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How Will Filing Bankruptcy Affect My Spouse

When an individual considers filing bankruptcy to deal with overwhelming debt, he or she is often deterred by the implications that a bankruptcy filing may have on his or her spouse. Some the most common concerns that married bankruptcy filers have are:

  • The effect that a bankruptcy filing will have on their spouses’ credit report.
  • The possibility of losing employment as a result of filing bankruptcy.
  • The assumption that both partners in the marriage are obligated to file bankruptcy.

Will Filing Bankruptcy Ruin My Spouse’s Credit?

Individuals who file bankruptcy are often concerned about the impact that the bankruptcy filing will have on their spouses’ credit report. Each person, married or single, has a separate file at the credit bureau which is tracked by his or her social security number. Provided that the none-filing spouse is not a co-debtor (one of two or more debtors legally liable for the same debt.), eliminating debt by filing bankruptcy will not adversely affect the credit score of your spouse.

If your spouse is also responsible for a debt that you are attempting to discharge in bankruptcy, the implications on your spouse’s credit score depends on whether you file under a Chapter 7 bankruptcy or a Chapter 13 bankruptcy. An experienced bankruptcy attorney can advise you accordingly.

If I File Bankruptcy, Does That Mean My Spouse Has To File Bankruptcy Too?

One of the common misconceptions of filing bankruptcy if you are married is that if one member of the marriage files bankruptcy, the other is obligated to file as well. If both are indebted to same creditor, filing jointly under a Chapter 7 bankruptcy may be the best option.

For cases in which only one spouse is liable for all of the debt, or if you choose to file under a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, it may make more sense for only the debtor to file bankruptcy.

It is important to note that although debts are on only one spouse’s name, assets may not be. It is recommended to consult with an experienced bankruptcy attorney to determine whether a joint or single bankruptcy filing is the best course of action for you.

If I File Bankruptcy, Will My Spouse And I Lose Our Jobs?

Bankruptcy laws strictly prohibits an employer to fire either you or your spouse simply because you filed bankruptcy. In most cases, your employer may not even be aware that you filed bankruptcy. In the unfortunate event that either you or your spouse were fired on the grounds that you filed bankruptcy, it is important to contact your bankruptcy attorney immediately.

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