Marriage and Debt

13 Dec You Mean My Ex-Wife Will Find Out About My Bankruptcy?

Divorced debtors should take extra care to insure that all information on their bankruptcy schedules is completely accurate. When a client's been divorced, that raises red flags for me. Are there "hold harmless" type debts that might not be dischargeable in Chapter 7? Should we consider a Chapter 13? How much alimony is the debtor required to pay? How much child support? Are these obligations current? Another issue that always comes to mind is the debtor's need to make sure that his bankruptcy schedules are accurate. Perfection is always the goal when filing a bankruptcy case, but it's really important when there's a former spouse out there.
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13 Dec What’s a “community claim”? – One of a series

Wisconsin, not to mention quite a few of the states in the West and Southwest, recognizes "community property" between husband and wife.  Usually we think about "community property" in connection with a divorce and matrimonial proceedings. However, community property also brings us to a concept recognized in bankruptcy as community claims. This idea has a big impact in bankruptcy cases of married couples in community property states. The term community claim in bankruptcy means a right to payment for which community property could be held liable, whether or not there was any community property as of the commencement of the bankruptcy case. What in the world does that mean?   Well in order to figure this out, we need to think about whether the property of a debtor is community property under the Bankruptcy Code.  We look to state law to find this out. 
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07 Dec Don’t Cave In and Apply for Department Store Credit Card

Tis the season for Christmas spending, and this weekend I entered a Department Store against my will. I hate shopping, but that's another story. At checkout, the cheery young sales associate asked me a simple question. "Would you like to save 10% on your purchase today?" (I just love this sales pitch. ) My wife was about to run away because she saw the blood drain from my face, and she immediately found the shopping cart wheels very interesting. I replied: "Sure I would love to save 10%, but I am not willing to fill out one of those nasty little contracts of adhesion that wreck people's lives and destroys families." I wasn't nasty, mean or rude to the young woman, but when our conversation ended, I think she felt differently about her offer.
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07 Dec #4 We Have a Post Marital Agreement — Does That Change Anything?

#4 We Have a Post Marital Agreement -- Does That Change Anything? debt-definition-300x199This continues the series “I'm Filing, My Spouse Isn't-What Happens?” The series is introduced here. After you are married, you may reach an agreement about who will be responsible for this or that expense or debt, or maybe who will get ownership of this or that piece of property, etc. Think of this as a contract between you and your spouse, and it may, indeed, bind the two of you. However, do your creditors know of it and its details? If they don’t know of it and you are both seemingly or actually involved in a transaction, how are your creditors to know of the private agreement between the two of you?  Would they have lent you that money if they had known your intention that only one of you would be responsible for paying it back? 
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