When filing bankruptcy in Georgia, if your spouse is not listed with you on any debts, their credit score will not be affected by your filing.
Before you file bankruptcy, make a list of every debt you have and go over the list with your spouse. Ask them if they remember signing a contract for any of the debts listed. Also, pull the credit reports for you and your spouse. Next, compare the reports to see if you are both listed on the same debts. Check Experian, Transunion, and Equifax.
If you are cosigned on debts together, your filing Chapter 13 or Chapter 7 bankruptcy may lower their beacon score. I cannot tell you how much it will lower the score. We don’t really know until after you file. In a Chapter 13 bankruptcy case, you can utilize the cosigner protection provision to keep your cosigner from being sued or garnished. Protection of a person who cosigned on the debt in a Chapter 13 bankruptcy is accomplished by paying the full amount of the debt at the contract interest rate in the Chapter 13 bankruptcy plan. However, this provision does protect the credit score of the cosigner.
While your filing may not affect your spouse, your spouse’s income will have an impact on whether or not you qualify to file. The income of your spouse is included in the income calculation for the means test.
Cosigned debts seem to cause a tremendous amount of marital discord. Husband is mad at the wife for using the credit cards. Wife is mad at the husband for not making enough money to pay the credit cards. Wife is mad at husband because she thinks that he considers his precious credit rating to be more important than the marriage. Sometimes, the best solution is for both the husband and wife to file bankruptcy together.
The issue of how will my spouse be affected comes up in Rome, Dalton, Cartersville, Hiram, Dallas, Douglasville and every other Georgia city that we draw clients from. Don’t feel like you are alone in the struggle.