Filing bankruptcy as an individual can be an exceedingly difficult and emotional decision. However, when you have too much debt as a married couple, especially if there are children, the hardship and stress can be much worse.
This blog will discuss joint bankruptcy petitions and provide some insight as to why this may or may not be the right decision for you and your spouse. Craft Law Offices and attorney Leslie Locke Craft has helped couples throughout eastern North Carolina get out of debt through Chapter 13 and Chapter 7 bankruptcy filings, and she is available to help you as well.
What is joint bankruptcy petition for married couples?
A joint bankruptcy petition will allow both you and your spouse to file for debt relief together, at the same time.
Doing this may seem like the obvious choice if you are married, but you need to know that there are pros and cons to making this “joint” decision. Attorney Leslie Lock Craft would be happy to schedule a consultation with you, but here is a quick summary of both:
Benefits to filing a joint bankruptcy petition:
- By filing once, you can save time and money and you will not have to go through the process of multiple times for each spouse.
- When filing together, both spouses are protected under federal law, therefore, no creditor is allowed to pursue one spouse, so there is no worry about losing your spouse’s assets or income.
- Under Chapter 13 bankruptcy, both spouses are responsible for the joint debt. This means that both you and your spouse must pay back the debt in full once the bankruptcy is over which can make it less stressful since a couple will have to work together through the bankruptcy process.
Drawbacks to Joint Petitions:
- If your spouse makes more than you, or has more debt than you, you could be at a disadvantage in a joint bankruptcy filing.
- Both spouses are responsible for all joint debts, so if your spouse does not pay their share of the repayment plan, then neither of you can benefit from it.
- If your spouse has a serious debt issue, filing a joint petition may not be the right decision for you.
Bankruptcy can be complicated, and joint bankruptcy more so if you have children. It is not just you and your spouse filing for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy it’s the family. For this reason, you will want to discuss your options with an experienced bankruptcy attorney.
Craft Law Firm has the experience in Greenville, Rocky Mount, Morehead City and surrounding areas to help you make the right decision for you, your spouse and your children. Leslie Locke Craft will be happy to help you navigate the bankruptcy courts and help you every step of the way.
Call to schedule a consultation today, 252-752-0297.