Filing Jointly for a New Jersey Bankruptcy

You and your spouse may be facing similar or different circumstances when it comes to debt. One of you may have debt before the marriage or your debt may all be joint debt. When considering bankruptcy, you may want to know whether it makes more sense for you to file bankruptcy together. It is important to consider the consequences of the decision to file bankruptcy together. An attorney experienced in bankruptcy could go over the advantages and disadvantages of filing jointly for a New Jersey bankruptcy.

Joint Filing of Bankruptcy and Debt

In some situations, the best choice can be to file bankruptcy jointly in New Jersey. This makes a great deal of sense when both parties jointly owe a majority of the debt. The liability for joint debt will be taken care of in the person’s bankruptcy for both them and their spouse when filing jointly for a New Jersey bankruptcy. If a person files separately for bankruptcy on joint debt and their spouse chooses not to file bankruptcy, their liability is taken care of in bankruptcy while their spouse’s liability on the debt remains. This means that creditors can take actions to collect the debt from their spouse and not them.

One advantage to filing bankruptcy jointly is that the individual gets to use double the amount of exemptions to protect their property. Exemptions allow a person to keep the value of certain property away from being used in bankruptcy to pay back debt to creditors. In New Jersey, an individual can either choose between using only the exemptions for New Jersey or they can choose using only the federal exemptions that exist. This could be very beneficial, especially if they have property that they would prefer to be kept out of the hands of creditors.

If both the individual and their spouse are considering filing bankruptcy separately from one another, it may be worth it to know that it is typically less expensive to file bankruptcy jointly since they are only paying filing fees once for filing bankruptcy instead of separately. The attorney’s fees are typically less expensive with a joint bankruptcy filing then when two people file separate bankruptcies.

Should One Consider Filing Bankruptcy Without Their Spouse?

It may be a better option to consider filing bankruptcy without the spouse. One reason is that an individual may carry a vast majority of the debt in their name and not their spouse’s name. If this is the case, then it may make sense for them to file bankruptcy and not their spouse because their spouse’s credit should not be affected by the individual’s debt when they file bankruptcy. This could be very important, especially if their spouse would like to maintain credit. Another reason a person may want to consider filing separately has to do with their home. If they have a home titled in their name before they were married and their spouse files bankruptcy, then their home cannot be considered by the bankruptcy court as an asset. When going through the process of filing bankruptcy, an attorney could advise someone on their options.

A Bankruptcy Attorney Could Explain the Options

Navigating your options for bankruptcy can be tough without knowing the implications of your decision. Filing jointly for a New Jersey bankruptcy can be a great choice for you and your spouse depending on your circumstances. A New Jersey attorney experienced in bankruptcy can explore options with you to determine what makes the most sense for effectively resolving your debt situation. This insight can be extremely valuable to you when making the decision as to filing jointly for a New Jersey bankruptcy.