Does Changing Your Name Get You Out Of Debt?

by Susanne Robicsek, North Carolina Bankruptcy Attorney

October 7, 2007

Many people are in debt, desperately looking for a way out, but they don’t want to file for bankruptcy. Avoiding bankruptcy is something that everyone wants to do, so they look for other ways to get away from their creditors.

“Does changing your name mean you don’t have to pay your debts in your old name? ” That was the question I was asked in a phone call today.

“What?”, I asked, “Are you asking me if you change your name so you don’t have to pay your debts?”

“Yes” the woman replied. “I heard if I changed my name, since the debts were in my old name I wouldn’t have to pay them. I could use my new name and get a new social security number and start over. “

You can not just change your name and get a free pass for your debt. You would still legally owe every dollar you previously owed. If you try to get a new social security number so you can get a new credit file, you would likely be breaking the law. You are not allowed to apply for a new social security number to try to avoid debts. The only legal way to get off debt that you owe is to file either Chapter 13 or Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

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Concentrating in Consumer Bankruptcy Law since 1988; Wake Forest Law School JD 1987 Law Office of Susanne M. Robicsek since 1993, Law Clerk to Judge Rufus Reynolds, US Bankruptcy Judge for Middle District of NC; Burns Price & Arneke, PA, David Badger and Associates, PA.

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Last modified: October 7, 2007