How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask TJ, Esq. Your Own Question

TJ, Esq.
TJ, Esq., Attorney
Category: Bankruptcy Law
Satisfied Customers: 10621
Experience:  JD, MBA
Type Your Bankruptcy Law Question Here...
TJ, Esq. is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I owe about $400,000 (with two partners) S corporation. Our

Resolved Question:

I owe about $400,000 (with two partners) "S" corporation. Our market has dried up.
We are considering Bankruptcy (probably Chapter 7) but are not sure about my personal obligations (family home, automobiles, etc.)....Does chapter 7 seem to be the right vehicle?
Is there any advantage to having these items in my spouses name.
She is about to be laid off from her position.
I have not taken a "salary" check this year.
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Bankruptcy Law
Expert:  TJ, Esq. replied 6 years ago.
Can you clarify whether you are personally liable for the debt, or whether only your corporation is liable? Also, is your home held as a tenancy by the entireties? Last, what State does this take place in?

Thank you.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
North Carolina.
It is all business debt, owed by all equally, I would believe.
The home is currently owned jointly by my wife and myself. No connection to the corporation.
Expert:  TJ, Esq. replied 6 years ago.
Hmmm, I think I need to clarify my questions. Please bear with me ...

Are the debts only in the name of the corporation, or are they in your name? It makes a huge difference. For example, as you're probably aware, GM has serious financial troubles right now. But that doesn't mean I'll need to repay any of GM's creditors just because I own GM stock. The same goes for your corporation. Therefore, you would only be liable for your corporation's debt if you specifically agreed to be liable ... for example, your corporation's bank may have required you to personally guarantee the debt. Do you know if that's true?

With regard to the house, married couples usually (but not always) own property as a "tenancy by the entireties." It's possible that you could own it as "joint tenants," but it's less likely and it would probably be a bad idea. Again, it makes a huge difference as to whether the house can be reached by creditors. So, you may want to double check your deed to see what it says.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
The company is incorporated in Delaware.
to answer your questions.... the short answer is yes i am one of the personal guarantor's on our companies line of credit and credit cards which in total equals 129K in outstanding debt.

Not sure what the answer is on the second question (Tenancy by the entireties, or Joint tenants... Can you help me understand any further the difference.. Thanks
Expert:  TJ, Esq. replied 6 years ago.

Okay, since you personally guaranteed the debt, then you are personally liable for it. I was hoping you were going to tell me that it's all in the corporation's name. Assuming you all personally guaranteed it, then you're probably jointly and severally liable for it. That means that you each owe 100% of the debt (although the creditor can only collect once). So, for example, if you have many assets, and your partners have none, then it's possible the creditor would sue you for the entire amount owed. You could then demand that the others reimburse you for 1/3rd each, but in this example collecting may be a hassle (which is why the creditor went after you rather than them). If the corporation files for Chapter 7, it won't relieve your liability. You may want to file for bankruptcy yourself. Of course, that depends on your financial situation as well (part of which we're discussing with regard to the house).

For unmarried people, there are generally two ways to own property together: (1) a tenancy in common, and (2) a joint tenancy. They are very similar … in both cases the two people own an undivided 50% interest in the property. The difference is seen when one person dies. With a tenancy in common, if one owner dies, his share goes to his heirs, and then those heirs own the property along with the other original (and still living) owner. With a joint tenancy, each owner has a right to survivorship. This means that when one owner dies, the other owner gets the entire property automatically. It does not pass to the deceased’s heirs. Now, a married couple may own property in either of those two ways, or they may own property a third way: a tenancy by the entireties. This is similar to a joint tenancy with regard to the right of survivorship. It’s different in that neither of you owns an undivided 50% interest … instead, you as a couple are viewed as one person that owns 100%. This difference is important so far as creditors are concerned. If you own the property as a joint tenancy, then one of your creditors may put a lien on your 50% share of the property. However, if you own the property as a tenancy by the entireties, then your creditor cannot put a lien on your 50% share because you don’t have a 50% share … your interest in the property is glued to your wife’s interest. So, unless your wife is also obligated to the creditor, the creditor can’t go after your house.

If the information that I provided was helpful, then please remember to click the green accept button so that I will receive credit and compensation for my time. Positive feedback is always appreciated as well. Thank you and good luck!


DISCLAIMER: Please be aware that only an attorney licensed in your state is authorized to advise you in legal matters, and that the limitations of this setting may prevent your legal issues from being thoroughly addressed. Accordingly, please understand that (1) by answering your question(s) I am not acting as your attorney, (2) my answer(s) should be construed as general information only, and (3) our discussion is not an adequate substitute for an in-person consultation with an attorney.


TJ, Esq., Attorney
Category: Bankruptcy Law
Satisfied Customers: 10621
Experience: JD, MBA
TJ, Esq. and other Bankruptcy Law Specialists are ready to help you

JustAnswer in the News:

Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.

What Customers are Saying:

  • Mr. Kaplun clearly had an exceptional understanding of the issue and was able to explain it concisely. I would recommend JustAnswer to anyone. Great service that lives up to its promises! Gary B. Edmond, OK
< Previous | Next >
  • Mr. Kaplun clearly had an exceptional understanding of the issue and was able to explain it concisely. I would recommend JustAnswer to anyone. Great service that lives up to its promises! Gary B. Edmond, OK
  • My Expert was fast and seemed to have the answer to my taser question at the tips of her fingers. Communication was excellent. I left feeling confident in her answer. Eric Redwood City, CA
  • I am very pleased with JustAnswer as a place to go for divorce or criminal law knowledge and insight. Michael Wichita, KS
  • PaulMJD helped me with questions I had regarding an urgent legal matter. His answers were excellent. Three H. Houston, TX
  • Anne was extremely helpful. Her information put me in the right direction for action that kept me legal, possible saving me a ton of money in the future. Thank you again, Anne!! Elaine Atlanta, GA
  • It worked great. I had the facts and I presented them to my ex-landlord and she folded and returned my deposit. The 50 bucks I spent with you solved my problem. Tony Apopka, FL
  • Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help. Mary C. Freshfield, Liverpool, UK

Meet The Experts:

  • Terry L.


    Satisfied Customers:

    Better Business Bur 15yrs bankruptcy experience. Chicago Bar
< Last | Next >
  • Terry L.'s Avatar

    Terry L.


    Satisfied Customers:

    Better Business Bur 15yrs bankruptcy experience. Chicago Bar
  • cortrightlaw's Avatar



    Satisfied Customers:

    Attorney practicing Bankruptcy Law including Chapter 7, Chapter 11, Chapter 12, and Chapter 13.
  • JoeLawyer's Avatar



    Satisfied Customers:

    Attorney in the practice of Bankruptcy Law since 1996
  • Brent Blanchard's Avatar

    Brent Blanchard

    Bankruptcy Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    Twelve years experience in all aspects of debtor & creditor BK.
  • A.J.'s Avatar



    Satisfied Customers:

    Experienced consumer bankruptcy attorney.
  • Fritz's Avatar



    Satisfied Customers:

    Florida attorney with extensive experience in Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 consumer bankruptcy cases
  • Law Girl's Avatar

    Law Girl


    Satisfied Customers:

    I am an attorney.