What are the advantages of both spouses filing bankruptcy? 5 Answers as of October 05, 2010

My wife and I are both in very bad debt. We are behind on payments and have taken out loans in both our names. We owe $46, 000. Should we file for bankruptcy together or file separately when we go with the Chapter 7?

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The Law Offices of Robert L. Driessen
The Law Offices of Robert L. Driessen | Robert L. Driessen
The advantage of filing a joint petition is so that all the debts are taken care of. If only one of you files than the debts will still be owed by the non filing spouse.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 10/5/2010
The Law Office of Mark J. Markus
The Law Office of Mark J. Markus | Mark Markus
That depends on whether or not you live in a community property state and have community debts. If you do, there may be advantages to only one of you filing because the non-filing spouse will still benefit from the discharge the filing spouse gets in their bankruptcy case, as long as the two of you remain married. This gives the non-filing spouse the ability to file another Chapter 7 case within 8 years. There are a lot of factors to consider so you should consult with an attorney about all your options and weigh the costs and benefits of filing separately or together.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 10/5/2010
Sussman & Associates
Sussman & Associates | Mitchell Sussman
This all depends upon whether you have loans in your joint names and how long you have been married. you should hire a bankruptcy lawyer and have him look at your file.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 10/4/2010
Diefer Law Group, P.C.
Diefer Law Group, P.C. | Abel Fernandez
Filing jointly reduces the cost of filing for bankruptcy. It is more cost effective to file jointly.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 10/4/2010
Builders Law Group
Builders Law Group | Nick Campbell
If you can file jointly and still fall within the requirements of a Chapter 7, it is likely more advantageous for you to do so. You have indicated you both are liable for the debts and even if they were not in both your names, if you live in a community property state and the debts were incurred during marriage, you both might be liable anyway. The advantage of filing jointly is less paperwork, less fees, less court time, etc. If you were to both file separately, you would likely pay almost twice as much just in attorneys fees.

Keep in mind that, in some circumstances, it may be impossible to file jointly (for instance, one of you has a previously filed bankruptcy or together your assets put you out of the eligibility for a Chapter 7.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 10/4/2010
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