What happens to joint bank accounts in bankruptcy? 11 Answers as of May 17, 2011

If I do a chapter 7 bankruptcy and I have joint accounts do they clear both or just mine? If I file would they still be in debt with my debt if I file a chapter 7? Will they have to pay for what I can't? Or will they be clear once I’m clear? I don't want to file if I’m going to put someone in debt because of me.

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Law Offices of Michael J. Berger
Law Offices of Michael J. Berger | Michael J. Berger
If you file bankruptcy and receive your discharge, you wipe out your personal obligation to pay your discharged debts. Anyone else that was responsible for payments of these debts is still responsible for paying these debts. This means that your cosigner will be stuck with the entire obligation if you default on it or wipe out your personal responsibility for the debt by filing bankruptcy.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 5/17/2011
Ferguson & Ferguson
Ferguson & Ferguson | Randy W. Ferguson
The question is a little confusing. If they are debts they will come after the other partyif you file. If they are bank accounts with large sums of money, it may be an issue in the bankruptcy. You should really talk to an attorney and fully explain the facts. If you are in Alabama, call us.
Answer Applies to: Alabama
Replied: 4/25/2011
Bankruptcy Law office of Bill Rubendall
Bankruptcy Law office of Bill Rubendall | William M. Rubendall
Simply having a joint account does not impose liability on the co-holder of the account.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 4/21/2011
Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney
Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney | Janet Lawson
You have to report what your assets are. If the joint account has money in it that belongs to someone else, you can explain that on your bankruptcy schedules. And, the trustee may not take any of your money. It depends on what you own, how much money you have and what the "exemptions" are in your state. Every state allows you to keep certain items of property. A lawyer can help you figure that out.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 4/22/2011
Burnham & Associates
Burnham & Associates | Stephanie K. Burnham
There are two ways in which someone can be held responsible for credit card debt: First, they are the owner of the account and therefore responsible; Secondly, they are an authorized user of the account and used the account to charge something. In the event the "Owner" of the account files for Bankruptcy and Joint Owner or Authorized User may be sought after to pay the remaining balance. Any failure to make a payment on a credit card or account that you are considered an Owner or Authorized User will affect everyone's credit who is an owner or authorized user.
Answer Applies to: New Hampshire
Replied: 4/22/2011
    Bankruptcy Law Office of Robert Weed
    Bankruptcy Law Office of Robert Weed | Robert Weed
    Chapter 7 bankruptcy does not protect your cosigners. The whole idea of getting a cosigner is they have to pay if you don't.
    Answer Applies to: Virginia
    Replied: 4/22/2011
    The Law Office of Mark J. Markus
    The Law Office of Mark J. Markus | Mark Markus
    I'm not sure if you're referring to joint debts or joint assets. A bank account is an asset. If you're talking about debts on an account that is "joint", then the other account holder is liable for the debt regardless of what you do. In other words, you are both equally liable. If you file bankruptcy, that only discharged your obligation on the debt. It doesn't affect the co-obligor's liability at all. If the co-obligor is your spouse, that raises a whole different set of issues.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 4/22/2011
    Benson Law Firm
    Benson Law Firm | David Benson
    In general, a discharge in bankruptcy applies only to the obligation of the filing debtor. A co-debtor will benefit from the co-debtor stay during the pendency of the case, but will remain liable on the debt.
    Answer Applies to: Ohio
    Replied: 4/22/2011
    Law Office of Harry L Styron
    Law Office of Harry L Styron | Harry L Styron
    It depends what you mean by a "joint account". If it is with a spouse in California it is property of the bankruptcy estate. If it is not with a spouse it depends on the form of the account (tenancy in common, joint tenancy, trust for a child, joint signatures for a club or association, etc.) You should consult with a bankruptcy attorney for a more specific answer.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 4/22/2011
    The Law Offices of Alan M. Laskin
    The Law Offices of Alan M. Laskin | Jared B. Gaynor
    Bankruptcy eliminates liability on the named debtor alone. If you and another have a joint debt, your bankruptcy does not affect their liability on that debt whatsoever.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 4/21/2011
    Law Office of L. Paul Zahn
    Law Office of L. Paul Zahn | Paul Zahn
    The questions that you have asked are best posted in a meeting with a bankruptcy attorney. If you are in my area, please contact me for a free consultation.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 4/22/2011
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