Bankruptcy Law Questions? Ask a Bankruptcy Lawyer.
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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.
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As an individual, there are two types of bankruptcy available. A Chapter 7 and a Chapter 13. There are distinct differences in between a Chapter 7 and a Chapter 13 bankruptcy.
A Chapter 7 bankruptcy could discharge (erase) all of your unsecured debt such as credit cards, judgments and personal loans. It would be an opportunity for a fresh financial start. However, you may have to surrender assets, if any, that exceed your exemption.
A Chapter 13 bankruptcy is a repayment plan for an individual. It may require that you repay some of your unsecured credit card debt over a 3 -5 year period. However, you may retain assets that exceed your exemption.
Here are the exemptions for Pennsylvania:http://www.bankruptcyinformation.com/PA_exemp.htm
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