Sunday, December 4, 2016

Bankruptcy and Divorce..should You File Now??

Being in Bankruptcy while in a divorce can potentially complicate things. attorney herein doesn't usually recommend it as a general rule.  However in some challenging cases, some issues may crop up that can complicate the case:

An Ex-Spouse's Bankruptcy Could Affect You

Your ex-spouse or even current spouse could possibly file BK on debts, but let's say you didn't file. While liability for the joint debt (assuming it was a joint debt) may be discharged as to the ex, the creditors may still pursue YOU if you had not filed.  In many cases, creditors don't do this, but if certain debts have already been resold to another collector, that new collector may try to file a lawsuit to collect. The filing fees are not free to file a lawsuit, so creditors usually only file against those they believe may be able to pay down the line.

 Failure to answer such lawsuit will result in a default judgment against you, which will continue to rack up interest.  This will definitely ruin your credit.  If you're not worried about having your credit ruined at the time, possibly filing BK later can still be an option.  BK is not near as devastating now since in CA following the 2007 real estate collapse, so many people had ruined credit that a BK filing does some damage all right, but it isn't the same as it used to be. Most clients with jobs upon getting a BK discharge are candidates for a new car loan.  Reason for that is because one has no debt, and one has a job, one may be able to then handle the secured debt loan?  
Potential issues that could crop up and make your life a living hell:

  • Unsettled large tax debts, possibly old enough for discharge, but arguably not because Trustee or creditor has some plausible legal argument for not discharging

  • Unknown community debt only taken out by one spouse without other spouse's knowledge but other spouse used both names for credit, and racked up $105,000 in debt 

  • Unpaid spousal support and the ex is hiding out, hiding assets, and claims he has no assets

  • Large inheritance, unknown how long it will pay out, the ex won't disclose it, and may hide it in the bankruptcy

  • Ex spouse already filed bankruptcy, failed to disclose certain assets, lied on his paperwork, and
  • submitted that data (the false data) into his trial papers

  • Recent debts incurred using credit cards for luxury items, vacation or gambling

  • Joint debts of both parties are disputed and unpaid, creditors already ruined credit rating, the house was illegally foreclosed, but the eviction was masked so it doesn't show up on credit reports, now some creditors claim that some of the joint debts are not dischargeable for various reasons under the BK code

As can be seen, this is just a very small example of problems that can happen in Bankruptcy.
To have a contested hearing in BK, normally you have to set an adversary hearing.  The Trustee does not normally take the view of the Debtors since he/she represents creditors.

In real property cases, these issues can become very complicated, and if Receivership is involved, that also makes it subject to the same, if not worse.  Litigation on real property tends to get strung out, possibly for years.

Call attorney today if you have problems such as the above.  You may want to structure your
dissolution differently before deciding to file the bankruptcy.

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