Can One Spouse File for Bankruptcy?
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Yes, only one spouse can file for Bankruptcy. However, the income of both spouses is used for Bankruptcy qualification purposes. The “means” test requires that the entire “household” income be calculated for Bankruptcy qualification purposes.
Couples who file for bankruptcy together will be given the opportunity to double the exemptions available to them. These can include property under the homestead declaration, personal property, different types of life insurance, pensions, assistance benefits, working tools of your occupation and wages earned but not yet paid.
In some situations, where only one person has debts, or non-dischargeable debts, then it may be appropriate to do a single filing. In Texas, if the outstanding debts are in both names, and only one spouse files and receives a discharge, it’s possible that the other person’s credit score will still be affected.
Seek Legal Advice
It’s important to discuss your situation with a reliable Texas attorney, who will assess your situation by reviewing all paperwork, analyzing all debts and income, and then give you an informed option on how to proceed. Filing alone has benefits and pitfalls that must be considered before proceeding. It’s important to seek legal advice on whether you should file for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, as each one has advantages and disadvantages when residing in Texas.
You can file with or without an attorney, but reviewing your situation with legal counsel should always be a first step, in order to understand the best way to proceed. Many people think their options are more limited than they really are, and until all options have been diligently reviewed by an expert, it’s not wise to assume you understand all the legal and financial implications of your decision.