Petaluma Bankruptcy Lawyer
If you are going through financial and marital problems, the last thing you need is judgment or a lecture. As your lawyer, my job is to help you, not judge you. I spend time with you and focus on your best interests, empowering you with the information you need to make sound decisions.
Married couples struggling with debt can file a joint bankruptcy or one spouse can file without the other spouse filing. There are reasons why it may benefit a married couple for one spouse to file without the other spouse. I can explain those benefits after I review the appropriate documents that will determine that decision. I will need to know how all property is held and titled by each spouse. Usually this only involves understanding how the home or any other real property owned prior to marriage or acquired during the marriage is currently held or titled.
Contact a Novato Joint Bankruptcy Attorney Today
I'm attorney Andrew Kern, a member of the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys (NACBA), and I help individuals and married couples understand the bankruptcy process in the community property state of California.
To set up your free initial consultation at the Law Office of Andrew Kern, contact me online or call 707-658-4602.
What Happens When Only One Spouse Files for Bankruptcy
Complexities exist when one spouse files for bankruptcy, specifically the impact on community property and community debts. Without getting into the law too deeply, the following is a cursory explanation of the ramifications of one spouse filing without the other spouse filing. Under community property laws in California, when one spouse files without the other spouse all of the community property comes into the bankruptcy estate, which means that the filing spouse's discharge protects all the community property from the non-filing spouse's creditors.
Essentially, the non-filing spouse benefits from the filing spouse's discharge even though the non-filing spouse remains personally liable for his or her debts because after the filing spouse's discharge the non-filing spouse's creditors cannot collect from community assets which are usually those assets acquired during the marriage. All assets are presumed community assets expect for those assets owned prior to marriage or obtained by will or inheritance from someone who did not have a will or trust. If a creditor obtains a judgment against the non-filing spouse for that spouses own debt then that judgment can only be satisfied by the non-filing spouse's separate property. The community property discharge continues to protect community property so long as the spouses remain married.
Thus, divorce or the death of the filing spouse severs the community which then permits creditors of the non-filing spouse to move against the non-filing spouse's separate property which was formerly community property prior to the divorce or death of the filing spouse.
The community property concepts as they relate to bankruptcy law are somewhat difficult to comprehend on a first read, but I will make sure that you have a clear understanding of how the non-filing spouse will be affected by the other spouse's bankruptcy filing.
The Personal Service You Deserve From a Petaluma Marital Debt Attorney
I provide my clients with a comfortable environment in which to discuss their needs and craft solutions that work best for them. I will remain at your side every step of the way.
To begin the debt relief process with a free initial consultation, contact me online today. My law firm is conveniently located near Highway 101 in Petaluma.
I am a debt relief attorney. I help people file for bankruptcy relief under the Bankruptcy Code.