My father declared bankruptcy. What takes place to mom’s credit?

Q. My father declared personal bankruptcy with no telling my mother. How will this impact her credit history?

— Anxious

A. It seems that was something of a shock for your mom.

When one individual information for individual bankruptcy, in New Jersey it does not normally have an effects on the wife or husband.

Commonly, in a Chapter 7 personal bankruptcy, your dad’s debts would be discharged, so if he is the only a person submitting, your mother need to not sense any effect, stated Karra Kingston, a bankruptcy legal professional in Union Town.

She mentioned the only time it could impact your mom is if they have joint debts or joint credit score playing cards.

“If he files for individual bankruptcy on his joint credit history playing cards, your mother will nonetheless remain liable for the credit card debt,” Kingston said. “In New Jersey, a person is responsible to pay the debt that they contracted to pay out back with the creditor.”

For illustration, she stated, if just one spouse takes out a credit card and incurs the financial debt, only he would be liable. On the other hand, if your mother and dad signed that arrangement jointly, then your mother will be liable, much too, she explained.

“In typical, if your mother doesn’t have financial debt, then your dad would be okay to file by himself to protect your mother’s credit history,” she claimed. “Generally, for each Chapter 7 and Chapter 13, to file the personal bankruptcy court’s seem at a household’s income, money owed and assets to ascertain if the spouse qualifies.”

In Chapter 13 bankruptcy, the spouse that is not filing is secured as lengthy as the filing wife or husband pays the system 100%, Kingston explained. If just one husband or wife information a Chapter 13, and pays all of their debts as a result of the plan, the creditor won’t be equipped to sue the husband or wife that doesn’t file, she explained.

E mail your thoughts to [email protected].

Karin Cost Mueller writes the Bamboozled column for NJ Advance Media and is the founder of Comply with NJMoneyHelp on Twitter @NJMoneyHelp. Uncover NJMoneyHelp on Facebook. Signal up for’s weekly e-newsletter.

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