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Can I File Bankruptcy Without Hurting My Husbands Credit? – Theresa

“Hi Steve,

Can I file bankruptcy without if effecting my husband’s credit standing? I’m in TX, by the way. We have one card that we share and it is at zero balance. I’m an authorized user on another that does have a balance. Everything else is in his name. My debt is about 10,000 and I work as a preschool teacher, so no work over summer. I’m just wondering if I shouldn’t file bankruptcy afterall. I cannot do it, if it will effect him as his credit is good. Also, regarding the card we share, will they close that account if they do a credit check and see that I’m on a DMP even though he is the primary card holder? Ugh, I’m very confused. I don’t want to hurt my husband’s credit,

Can I file bankruptcy for debt that is mine only without effecting my husband’s credit?

Theresa”

The Answer

Dear Theresa,

Get Out of Debt Free Hotline

If I read your question correctly all the credit is in his name and you are an authorized user on that account. If that’s the case, it’s not your debt, it’s under his name and his contractual responsibility. You can’t file bankruptcy on that debt since it’s not yours. As an authorized user you have the benefit of “using” the card but none of the liability for the debt.

You can’t even put it in a debt management program or credit counseling program since again, it’s not your debt.

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About Steve Rhode

Steve Rhode
Steve Rhode is the Get Out of Debt Guy and has been helping good people with bad debt problems since 1994. You can learn more about Steve, here.
  • Theresa

    Hi Steve,

    Thanks for you reply and the info.

    To clarify: I have 4 credit cards in my name that amount to $10,000. I have contacted MMI and they set up a DMP for me that leaves me with very little money after payment AND I’m a preschool teacher and do not get paid over summer. So for those 3 months the plan will actually put me in the red. I’m going to try to find a job, but I have a 9 yr old son and have the cost of his care to consider, should I not be able to find a job that is during the evening when my husband is home.

    When MMI ran my credit the account my husband and I share, showed up , as did one that I am only and authorized user on. My husband has good credit and I am worried that my DMP or my filing bankruptcy will effect him negatively. Our money is tight. The DMP is great IF, if a lot of things happen, but IF I don’t find a job for summer and really for extra money right now, it feels too tight and makes me want to consider bankruptcy for my debt. I’m worried that should I do that, it will effect him negatively.

    I’m so confused and stressed out over making this decision. Bottom line, I want my husband to keep his good rating. He should not have to pay for my screw ups.

    Thank you for any further advice or info you have to offer.
    Take care.

    • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

      Theresa,

      If the cards are in your name alone you can certainly go bankrupt by yourself and include those. You would also have to list the joint card you have but your husband would still be responsible for that card. That may impact his credit a little for a short period of time but it won’t kill his credit. The authorized user card is his debt and can’t be included in your bankruptcy.

      With things so tight the reality that you are going to be able to continue the DMP to the end is slim. You might want to read, The Truth About The Failure Rates and Completion Rates of Credit Counseling, Debt Settlement, and Bankruptcy.

      You should really click here to find a local bankruptcy attorney you like and go talk to them. I’m deadly afraid the looming summer income loss is going to sink your DMP and then you’ll still be in the same position but have thrown away months of payments you could have used to pay for bankruptcy.

      Steve

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