If you are not joint on any debts, the answer is no. However, it is important to remember that even though your spouse may not be filing with you on the petition, their income and their individual debts may have an impact on your case.
If you have joint debt with your spouse and you are the only one filing bankruptcy, your Chapter 13 discharge doesn’t eliminate the debt liability for your nonfiling spouse. It only removes your responsibility for the debt. A Chapter 13 bankruptcy discharge only discharges the debts of the person who actually files the bankruptcy, not co-signers or joint account holders. The creditor will pursue repayment from your spouse co-signed for any of the debt.
List Debts and Review Credit Reports
Any married person considering filing bankruptcy is well advised to have a discussion with an experienced bankruptcy attorney before taking action. An initial glance may seem to appear there are some or no debts that link a married couple. It would be worth however, to have a careful inspection of your debt, and both of your credit reports, to verify if your spouse is included on any of the debt’s reporting to the (3) main credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian, and Transunion). In Georgia, you are entitled to one free credit report per year from www.annualcreditreport.com.
Will My Chapter 13 Affect My Spouse’s Credit Score?
Your bankruptcy will not appear on your spouse’s credit. However, even if your non-filing spouse agrees to pay the debt in question, their credit score can still be negatively impacted by your filing bankruptcy.
Can a Spouse’s Income Can Affect Qualification for Bankruptcy?
The answer is yes, it can, though it depends. When filing for bankruptcy, an income calculation is made for the means test. Your spouse’s income must be disclosed as part of the means test to qualify for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy. For the purpose of proving income, it may be required that your spouse’s pay stubs are submitted to the bankruptcy trustee.
Contact the Law Office of Jeffrey B. Kelly
If you’re worried that filing for Chapter 13 or Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Georgia could affect your spouse’s credit report, then contact us today. The Law Office of Jeffrey B. Kelly would be happy to guide you through the ins and outs of bankruptcy, and help protect yourself and your spouse from aggressive creditor lawsuits. For the convenience of our clients, we have seven locations in Georgia. Click here for the office nearest you.