This question worries many married people who face the reality of filing for personal bankruptcy. It is stressful enough knowing that you are facing Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy without the thought of dragging your spouse into the situation. We often wish these questions could be answered with a simple yes or no. However, usually, this is not the case since there are a lot of intricate details in a personal bankruptcy case. Miller, Hollander, and Jeda are here to assist you in understanding how your spouse can be affected.
The oversimplified answer to this question is that a spouse can file as single, but some shared property may be affected. To fully understand how a spouse will be affected, you must know whether you are in a community property state or a common law property state.
Common law property occurs when the individual has title to the property. This means it is their property in a marriage. Each spouse will own one-half of jointly owned property. This means that if Fort Myers personal bankruptcy is filed, the court may administer the titled property and half of the joint property of the spouse who has filed. A spouse’s assets will be more protected in a common law property state than in a community property state. Joint debts may also be affected in both Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy. This includes shared credit cards as well as cosigned loans.
Other states will be classified as community property states. This occurs when both spouses are treated as equally owning all property, even if one individual owns the property. The community approach will significantly impact both parties in the marriage; it does not matter whether a spouse files separately or not. Creditors can take any property because all property is owned jointly. There are not many states that have community property laws. Florida is not a community property state, but the following states are:
Filing bankruptcy in one of these states will be like filing jointly with your spouse in another because all property is shared equally. Filing in a community state will affect both spouses together. This means that both spouses’ credit scores may be affected.
Understanding your state’s laws and whether or not you are in common law or a community property state can help you protect your spouse. Depending on which state you file in will determine to what degree your spouse will be affected. No matter what state you file bankruptcy in, your spouse’s income must be included in the filing. Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 each have differing effects on the spouse.
Like many things done legally in a marriage, a spouse can file as a single person without their spouse. Whether the Fort Myers personal bankruptcy will affect the spouse will be determined by the state marriage property laws. However, it should be known that a spouse can file without the other spouse’s consent. This creates peace, knowing that the tough decision does not have to pull both spouses into the situation.
There is still much worry about the effect of the single Fort Myers personal bankruptcy filing on the other spouse. Some of these concerns can be whether there will be any effect on the non-filing spouse’s debts, credit scores,
or relationships with their creditors. Most often, if one spouse files as single, the other spouse’s credit score will not be affected. However, if the joint property or joint debt is involved, the credit score for both may be impacted.
Also, the spouse will usually not be brought into a bankruptcy proceeding. Few situations will bring a spouse into the case. However, there are times when the filing spouse’s debts are not satisfied, which could then affect jointly owned property.
Having Fort Myers Personal Bankruptcy lawyers, such as Miller, Hollander & Jeda, can alleviate much stress in a bankruptcy situation. First of all, they can assist you in the difficulties of filing with the bankruptcy court and in the proper jurisdiction. Allowing an experienced attorney to take some of your stress can make the process smoother. Bankruptcy is stressful enough and without an experienced hand to guide you it can be downright terrifying.
An experienced bankruptcy attorney’s knowledge and skill can be essential to you. They can help you with the difficulties often faced in a bankruptcy proceeding. A counselor is a name that attorneys are associated with. This name means they can counsel you in making the correct decisions in your Fort Myers personal bankruptcy case. They can set you on a path that will lead you in a direction that will solidify your future. Some of the ways they can help are:
These are just a few ways that using attorneys in a Fort Myers personal bankruptcy proceeding can help you. Bankruptcy proceedings can be complicated in understanding the differences between the property that can and cannot be touched. On top of this, knowing which chapter to file under is essential. An experienced attorney will advise you to file under a bankruptcy chapter that will best help you.
Overall, bankruptcy can be filed as being an individual even though you are married. Many details are needed to know whether your spouse will be affected. Knowing these details will help you protect or at least be aware of the dangers your spouse may face. Taking the time to find an experienced attorney will alleviate some of the stress involved in this process. They will know the details that will help protect your spouse. Also, they will know the specific laws that will lead you through a successful bankruptcy proceeding.
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Miller, Hollander & Jeda’s founding attorneys began practicing in the early 1970s before putting down roots in the area and joining forces in 1992 to create the Naples, Florida, law firm that bears their names. Since its inception, Miller, Hollander & Jeda has focused on bankruptcy. The goal of our attorneys and our experienced staff, established at the outset and built upon year by year, is to use our extensive knowledge of bankruptcy law to answer the complicated questions you have regarding your financial trouble and help you solve your problems. We take pride in helping clients get a fresh start.