Will I be affected if I marry someone who filed for bankruptcy? 14 Answers as of July 25, 2011

My fiancé has filed and completed her bankruptcy process. She has two properties in which she no longer wants to keep. First, does she need to foreclose or short sale the property or is filing for bankruptcy good enough? And if we marry before this is completed will I be involved with the properties?

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Financial Relief Law Center
Financial Relief Law Center | Mark Alonso
Marrying before this is completed will certainly avoid any connection to you. Also, CA is a community property state, so any debt/property acquired during marriage is community property. So since none of this debt associated with her bankruptcy was not acquired during marriage, that is another reason why it would not impact you now. Regarding the best course of actions to take-generally, if she is already filing bankruptcy, then there probably isn't a real reason why she would need to do a short sale in addition to the bankruptcy, unless she is uncomfortable with having the words "foreclosure" on her credit report, but as far as credit goes, if she is already filing for bankruptcy, that will have just as much if not more negative impact to her credit as the short sale or foreclosure would. As long as she properly lists the debt and files for the appropriate chapter for circumstances, the bankruptcy discharge will apply to all property she essentially surrenders in the bankruptcy.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 7/25/2011
Theodore N. Stapleton, PC
Theodore N. Stapleton, PC | Theodore N. Stapleton
It depends upon when she filed for bankruptcy.
Answer Applies to: Georgia
Replied: 7/25/2011
Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney
Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney | Janet Lawson
You will not be involved if you marry her. The bankruptcy will divest her of ownership in those properties. It will only relieve her of the obligation to pay for them.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 7/22/2011
Law Office of Harry L Styron
Law Office of Harry L Styron | Harry L Styron
The answer to the second question is that as long as title to the property remains in her name alone, and her debt (credit cards, whatever) remains in her name alone, _and_ your income is deposited into accounts on which she has no right of withdrawal, then your income and assets are protected from her debt. The answer to the first question depends on her situation, and there is not enough information about that to respond.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 7/22/2011
Law Office of Maureen O' Malley
Law Office of Maureen O' Malley | Maureen O'Malley
You won't be affected if you have no joint debts. The property will be foreclosed if she doesn't pay for it and she'll owe nothing further because it's part of the bankruptcy.
Answer Applies to: Virginia
Replied: 7/22/2011
    Melinda Murphy Dionne, PC
    Melinda Murphy Dionne, PC | Melinda Murphy Dionne
    Your credit will not be impacted by marrying someone who has filed bankruptcy. This is true whether you marry before or after the bankruptcy case is filed. The bankruptcy case for your future spouse will take care of the debt owed on the properties. There is no need to do a foreclosure or short sale. In my opinion, filing the bankruptcy case is a better option than allowing the properties to go into foreclosure or going through with a short sale.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 7/22/2011
    Ashman Law Office
    Ashman Law Office | Glen Edward Ashman
    No one here without detailed financial information can tell you what she should do, although short sales are generally problematic. Her lawyer should advise her. However, for you, the key thing is to see a lawyer (NOT hers, but your own) to draft a good prenuptial agreement and advise you on what not to do with your spouse. Usually you will not be liable for her past, but you want to do everything in a way to keep it that way (including having no joint assets or accounts).
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 7/22/2011
    Mercado & Hartung, PLLC
    Mercado & Hartung, PLLC | Christopher J. Mercado
    She has both the shore sale or strategic foreclosure options if she doesn't want to keep it. As well as, deed in lieu of foreclosure.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 7/22/2011
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