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Is It Better to File a Single or Joint Bankruptcy Petition?

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If you’re married and thinking about filing for bankruptcy, you need to consider whether you and your spouse should file separately or together as a couple. You need to assess your financial situation and then weigh the benefits and disadvantages of filing a joint bankruptcy petition.

Benefits of Filing a Joint Bankruptcy Petition

You Save on Filing Fees

Bankruptcy fees are the same whether you file an individual or joint bankruptcy petition. So you can save on the filing fees by filing one bankruptcy petition together instead of filing two separate petitions. This will also save you attorney fees since you will be filing one joint bankruptcy petition instead of two bankruptcy petitions.

You Can Wipe Out All Dischargeable Debts Owed By You and Your Spouse

If only one spouse files for bankruptcy, the non-filing spouse may still be liable for his/her separate debts plus a share of any joint debts.

You Only Need to Prepare One Petition with All Required Information

You need to submit all your financial information such as income, assets, property, expenses, and debts. If you file a joint petition, you will only need to gather all your documents once in order to prepare the bankruptcy petition listing all the financial information you share with your spouse.

Disadvantages of Filing a Joint Bankruptcy Petition

You May Not Be Able to Exempt All Your Combined Assets

If the value of your combined assets and property exceeds any bankruptcy exemptions available to you, you may not be able to exempt most of your combined assets in your bankruptcy. Exemptions are state bankruptcy laws specifying the types of personal property and assets that creditors cannot take to satisfy a debt and the bankruptcy trustee is prevented from selling for the benefit of the debtor’s unsecured creditors.

Some states allow you to use the federal bankruptcy exemptions which allow you to double the amount of your exemptions if you file a joint bankruptcy. If you can’t use the federal exemptions, you may still be able to double your exemptions if the state you live in allows it.

If Filing for Chapter 13 Your Payments Under a Plan May Greatly Increase

Any priority debts you or your spouse have must be paid in full in a joint Chapter 13 bankruptcy even if only one spouse owes the debt. Examples of priority debts include child support and certain tax debts. This may make your Chapter 13 plan payments higher than if you filed as an individual and you don’t owe any priority debts.

Your Spouse May Be Barred from Filing for Bankruptcy

If your spouse has filed for a bankruptcy before and the waiting period hasn’t passed which would allow your spouse to file again, you won’t be able to file for bankruptcy jointly.

Jointly Take Your Required Bankruptcy Courses with Us for the Same Price

Start Fresh Today offers both of the required courses you must take in order to have a successful bankruptcy. The Credit Counseling must be completed before you can file for bankruptcy and the Debtor Education Course must be completed before your debts will be discharged in bankruptcy.

We offer the same price for these courses whether you take the courses by yourself or with your spouse. We save you even more money by offering you a discount when you sign up to take both of the courses with us whether as a single or joint filer. Save $20 now whether you file a single or joint bankruptcy peitition.

Referenced from Start Fresh Today

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