If one spouse files for bankruptcy, the only time the bankruptcy will affect the other spouse is if debts are held jointly. If only one spouse is an authorized user and not legally obligated on the debt, it will not affect the nonfiling spouse.
Here are some examples for clarification.
Joint Credit Card Debt
If one spouse has a credit card balance and the credit card is only in his or her name, the debt can be included in the bankruptcy and subject to discharge.
If however, the credit card lists both parties jointly, and one spouse files, the credit card lender can still pursue the debt from the nonfiling spouse even after the debt is discharged in the bankruptcy of the other spouse.
Effect On Credit Scores
If only one spouse files for bankruptcy, the bankruptcy will only appear on that spouses’ credit report, not on the nonfiling spouse’s credit report. The nonfiling spouse also will not have any negative damage to his or her score because of his or her spouse’s filing, unless they have joint debt.
For those concerned about credit reporting, we can provide a letter for the nonfiling spouse to provide to the credit reporting agencies.
Unsure Whether To File Without Your Spouse?
If you are thinking about filing bankruptcy without your spouse, consulting with a bankruptcy attorney for guidance is advised. You can discuss your debts and assets with Gillespie & Murphy, P.A., (those exclusively in one name and both), and whether filing bankruptcy individually or jointly is recommended.
Appointments are available at any one of four office locations in New Bern, Greenville, Jacksonville and Wilmington, North Carolina.
We are a debt relief agency. We help people file for bankruptcy relief under the Bankruptcy Code.