Bankruptcy: Joint Filing vs. Separate Filing

Posted by on Nov 3, 2013 in Bankruptcy | 0 comments

When a couple gets married they bring many facets of their lives together, including finances. Couples will often share bank and credit card accounts. Unfortunately amongst other things, debt is commonly a financial situation that develops over the course of a marriage. Sometimes couples facing financial hardship are forced by looming property foreclosure to make the difficult decision to file for bankruptcy.

Couples can file for joint bankruptcy or separate bankruptcy. The definitive decision typically depends on which option allows the couple to discharge the most debts while retaining the largest amount possible of their personal property. To explain it in different terms, couples want to maximize the debts paid off while simultaneously minimizing the assets lost.

According to the website of the Bradford Law Offices, PLLC some benefits of filing for joint bankruptcy include a more efficient application process, cheaper application fees than filing two separate cases, and additional protection from telephone debt collectors. Despite the advantage of frugality and efficiency, filing for joint bankruptcy has some disadvantages. A couple is ineligible for joint bankruptcy when one spouse has previously filed for bankruptcy. Additionally joint bankruptcy is not an option if one spouse has a large secured debt that exceeds the accepted limits.

If couples decide to file separately, it will cost people more money in lawyers’ fees, application costs, and court fees. However, since joint filing compromises the credit of both spouses, separate filing can protect one spouse from the negative effects of bankruptcy. To understand which type of bankruptcy will be the most advantageous, it is extremely useful for couples to consult a lawyer.

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