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Divorce Debt and Joint Debts in Bankruptcy - Dealing With Secured Debt

If you were recently divorced or have joint debts, you may be considering bankruptcy as a way to deal with these debts. There are many different reasons why you may have incurred these joint debts. You and your spouse may have joint credit cards, loans or lines of credit. You may have helped your adult children by co-signing a car loan or personal loan for them. You might be on title or financially associated with a family member through real estate transactions.

Joint Debts Mean Joint Responsibility - Secured Debts Remain

With joint debts, both people are responsible for what is owed, regardless of the status of their personal relationship. If one person isn’t able to make the monthly payments, the other person is required to pay.

This means that if one person declares bankruptcy, the other person will still be required to make payments on any amount left owing. In addition, secured joint debts (e.g. a car loan or mortgage) are treated differently in a bankruptcy from unsecured joint debts.

Secured Joint Debts - Which Assets Can You Keep? What Debts Does Bankruptcy Remove?

For secured joint debts, depending on how much an asset is worth, if you are able to afford monthly payments, arrangements could be made with the creditor so that you can keep the asset. Conversely, if you are not able to afford continued monthly payments, your part of the security may need to be sold. This can become quite involved depending on your situation, reveal a lot of information and affect everyone associated with the joint debt.

View more information about which debts can't be included in bankruptcy and get more details about secured debts vs unsecured debts

Effects of Divorce on Bankruptcy and Joint Debts - A Partnership Ends But Debts Remain

Divorce situations in bankruptcy are only one of the possible complications with joint debt. When a marriage dissolves, the divorce agreement doesn’t legally separate responsibility for the debts. A separate agreement must be drawn up to do that, which isn’t always easy. It requires the help of a lawyer and cooperation from the creditors.

How to Deal with Joint Debts When Filing for Bankruptcy

If you are dealing with joint debts and only one person is declaring bankruptcy, the best thing to do is to let the bankruptcy trustee know which debts are joint. If you aren’t sure which debts are joint, get a free copy of your credit report or check with each of your creditors. Depending on your situation, the trustee may also refer you to a lawyer to help you sort out the legal aspects of your circumstances.

Get Free Credit Counselling to Help with Joint Debts - Explore the Many Bankruptcy Alternatives

Communicating with your partner or ex-spouse about money can be hard, but talking about how to deal with joint debt can be even harder. Rather than getting frustrated with each other, get help to find solutions, information and alternatives to bankruptcy. 

Common Questions About How Different Debts are Affected by Bankruptcy

Divorce Debt and Joint Debt - Contact Us for Bankruptcy Alternatives Today

With some information about how bankruptcy affects divorce debt and joint debt, it's worth exploring other options and alternatives to bankruptcy. If you need help to make an informed decision, contact us today by phone, 1-888-527-8999, by email or chat with us online anonymously. Our appointments are free, confidential and don’t obligate you to anything. We're happy to help.