Should my wife and I file for bankruptcy together? 4 Answers as of July 22, 2010

Should we file together or separately? I live in Temecula, CA. Don't know if that makes a difference.

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David Nelson
David Nelson | David Nelson
If one of you has only a little bit of debt in your name, then you ought to consider filing a bankruptcy for only one of you.

It would depend on how much you both owe and if you can afford to pay the debts of the one who doesn't file.

Call to go over the details.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 7/22/2010
Klinger Law Center
Klinger Law Center | Linda Klinger
The California State Homestead Exemption was raised effective 1/1/2010, increasing the maximum amount of equity debtors can protect in their homes. This is great news for homeowners who do in fact still have equity in their homes. This means that even homeowners with significant equity can file a chapter 7 discharging all their unsecured debt while keeping their

Prior to January first, a single debtor could protect up to $50,000 of equity in their home, while a married couple could protect up to $75,000. Seniors (over 65), disabled individuals, and those over 55 with a limited income could protect up to $150,000. Under the new law the amounts have increased to:

. $75,000 for a single debtor

. $100,000 per couple, and

. $175,000 for a disabled person or someone 65 or older, or 55 or
older with limited income.

Exemptions are used to protect debtor's assets from liquidation or the necessity of a cash contribution. For example, if a single debtor had $75,000 equity in his or her home but could only exempt $50,000 from liquidation, the bankruptcy trustee could liquidate (sell) the home and take the excess $25,000 to pay creditors.

Alternatively they could require a $25,000 cash contribution for distribution in a chapter 7, or that $25,000 be paid out to unsecured creditors over the course of a chapter 13 plan payment. With the increased exemption, California bankruptcy attorneys are now able to represent debtors who previously may not have been able to protect all of the equity in their homes, and therefore elected not to seek relief through filing bankruptcy.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 7/15/2010
Diefer Law Group, P.C.
Diefer Law Group, P.C. | Abel Fernandez
You should consider filing a joint petition. Generally, that is best.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 7/14/2010
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