For many Colorado spouses, sharing finances is a way of life. Spouses become used to sharing joint bank accounts, as well as signing documents important financial documents, like mortgages, jointly. When these spouses accumulate significant amounts of debt they may wonder whether the debt impacts both spouses, particularly if it is only in one spouse's name.
This is especially important to know when the couple wants to know what their options are in Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Typically, when filing for Chapter 7, both the husband and wife have some options. They may file a joint petition or they may choose to file individual petitions. If the couple files jointly, each spouse still has to complete the document filing requirements that individual debtors must file.
The documents required in Chapter 7 include filing a list of liabilities and assets, listing current income and expenditures, a statement of financial affairs and a schedule of executor contracts. Individuals who have primarily consumer debts also must file additional documents, including a certificate showing they completed credit counseling, evidence from employers regarding payment, a statement of monthly net income and a record of any interest in education or tuition accounts.
These document requirements may sound exhaustive at the outset, but individuals who are genuinely interested in the fresh start that a bankruptcy filing can offer will need to ensure that they meet all of the filing requirements. Spouses can always seek out more information to determine what their best options are for debt relief, and how the process plays out between the spouses.
Source: Fox Business, "The rules of filing for personal bankruptcy," Dave Ramsey, Aug. 27, 2013