The short answer for most Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy cases is no, your spouse does not have to jointly file for bankruptcy with you. However, in some cases it makes sense to do so depending on how the debts are distributed. In some cases, only the debts of one spouse may be discharged, but both spouse’s debts will be included. Of course, even if you are a married individual, you can still file by yourself but it may have an impact on your spouse. Contact us to speak with a bankruptcy attorney about your’s and your spouse’s financial situation to see if bankruptcy is a suitable option. Our bankruptcy lawyers will evaluate any and all factors that the courts will consider.

Our chapter 7 and chapter 13 bankruptcy services are designed to facilitate a fresh financial start for our. Here are some factors to consider if you and/or your spouse are considering filing for bankruptcy.

Chapter 7

Chapter 7, or a form of liquidation, is designed to relieve general unsecured debt. After completing Chapter 7 bankruptcy, the discharged debt no longer has to be repaid. The following debts are dischargeable in Chapter 7:

  • Credit card balances
  • Payday loans
  • Medical bills
  • Back utility bills
  • Personal loans
  • Certain contracts
  • Car repossessions
  • Debts owed to previous landlords
  • Overdrawn bank accounts · Stop garnishments
  • Other debts

Chapter 13

Chapter 13 is designed to accommodate people who have assets necessary to maintain their household or that need protection from the collection on debts that cannot be discharged like taxes, home loans, auto loans, or student loans. It may also be an option that can protect your spouse from creditors if you file bankruptcy alone. Chapter 13 may be the right choice in the following situations:

  • Pending Foreclosures
  • Vehicle repossession
  • Tax debts
  • Unsecured debt
  • Stop garnishments when you have limited cash available for legal fees
  • Need bankruptcy protection requiring little to no cash upfront
  • Student Loans – Student loans are generally not dischargeable in bankruptcy, but they may be placed on hold while you address your other debts. Contact us for more information.

Contact our office for a free consultation. We will sit down with you (or visit with you virtually) and go over your debts and assets to build a custom solution for you based on the bankruptcy chapter that is best for you and your significant other. Call us at 816-842-6200 or use the chat function in the bottom right hand corner of your screen to get connected with one of our bankruptcy attorneys.

Jason C. Amerine
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President and Owner, Castle Law Office of Kansas City
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