Your spouse’s credit score shouldn't be affected by your bankruptcy filing unless he or she has signed any credit agreements with you.
If you co-signed any debts, your spouse’s credit score can be negatively impacted, though it's difficult to determine how badly it will be affected until after you file. In a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, there's a protection provision for co-signers which ensures they won’t be sued or have their wages garnished as long as the filer pays the debt; but the co-signer's credit score will still be affected.
If you have a supplemental credit card with the same account number as the primary credit card with your spouse’s name on it, they will be held responsible for those debts. Also, if you own property together, that property may be included in the bankruptcy case as a way to pay back creditors. This comes into play even more in community property states like Nevada, California, Arizona, Washington, Texas, Idaho, New Mexico, Louisiana, and Wisconsin.
Conversely, if you don’t have any joint accounts, your spouse’s credit shouldn’t be affected at all.
Even if you file for bankruptcy singularly, your spouse’s income needs to be included in the means test to determine which kind of bankruptcy you qualify for.
Sometimes the best solution is that both spouses file bankruptcy and start over — but that's not always the case. Castle Law Office has been handling bankruptcies for Kansas City clients from more than 14 years. If you need the fresh start bankruptcy can provide, call us today at 816-842-6200 to speak with an attorney. Or click here to email us and schedule your free consultation.