If you and your spouse are struggling financially, you may be eligible for debt relief through bankruptcy. Spouses can file jointly or separately, but which one is right for you? Read our blog for more information about joint bankruptcy, and how you can get the debt relief you need.
What Is a Joint Bankruptcy Filing?
A joint bankruptcy filing is a petition for bankruptcy singed by both spouses with all pertinent financial information about each spouses accounts and assets. This means that instead of one person being responsible for handling the bankruptcy proceedings, both spouses will be required to submit to the court and follow instructions.
Joint bankruptcy can be beneficial for both spouses and may make the case more manageable. In addition to having the support of a loved one during a difficult legal issue, filing for bankruptcy can significantly reduce costs as the filing fees and attorney fees are split between two incomes. Additionally, all qualifying debts for both spouses can be discharged at one.
Bankruptcy can be a lengthy and frustrating process, but joint filings are often more efficient and lead to a better financial future sooner rather than later.
What You Should Know Before Filing Jointly
If you are planning on filing for joint bankruptcy, there are a few things to consider. One of the most important items of note is the status of property. Whether a couple files for Chapter 7 or 13, they will be required to submit an index of all property and assets owned jointly and individually.
Property ownership can have a significant impact on what assets are exempt from liquidation and what exemptions apply to the case. In some cases, couples may receive double exemptions, but these cases are rare.
Additionally, the court may choose to discharge some debts but not others. New York is not a community property state which means that when a couple files jointly, they can wipe out all of their qualifying debts.
Bankruptcy can affect credit scores by 200 points or more. When spouses file jointly, it may reflect on both credit scores. Most of the time, a credit score will begin to increase after bankruptcy, but the impact can be significant.
However, if one spouse is in good standing financially and has a high credit score it may not be in their best interest to file jointly. In other words, filing jointly may hurt one spouse despite helping the other. If at least one spouse has good credit, they can continue to get loan approval when their spouse cannot. This can be crucial for most couples.
Make an Informed Decision
Deciding what to do about bankruptcy – whether it is filing jointly or separately – is a difficult one to make especially when your financial future is at stake. The Law Office of Seni Popat, P.C. can help you make an informed decision about your future and help you select the option best suited to your needs. Our attorney has helped countless people find debt relief and can give you the support you need to protect your loved ones.
Contact our attorney at the Law Office of Seni Popat, P.C.