If you are a married couple, it is not required for both people in the marriage to file a joint bankruptcy. We have helped many married clients who only had one person file for bankruptcy in the couple. It is a good idea to only file one person if the difficult debts are only in one person’s name. There is no need to file for both people in the couple if only one of them has the debt and if the accounts are not jointly owned. For joint account, if one person files for bankruptcy, the other person in the joint account who does not file for bankruptcy will end up with the liability for the outstanding debt amounts. The creditor will still be able to collect the debt from the one that did not file for bankruptcy.
So, where are the savings when only one person files instead of both. The savings are very likely going to be in the attorney fees. Most bankruptcy attorneys or bankruptcy law offices will charge more for a joint filing than for a single person filing. We certainly have a small added fee for a joint filing. The state’s court filing fee will be the same. The court filing fee for a Chapter 7 in the state of California is $306 whether it is a joint file or a single person filing.
One other thing to note is that you cannot file jointly unless you are married. If you are a couple living together and you have joint accounts together, it is not possible for you to file for bankruptcy in a joint filing because you are not a legally married couple.
If you have any additional questions on this topic, or if you would like to schedule an appointment with us, please contact Bankruptcy Law Professionals at (855) 257-7671. You can also find us on Facebook or Yelp and many other social networking sites.