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Bankruptcy and Spouses

Bankruptcy & Spouses -To File an Individual or Joint Petition - that Is the Question

Bankruptcy Lawyer Serving Hackensack and Teaneck, NJ

The Bankruptcy Code allows for joint filing of bankruptcy petitions for married couples. In order to be able to file a joint bankruptcy petition the debtors must be married and/or living together in a civil union. Although in most cases, joint-filing is advised, for some it is not the best course of action. In many cases, a filing by only one spouse makes sense if a large portion of the debt owed is under the name of only one spouse, and the other spouse has a good credit score with the three (3) National Credit Reporting Agencies, Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. This can occur in a marriage when one person entering the marriage comes in with huge debts.

In the states of New Jersey and New York, married couples are not required to file for bankruptcy protection jointly. If only one spouse files for bankruptcy protection, the other spouse's credit rating would not be affected and would not otherwise be involved in the bankruptcy proceeding. The non-filing spouse often benefits from the Bankruptcy filing of the other spouse, as the creditors are no longer able to call the debtor's home. If any of the following circumstances apply to a married prospective debtor it will most likely be more beneficial to file individually:

  • The debts were incurred prior to the marriage

  • The spouse not filing for bankruptcy did not incur any of the debtor's debts which, of course, must be included in the filing spouse’ s bankruptcy petition.

  • If one spouse filed bankruptcy in the past 8 years, only one may be legally able to file presently.

Looking for a lawyer for a bankruptcy case in Hackensack, NJ? If you need more information on whether to file an individual or joint bankruptcy petition call or contact our firm today to meet with an experienced Teaneck bankruptcy attorney and discuss your case.

From his office in Hackensack, New Jersey, Attorney Alster's services extend throughout the state of New Jersey, as well as New York. Some areas he serves in New Jersey are Passaic County, Bergen County, Hudson County, Essex County, and more; in New York, he serves Rockland County, Queens, and the Bronx.