In our last post, we began discussing the issue of how a spouse or fiancé can be impacted by a bankruptcy filing. For couples, it is important to realize that filing for bankruptcy can have an impact on a spouse not only by increasing that spouse’s responsibility for jointly held debts, but also by decreasing the debtor’s access to credit, thus putting more strain on the solvent party’s credit.
Bankruptcy can be a major disruption in the life of a debtor. And, when the debtor is married or engaged to be married, this disruption can impact his or her spouse quite significantly. For those who are married to an individual who has filed for bankruptcy, the question becomes: how much will this impact me, and how can I protect myself?
When it comes to personal bankruptcy, there are two basic forms that can be pursued: Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. When many debtors reach the point of considering a bankruptcy filing, it may not be clear to them what form of bankruptcy they should pursue. What exactly are the differences between these two forms of personal bankruptcy, and how does a debtor determine which form is appropriate.