Will creditors go after my husband if I file bankruptcy? 11 Answers as of May 27, 2011

I owe $17,000 in medical bills. I have to go to court for a Periodic Payments hearing. I don't have any income, my husband does but the bills were accrued before we got married. If I file for bankruptcy will they go after my husband? Our house is in his name only (purchased before we got married). Also, is it possible at the Payment hearing for the judge to reduce the debt?

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Saedi Law Group
Saedi Law Group | Lorena Saedi
If the medical debt is just in your name then no they cannot go after your husband unless he signed as the responsible party to the hospital.
Answer Applies to: Georgia
Replied: 5/27/2011
Bankruptcy Law Center
Bankruptcy Law Center | Bill Zurinskas
Creditors may try to collect your medical bills from your spouse under the Colorado family expense doctrine, but the doctrine only applies to family expenses incurred during the marriage. Therefore, your spouse has a defense to any action or collection attempt.
Answer Applies to: Colorado
Replied: 5/26/2011
The Law Office of Mark J. Markus
The Law Office of Mark J. Markus | Mark Markus
If the debts were all incurred prior to marriage, then your husband's assets will be protected even if you file bankruptcy. To the extent any community property assets are involved, they would be protected from your creditors assuming you have sufficient exemptions to cover them under applicable state law. Exemption laws are based on the state where you resided for the 2 years prior to filing your bankruptcy case or, if you lived in more than 1 state during that period, in the state where you resided for the greater part of the 180 days prior to that 2 year period.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 5/26/2011
Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney
Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney | Janet Lawson
I do not know what state you are from. I have never heard of a "periodic payment hearing." A bankruptcy will take care of those debts and your husband will not be affected since they were from before the marriage.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 5/26/2011
Burnham & Associates
Burnham & Associates | Stephanie K. Burnham
If the debt was incurred before you were married, your husband is not likely to be liable for them unless he somehow signed a document promising to pay on your behalf. This answer may change slightly depending on what state you live in, so you should talk with a Bankruptcy Attorney in your area.
Answer Applies to: New Hampshire
Replied: 5/26/2011
    Law Office of L. Paul Zahn
    Law Office of L. Paul Zahn | Paul Zahn
    You filing alone will discharge your obligation to any dischargable debts, but if your husband is also liable for the debts you described, then they will come after him. If you are in my area, please contact me for a free consultation to discuss your options.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/26/2011
    Bankruptcy Law Office of Robert Weed
    Bankruptcy Law Office of Robert Weed | Robert Weed
    Your husband does not have to pay medical bills form before you were married. The bankruptcy judge is the judge set up by the United States of America to reduce your debt.
    Answer Applies to: Virginia
    Replied: 5/26/2011
    Bankruptcy Law office of Bill Rubendall
    Bankruptcy Law office of Bill Rubendall | William M. Rubendall
    Since the debts were incurred prior to marriage you do not owe them. As to the payment hearing, the judge cannot reduce the judgment amount.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/25/2011
    The Orantes Law Firm
    The Orantes Law Firm | Giovanni Orantes
    I would need to review the case where this "Periodic Payments hearing" is taking place to advise you better. However, you generally can file for bankruptcy protection without your spouse. Even though his income will be analyzed to determine for what chapter in bankruptcy you qualify, you may be able to discharge the debt by filing a case on your own. Call us at to schedule an appointment to review your case thoroughly and advise you about your options.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/25/2011
    Greifendorff Law Offices, PC
    Greifendorff Law Offices, PC | Christine Wilton
    You may be okay if you stay married, but they could go after him for no more than his community property interest.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/25/2011
    Symmes Law Group, PLLC
    Symmes Law Group, PLLC | Richard James Symmes
    It does not sound like the creditors will be able to go after your husband after you file bankruptcy since this debt was incurred before you got married.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 5/25/2011
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