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Ellen, Attorney
Category: Bankruptcy Law
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Experience:  Bankruptcy Lawyer. Experienced.
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Can a wife file bankruptcy on the credit cards that are in

Resolved Question:

Can a wife file bankruptcy on the credit cards that are in her name only, without involving the husband and his background?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Bankruptcy Law
Expert:  Ellen replied 4 years ago.

WebLaw :

*This chat is not intended as legal advice. It is general information that may or may not apply to your situation and should not be relied upon.*

WebLaw :

Welcome to JustAnswer,

So sorry to hear of this dilemma. If my answer is not clear to you or does not fully answer your question, please ask me for clarification by using the reply button.

WebLaw :

Yes - this is possible. A husband and wife are not required to file a bankruptcy jointly. One party can file without the other.

The effect on the non-filing spouse will be dependent upon whether there are joint debts and/or joint assets. If there are no joint debts and no joint assets, there may be little or no effect on the non-filing spouse. If there are joint debts and/or joint assets, the non-filing spouse would remain liable on the joint debt and the joint assets would need to be included in the filing.

WebLaw :

I think this is what you wanted to know. Please use the REPLY button if you have any questions concerning my answer. Otherwise please click ACCEPT so that I am paid by the site for answering.


Thanks. I'm not sure I understand fully. I have credit card debt in my name only, that I am having trouble paying down since I became unemployed when my company shut down. I want to try to bankrupt on those and work on paying off the ones we have in both our names. I don't want any bankruptcy record to show on my husbands background because he has a high level security clearance and it might cause problems for him and his employer.

WebLaw :

After you have filed bankruptcy, the credit cards that are in your name alone will be discharged/erased. Your personal liability on the credit cards debtor jointly held will be discharged. The bankruptcy will show on the credit report but will not indicate that your husband filed bankruptcy


I don't understand your second sentence.

Expert:  Ellen replied 4 years ago.
Your bankruptcy may show on your husband's credit reports regarding the joint debt
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

How could we know for sure? Would it help if he took me off the accounts that have both our names? Come to think about it, I'm not sure we have any that we actually opened together. We have just added each other as card carriers. Also, would getting a divorce help matters? We really cannot jeopardize his employment since I am no longer employed?


Expert:  Ellen replied 4 years ago.
If you list any credit cards that your husband is also liable on, it will be reflected on his credit report. A divorce will not be of any assistance
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

As long as I only list the ones that I, alone, am on then it won't affect him? Is that right?

What kind of lawyer should I contact locally?

Expert:  Ellen replied 4 years ago.
Correct. You will want to retain a bankruptcy attorney. Here is a link to a free legal referral site that may assist you in locating competent local counsel:

Please accept and then feel free to ask me another question - if you’re a subscriber, you can do so at no additional cost beyond your monthly payment. Please bookmark my profile page here so you can come back and ask me a question anytime:

Thank you very much,
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