Should there be a bankruptcy before your wedding? You planned everything else to a tee. What about your finances after marriage? I have seen a number of situations in which one or both of the newlyweds could benefit immensely from either a chapter 13 or a chapter 7 filing before marriage.
In each case the husband was the picture of financial responsibility. Great income, very little debt, paid off car, you name it. On the other hand the wife was awash in debt. One even had a previous case less than 8 years ago and in debt again up to her eyes. Poor financial literacy compounded by nagging unemployment. It happens.
Let’s get one thing straight, your new husband or wife is not responsible for the bills you run up before marriage. But they can cast a long shadow over your new relationship. Imagine starting a marriage Just the two of you happily in your new home…with collection calls coming morning to night. How about your new joint checking account? All the funds cleared out by your judgment creditor. The new checks haven’t been delivered yet.
Your new husband or wife cannot deal with this insanity. They want to help, and the Internet search turns up Balena law Firm. Both of you come in for the free consultation. The spouse wants to be involved to help you begin making the right decisions. They will even pay the bankruptcy fees and expenses for you.
- Your income is well within the State median for a chapter 7.
- Now you are married, your spouse’s income goes into the means test calculation.
- Your combined income exceeds the State Median for a married couple with no dependents.
- Now a chapter 13 is the solution. Not so bad, but
- Your joint income is over the Sate median, With few or no marital adjustments the chapter 13 commitment period is 5 years, not 3 years. A commitment period means minimum length of plan. Struck down by the means test.
This headache could have been easily avoided. A little honesty before you are married goes a long way. If you did not file within the past 8 years, you could have easily done a chapter 7 case before the wedding. You would be happily married with no bill problems and one of you would still have excellent credit as you look to your future.
If you had a prior chapter 7 bankruptcy filed in the past 8 years, you could have filed for chapter 13. The benefit? The means test, your plan, and your plan payment would all be based on your individual income only (assuming your fiancé does not contribute to your household). If your income is under the State median amount your commitment period is 3 years.
Think about it, perfectly debt free or handling your debt in a 3 year, low payment plan just for giving your finances just a little less attention than you gave your wedding dress, the flowers, and the shoes.
Has this happened to someone you know? Leave a comment.
photo credit: lemonjenny