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socrateaser, Attorney
Category: Bankruptcy Law
Satisfied Customers: 37871
Experience:  Attorney and Real Estate Broker -- Retired (mostly)
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Im married living in California and filing chapter 7 bankruptcy

Resolved Question:

I'm married living in California and filing chapter 7 bankruptcy alone, should I also list the credit cards that I jointly owned with my husband. We also have a car but I'm not on the title or loan, should I also include it. I don't own the car since I'm not on the title and loan, right?
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Bankruptcy Law
Expert:  socrateaser replied 7 years ago.

Under the Federal Bankruptcy Code, you must list every asset in which you have a legal or "equitable"(i.e., "fair") interest.


Under Cal. Family Code Sec. 910, spouses are jointly liable for any debt incurred by either spouse during marriage. And under Fam. Code Sec. 750, and 770, any property not acquired before marriage, or during marriage by gift or inheritance, is community property.


So, it doesn't matter whether or not you are on title or the loan. What matters is whether or not it was acquired by your husband, either prior to marriage, or during marriage by some means other than gift or inheritance. If it's not acquired before marriage or a gift or an inheritance, then it's community property and you must list it.


Which probably will ruin your whole day, so I apologize in advance.


You may want to consider hiring a bankruptcy lawyer. See:



Hope this helps.


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Customer: replied 7 years ago.

Please tell me if I understand it right, the credit card debts that I owed jointly with my husband I should list. And the car should be listed both on the assets (since we acquired it during our marriage) and expenses since both of us are liable on the loan eventhough he's the only one on the loan.

Expert:  socrateaser replied 7 years ago.

What you are describing seems to me to be an accurate understanding of the application of California community property law as it applies to your assets and liabilities, as stated in your post.


In a real-world situtation, I would be looking at all of the contracts, the dates of acquisition, etc., and trying to determine whether I could find a good faith argument for treating property as your husband's separate property. Whereas here, I'm just guessing, based on what you've described.



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