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Filing for Bankrutpcy and Consequences on Spouse's Credit

I am thinking of filing for bankruptcy, how will this affect my wife's credit?

My wife and I live in Florida. I am thinking of filing for bankruptcy to alleviate credit card debts, all of which were issued to my name only. Will this affect my wife or her credit in any way?

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In many cases, one spouse can file for bankruptcy protection without having a negative impact on the other spouse. Because Florida is not a community property state, any debts that are in your name only are likely your sole responsibility, meaning that you may be able to file a personal bankruptcy to discharge these debts without affecting your wife’s credit or assets. On the other hand, if you are filing for bankruptcy on joint debts, your bankruptcy filing may cause creditors to pursue your wife for payment, since she would probably still be liable for the debt. Also, if you and your wife own any joint assets, the bankruptcy court may force you to sell those which are not exempt under federal and Florida law. Bills.com offers a state-by-state list of assets which may be exempt from sale by the bankruptcy court.

As for your wife’s credit rating, your bankruptcy should have no appreciable effect on her credit profile, as long as she is not listed as a cardholder or authorized user on any of the accounts which you are planning to include in your bankruptcy case. If she is a cardholder, the creditors could pursue her for payment after you liability is discharged. If she is only an authorized user, she is not liable to pay the debts, but they could still be reported on her credit profile, which could significantly reduce her overall credit rating. To read more about credit, credit reporting, and credit scores, you should visit the Bills.com credit page.

Since you are considering filing for bankruptcy protection, I strongly encourage you to consult with an experienced bankruptcy attorney in your state to review your family’s finances in detail to make sure that a bankruptcy filing will not have any unintended consequences for you or your wife. To read more about bankruptcy, I encourage you to visit the Bills.com Bankruptcy Information page.

I wish you the best of luck in finding a solution to your debt troubles, and hope that the information I have provided helps you Find. Learn. Save.

Best,

Bill

bills.com

4 Comments

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  • KS
    May, 2011
    Kutlwano Ziziph...
    If I apply for debt counseling/review/consolidation will it affect my husbands credit sore/rating?
    0 Votes

    • BA
      May, 2011
      Bill
      Your spouse's credit score is not affected by the status of accounts held in your name only. Do you share any joint credit accounts? If not, there is no effect at all on your spouse's credit rating.

      Debt review will have no negative effects on your credit score. Credit counseling may affect your credit score. A consolidation loan should not have a negative effect, if you pay off the loans/credit accounts that you are consolidating.
      0 Votes

  • BA
    Apr, 2009
    Bill
    Please go through http://www.bills.com/debt-consolidation/ to learn about the various options when it comes to consolidating your debt. Bankruptcy is a serious issue and should only be considered as a last resort and after you have consulted with a bankruptcy attorney.
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Apr, 2009
    Rich
    My wife and I are both on pensions and considerably in debt. I know that the law states that you can not garnish a pension so being as I no longer have any money other than the pension and no equity left in my home why should I file either bankruptcy or debt consolidation?
    0 Votes