bankruptcy. Rebuilding the credit will be easier though, if you like debt.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 1/25/2011
Ursula G. Barrios Law
Ursula G. Barrios Law | Guillermo Machado
If she files alone, and you do not appear on any of her accounts, your credit should not be affected.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 1/25/2011
Judith A. Runyon, Esq. Attorney at Law
Judith A. Runyon, Esq. Attorney at Law | Judith A. Runyon
No, your credit will not take a hit.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 1/24/2011
Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney
Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney | Janet Lawson
It should not, but mistakes are made. You will have to monitor your credit report.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 1/24/2011
    Uriarte & Wood, Attorneys at Law
    Uriarte & Wood, Attorneys at Law | Robert G. Uriarte
    If it is a joint filing it will be reported on both your credit reports. Depending on numerous factors, it may be advisable to have her file alone. call us to see what might be your best option.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 1/24/2011
    Law Offices of Geoffrey Nwosu
    Law Offices of Geoffrey Nwosu | Geoffrey Nwosu
    Your wife can file for bankruptcy separately if she wants to since she has of the credit cards. However, the sate of California is a community property state. This may have have some implications and must be discussed with a bankruptcy attorney. You can consult with most bankruptcy lawyers for free.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 1/24/2011
    West Themis Law, A Professional Law Corporation
    West Themis Law, A Professional Law Corporation | Sally S. Chan, Esq.
    If all of the credit card debts belong to your wife and your wife is also the only one legally responsible, then I do not see why you believe you need to also file bankruptcy. Your wife can file separately.

    However, while your credit should not be effected, you are affected in different ways. If your wife files alone, her filing will have to include your income, your joint expenses, and you will also use your exemption.

    Basically, no attorney can give you concrete answers without fully understanding your particular situation. You should speak to an experienced attorney. You are welcome to get in touch with my office.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 1/24/2011
    Carballo Law Offices
    Carballo Law Offices | Tony E. Carballo
    If you file jointly then your credit report will show that you filed for bankruptcy and will probably affect your credit. Bankruptcy sometimes actually improves your credit score. If your credit score is really bad it might improve your score because you no longer have outstanding debt but if you start with a high credit score then it will certainly go down. That does not mean bad credit for 10 years. It means you have to reconstruct your credit history and within two or three years you can have good credit again although the bankruptcy will be a negative for those 10 years.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 1/24/2011
    The Law Office of Mark J. Markus
    The Law Office of Mark J. Markus | Mark Markus
    If you file bankruptcy it will be on your credit report for 10 years. If you are asking about the effect on your credit report of not paying the debts if only one of you files bankruptcy, yes it can affect the non-filing party's credit if the debts were incurred during the marriage as they are community debts. To what extent it affects your credit I don't know. You'd need to consult with a credit reporting expert on that issue.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 1/24/2011
    Diana K. Zilko, Attorney at Law
    Diana K. Zilko, Attorney at Law | Diana K. Zilko
    Your credit should not take a hit if the items are not contained in your credit report. It's a good idea to pull your report and see what is on it. You can get a free copy at _www.annualcreditreport.com_ (http://www.annualcreditreport.com).
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 1/24/2011
    Diefer Law Group, P.C.
    Diefer Law Group, P.C. | Abel Fernandez
    No, if the debts are in her name you should not be affected. However, if it is joint debt you will also be liable for the debt and the creditors will come after you.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 1/24/2011
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