Do Both Spouses Need to File for Bankruptcy? Three Questions Answered

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Did you know that, according to Sports Illustrated, about 75% of professional athletes either have grave financial difficulties or are bankrupt within just two years of finishing their careers? Staying afloat is difficult for many people, regardless of what job they have or how skilled their financial knowledge is.

Many people who struggle with approaching bankruptcy have had issues such as getting laid off, medical bills, or student loans that can quickly become overwhelming and difficult to continually pay. Do you find bankruptcy information confusing? Many people do. For this reason, we’ve identified some common questions, and outlined what you need to know.

1. Can One Spouse File Bankruptcy?

Can one spouse file bankruptcy? It depends on the situation. The truth about bankruptcy is that laws and rules can be complicated, and vary by state. On top of these, Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy have different rules. In most cases, you can technically file a bankruptcy with just one spouse, rather than both. People often are hoping to do this with Chapter 13 because they have a home they do not wish to lose. However, be aware that many people do not pay back all their debts on time, which complicates the ability to leave the other spouse out. The ability to file without one spouse is impacted by the ability to pay back the debt, as well as the total amount of debt.

2. Can Anyone File for Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 Bankruptcy?

No, both these options will not always be available to you. To be eligible for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you need to meet a number of criteria, most notably, “the means test” which says that your income cannot be past a certain amount. Many people, for this reason, are instead required to file a Chapter 13. If you have filed a Chapter 7 within the last eight years, or a chapter 13 within the last six, you will also not be able to enter Chapter 7.

3. Can I Delay Foreclosure by Sending Some Money?

No, not without talking to your creditor and restructuring your payment. There are several myths about bankruptcy, and one is that simply showing you’re trying is enough to forestall the bank from trying to take back your home. In most cases, you will just get the payment sent back to you. The bank is not going to count a half payment as good will. It is important to show you’re trying, but show it through legal, documented channels of conversation. Don’t assume everything is going okay just because people should be understanding. Banks and other such companies employ thousands of people who don’t follow cases on an individual basis.

Can one spouse file bankruptcy? Yes. Do you have any other questions relating to bankruptcy? See this link for more references.

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