If I file bankruptcy can my husband be held liable in any way for my debts?


Asked on May 28, 2017 under Bankruptcy Law, Alaska


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

As long as you are the only partner that owes debt, then your husband should be protected. That is unless as long as he was not a co-signer, joint account holder or otherwise agreed to be held liable for your debts. That having been said, while the bankruptcy of one spouse typically does not affect the other, there are exceptions. For example, generally most of a debtor’s "non-exempt" property is taken by creditors and if that property is jointly held, it can also be seized (property held solely in his name is not subject to the claims of your creditors). In a community property state, since both spouses are considered to own all property acquired during marriage, that may be at risk. Finally, you should be aware however, unless a couple is legally separated and living apar, if only one spouse files for bankruptcy, the income and expenses of the non-filing spouse is required to be shown so that the court, the trustee and creditors can evaluate the household income. That having been said, this in no way obligates the non-filing spouse either legally or financially.

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