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HCLegal, Attorney
Category: Bankruptcy Law
Satisfied Customers: 423
Experience:  I have filed over a thousand bankruptcy cases.
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My domestic partner and I (together 10 years, but not registered

Resolved Question:

My domestic partner and I (together 10 years, but not registered in DC) own two homes: one in DC (primary residence, I'm listed on the title, but not sure in what way) and another in VA (rental, I'm listed as a survivor). So, I believe we'd be considered joint tenants, but not sure.

We both declared chapter 7 bankruptcy (my partner in mid 2010 and me in mid 2011). Both bankruptcies were discharged. In between our bankruptcies, we fell behind on condo payments, and had some auto-deductions for condo fees returned, which generated additional charges.

During my bankruptcy process, debt collection was stayed...but the condo association still tried to collect from both of us. We assumed foreclosure would be swift on both homes, both of which were surrendered, but missing paperwork and the national lawsuit by several attorneys general have left us in limbo...we're in the home, but not sure when foreclosure will begin.

Now, the condo association is trying to go after my partner (Chapter 7, mid 2010) for the condo fees after his bankruptcy, and from both of us for all fees since my bankruptcy. They're also threatening to deny access to the building except through the concierge (which is not 24/7 as advertised). I asked for a hearing, and just got notice of a hearing with the condo board tomorrow evening, which isn't doable for either of us due to work schedules.

Is any of this legal? Do either or both of us owe this money? Signed...broke, just not broke enough.
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Bankruptcy Law
Expert:  HCLegal replied 5 years ago.

HCLegal : Hello and thank you for your question here on Just Answer.
HCLegal : Your bankruptcies only cover debts that were incurred prior to your respective filings.
HCLegal : Any debt that was incurred after your cases were filed cannot be included in the bankruptcy and you would be liable on those debts.
HCLegal : Even though you listed the properties as surrender in your bankruptcy, they are still your properties until the bank actually forecloses.

What about the gap between our two bankruptcies? Could my partner be responsible for joint debt that was discharged under my bankruptcy?

HCLegal : This means that any condo assoc fees that became due after the filings you would still be responsible for.
HCLegal : Yes, your partner could be liable for the debt that was incurred after his filing but before your filing.

So, whatever was incurred between mid-2010 (his bankruptcy) and mid-2011 (my bankruptcy) he has to pay, even though I don't...ack!


Does the joint tenancy provide any stay to collection?

HCLegal : No, because you are not married. In this circumstance you would be considered two separate people.

Thanks for the help...not the answer I thought it would be, but it's consistent with what I've heard. Another reason to get married... thanks for your help!

HCLegal : You are welcome, sorry it couldn't be better news.
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