If you have a domestic partner or if you’re living with your significant other and have incurred debt together, you may be wondering if you can file for bankruptcy together. After all, if you got into debt together, can’t you get out together, too?
Bankruptcy law limits individual bankruptcy filings (as opposed to corporate filings) to an individual or a married couple. So even if you took out a loan with a family member, friend, or significant other, unless you’re married, you can’t file for joint bankruptcy, even if the debt is joint debt. This doesn’t mean that both parties can’t file for bankruptcy. It simply means that they can’t file together. You can still file for bankruptcy individually.
Joint bankruptcy is useful for couples since unless both parties have filed bankruptcy, creditors will come after the cosigner for the debt after the initial creditor files. This still happens when you have cosigned for a friend or family member, you just aren’t allowed to file joint bankruptcy.
If someone you have cosigned for does file bankruptcy, you may have to consider filing as well, regardless of your relationship. If you have co-signed a loan and the debtor files for bankruptcy, the creditors will turn to you to make good on the debt regardless of what happens in bankruptcy court.
So unless you can keep up with the payments on that home, car, or student loan, bankruptcy may be your only other option.
Over the past 23 years, the Law Offices of Christopher A. Benson has helped over 2,300 of Washington clients take control of their financial situation. We can stop your garnishment and change your monthly payments for all your combined unsecured debt, and if you have had more than $600 garnished within the last 90 days, we can get all of the money back in most cases. But you have to act quickly–call (253) 815-6940 for your free consultation, or email us today. Evening and weekend appointments available.
About the Author
Chris served on the Board of Directors for Habitat for Humanity
Seattle/S. King County for 10 years and served as Vice President
of the organization during part of that time. Read More