When Did Texas Become A Community Property State When Should You File Joint Bankruptcy – Important Facts You Should Know

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When Should You File Joint Bankruptcy – Important Facts You Should Know

When you are burdened with a huge debt, it is natural to worry about repayments and assume that your partner is also responsible for this burden. Many people are surprised to know that this may or may not be the case. Actually, it all depends on the laws of the state you live in.

Some state laws make a spouse automatically responsible for any debt you owe while in other states, your spouse is not responsible for your debt unless he or she co-signs the loan. If your spouse is automatically liable under the law, you may be better off filing joint bankruptcy.

Often, a person may file for bankruptcy saying that assets in his or her spouse’s name cannot be attached only to find out too late that this is not true. When you are considering filing bankruptcy, it is best to consult a good bankruptcy attorney who can help you decide whether to file bankruptcy alone or file jointly. In states other than Washington, Wisconsin, Texas, Nevada, Louisiana, Arizona, California, New Mexico and Idaho, you are not automatically responsible for your spouse’s debts unless you sign.

In the nine states mentioned above where community property laws are in effect, any income or property acquired during the marriage can be attached by your creditors when you file for bankruptcy. Some exceptions to community property are inheritances and gifts, and you get to keep them if your spouse files for bankruptcy. But you should understand that as a resident of one of these states, if you are liable for the debt incurred by either of them. In this case, you need to file joint bankruptcy if your spouse has debts that cannot be managed.

The final piece of information you need when you decide to file joint bankruptcy is the type of bankruptcy you must choose. One option that discharges all of your debts through liquidation of unsecured assets is Chapter 7 bankruptcy. On the other hand, if you want to keep some of your assets, filing Chapter 13 bankruptcy can help you pay off your debt over 3-5 years under a repayment plan. An additional benefit of Chapter 13 bankruptcy is that if you fall behind on your mortgage payments, you can catch them up.

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