Plymouth, MI asked in Bankruptcy for Michigan

Q: What happens if only one spouse in a relationship files for bankruptcy?

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3 Lawyer Answers

Thomas. R. Morris

Answered
  • Bankruptcy Lawyer
  • Farmington Hills, MI
  • Licensed in Michigan

A: The non-filing spouse is not a debtor in the case, but may be affected. His or her income is called for to be disclosed in Schedule I. Property jointly-owned with the debtor could potentially be sold. He or she may be subject to questioning. The effect on the non-filing spouse depends upon the situation.

Mark Bredow

Answered
  • Bankruptcy Lawyer
  • Bloomfield Hills, MI
  • Licensed in Michigan

A: It depends upon whether the case is filed as a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13, whether or not they reside together and the extent of their joint assets.

The non-filing spouse's debts are not discharged and there shouldn't be any effect on the non-filing spouse's credit, so long as payments continue on joint debts.

If the debtor files a Chapter 7 case, property that the debtor and non-debtor own jointly, could be sold by the Trustee to satisfy creditor's claims. The non-filing spouse would be entitle to keep her share, but the debtor's share could be used to pay creditors.

If the debtor files a Chapter 13 Reorganization Plan, and if they live together, the non-filing spouse's income and contributions to joint household expenses will have to be disclosed in the bankruptcy case and could affect the amount of the debtor's payments under the plan.

Robert Keyes

Answered
  • Bankruptcy Lawyer
  • Ypsilanti, MI
  • Licensed in Michigan

A: Too open ended question. Many questions need to be answered before giving a complete answer. You need to talk to an attorney.

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