Can my wife and I file for bankruptcy jointly? - Bankruptcy Law Questions and Answers- LawQA.com

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Can my wife and I file for bankruptcy jointly?

My wife and I have pondered about filing for a few years now. She is about $25,000 in debit and I'm about $3,500 in debit. A lot of it is old medical bills on her part and mine is due to none payment on some old cc, cable, and some medical.

Answer By Janet Lawson
Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney
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Sure you can file together.

Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 7/31/2011

Answer By Alan D. Walton
Breckenridge and Walton
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You can file jointly, although with only $3500 in debt, you might want to just pay that off and have the wive file alone on her debt. Talk to an attorney about the options.

Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 7/28/2011

Answer By David Goldman
Apple Law Firm PLLC
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Yes, often there is almost no different in the charge for 1 person as a husband and wife.

Answer Applies to: Florida
Replied: 7/28/2011

Law Offices of John J. Ferry, Jr.
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Yes, it is not unusual for married couples to file a joint bankruptcy petition. You should sit down with a bankruptcy attorney to discuss whether it makes sense in your case.

Answer Applies to: Pennsylvania
Replied: 7/28/2011

Ursula G. Barrios Law
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You can and should file jointly.

Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 7/27/2011

Law Offices of Michael J. Berger
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Yes, a husband and wife can file jointly. Your debt is low.

Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 7/27/2011

Answer By Mark Markus
The Law Office of Mark J. Markus
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Yes. Any married couple can file jointly now.

Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 7/27/2011

Carballo Law Offices
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Yes, a husband and wife are the only ones that can legally file jointly. There is a lot of controversy going on as to married persons of the same gender (gays and lesbians) who want to file jointly. Recently the bankruptcy court in Los Angeles ruled that gays and lesbians who are legally married under state law can also file jointly as husband and wife (although technically federal law does not recognize marriage between persons of the same gender). There are benefits of filing jointly because you do not have to file two cases so only one attorney's fee and one court filing only. If the bills are over four years old then the creditors might not be able to collect from you anymore because of the statute of limitations. You should investigate whether the debts you have are still legally valid.

Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 7/27/2011

Answer By Mark Alonso
Financial Relief Law Center
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Generally married couples have the option to file a joint or separate bankruptcy petition. Being able to file for a chapter 7 bankruptcy depends upon what your income level is for both you and your wife. In order to qualify for a chapter 7 discharge, you must meet the income requirements for the state of CA, which would require you to earn less than the median income for two people in the state of CA or pass the means test. Also, generally speaking, if only one spouse files bankruptcy, the other spouse may be able to get the benefit of what's called a "community discharge", which means all community debts (debts acquired during marriage) will be discharged as to both of you, even if only one of you files for bankruptcy. Any debt acquired prior to marriage is considered separate debt, and is not debt of the community so a community discharge wouldn't help a non-filing spouse in this situation. You may want to discuss your case with a bankruptcy attorney to determine what, if any assets you have, how those would be protected in a chapter 7 bankruptcy, and what is the best strategy - to file a joint or separate petition.

Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 7/27/2011

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