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Terry L.
Terry L., Attorney
Category: Bankruptcy Law
Satisfied Customers: 2820
Experience:  Better Business Bureau. 18yrs bankruptcy experience. Chicago Bar Assoc. American Bankruptcy Institute member.
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Can a spouse file for bankruptcy alone What are the difficulties

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Can a spouse file for bankruptcy alone? What are the difficulties in doing this. The house is only in one name (the person that would be filing) and there is no equity over the allowed amount for Colorado in the home.

Terry L. :

Hi, thanks for your question. You should hire a lawyer for specific legal advice. No attorney client relationship is created here.

Terry L. :

Generally, a spouse is able to file bankruptcy individually without their spouse, with little to no consequences. The exception being if you live in a community property state. You do not, fortunately.

Terry L. :

So, the issues?

Terry L. :

1. Joint debt survives, and the non-filing spouse is 100% responsible for the debt.

Terry L. :

2. All income is disclosed in the case for the household, regardless if filing or not. This is used for the means test calculation.

Terry L. :

3. Only the debtor gets exemptions, the non-filing spouse does not get exemptions for assets (although if the assets are jointly held, they can keep 1/2 of the equity as their portion).

Terry L. :

So, those are the main points if only 1 spouse files.

Terry L. :

Usually, if the majority of debts are joint, it is usually best to file jointly.

Terry L. :

Talk to a local bankruptcy attorney to review the assets and available exemptions, as well as reviewing non-filing spouses issues. Most offer free consultations.

Terry L. :

Do you have any other questions?

Terry L. :

if you have any other questions, I'll be happy to respond.

Terry L. :

Thanks for your question. Please click accept so I may get credit for my response on this site. Good luck to you .

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
There is no joint debt and the few assets would be in the form of old farm equipment and livestock. How difficult is to show that those assets belong to the non filing spouse?
The value of the assets are divided between the spouses. You can use your available exemptions on your 1/2 of the assets to protect them. You would need to show purchase agreements/titles etc. to show who's name the assets are in to your attorney so that they can list only the filing spouses assets in the petition.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
None of the assets would have titles or paper trails of any kind and the livestock has been raised, (not purchased). Would the filing spouse have to list them at all?
If they are not the filing spouse's assets,then no, they wouldn't need to be listed.
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