Many people are afraid to file bankruptcy because they are afraid it will have a negative effect on their spouse. While this may be true in many states, California’s community property laws provide advantages to married couples who file bankruptcy.
At the Orantes Law Firm in Los Angeles, our lawyers are dedicated to helping families in Southern California eliminate debt and obtain a fresh financial start. We offer a free initial consultation to look at the debt problems you and your spouse face and give you honest answers about your rights and options.
Discharging Community Debts in California Bankruptcy
In California and other community property states, married couples may have both community property and community debts. If one spouse files bankruptcy but the other does not, the filing spouse can obtain a discharge of all community debts, including those incurred by the non-filing spouse.
For example, if you file bankruptcy and your spouse does not, you can obtain a discharge of debts incurred by both you and your spouse during your marriage. Your spouse does not have to file bankruptcy; therefore his or her separate property is not at risk. As a non-filer, your spouse would not have a bankruptcy filing on his or her credit report. If you and your spouse incur excessive community debt in the future, your spouse would be eligible to file bankruptcy without waiting for eight years from the date of your filing.
While some creditors attempt to ignore the rights of non-filing debtors under California community property laws, your attorney can protect your rights by sending a letter to the creditor.
Contact Our Los Angeles Bankruptcy Lawyers
For more information about your bankruptcy options in a community property state, call 213-389-4362 or contact us by e-mail to schedule a free initial consultation. Se habla español.