Can I file bankruptcy, as an individual, and have the bankruptcy not effect my wife’s excellent credit?

Can I file bankruptcy, as an individual, and have the bankruptcy not effect my wife’s excellent credit?

I have no possesions, retirement, etc. I have poor credit and a $12,000 judgement against me that I want to eliminate with a bankruptcy.

A: In a simple answer, “Yes” you can file bankruptcy without your spouse having to file bankruptcy. When one person files for bankruptcy, the other is not automatically pulled into bankruptcy just because they are married. On the other hand, though, filing bankruptcy can sometimes leave the non-filing spouse unprotected as he or she may owe shared debts without the protection of a bankruptcy filing. If your wife’s name is on a shared debt, the debt will still be of her responsibility.

Many people have the mistaken belief that because you are married, your spouse is automatically responsible for your debts. This is just not the case. Since a bankruptcy can be filed by one spouse without the other, there are several aspects of the answer. You should contact an experienced bankruptcy attorney and get advice before proceeding with a bankruptcy filing.

A bankruptcy filing by one spouse does not automatically bring the other spouse into bankruptcy. That being said, the Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy being filed by the one spouse does not give the non filing spouse the full protection of the automatic stay or the bankruptcy discharge. Contact a local bankruptcy attorney as I am sure they will be able to help you out. Many decent bankruptcy attorneys offer free consultations in which you can get your questions answered.

* You and I do not have an attorney-client relationship formed by our communications on this website. Advice given by me on this website is general advice based on partial information. You should not rely on any advice given without first hiring a lawyer in the area where the case is pending, and providing that lawyer with full information.

Answered by:

The Bornmann Law Group
20325 N. 51st Ave. Ste #134
Glendale, Arizona 85392
Office: (623) 640-4945

, Glendale Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 Attorney.
Re-Posted from AVVO Legal Questions and Answers.

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