If I’m currently in year 2 of a 5 year Chapter 13, how would my marrying impact my bankruptcy?

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If I’m currently in year 2 of a 5 year Chapter 13, how would my marrying impact my bankruptcy?

How much should I expect my payments to go up if we get married? Would my Chapter 13 end sooner if I am paying more out of each paycheck? Would my boyfriend’s paycheck or credit be effected if we got married?

Asked on March 20, 2012 under Bankruptcy Law, Michigan

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Your boyfriend's personal paycheck and credit will not be affected by your bankruptcy. Of course, for any large expenses for which a lender would check both of your credit reports in regards to--e.g. a house--you soon-to-be husband will be affected inasmuch as your credit is damaged by the bankrutpcy. For example, if he has a credit score of 700 but you only have a 400 plus a bankruptcy, if a lender was concerned about your joint credit worthiness, they might not lend, or lend at more  unfavorable terms.

It is possible that a creditor could bring an action to adjust your plan, if they become aware of not just the marriage, but that you could afford to pay more, because of your new spouse's contribution to your expenses.

I do not believe that your bankruptcy would necessarily end faster if you could pay more per month--depending on how much of your debts (e.g. what percentage) you are paying, it may instead be the case that you would be expected to pay more money if you can afford to, not the same amount in less time.

Before marrying, you should consult with a bankrutpcy attorney in detail to determine the likely impact, and what you could do to minimize any negative consequences.


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