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My Husband and I are Separated and Filing for Bankruptcy. – Alice

“Dear Steve,

My husband and I are separated and filed for bankruptcy. We live in Pennsylvania. Our wages will be garnished and a trustee will handle the money. Our mortgage, car payments and the amount of the repayment plan will be garnished from our wages The attorney has requested that it be split 50/50.

My question is, would my husband be able to have the amount being garnished from his wages changed since he is not living in the home? His name is on the house, etc and we haven’t filed for divorce. It is my understanding that he is still responsible to pay since his name is on the home. Is this true and what could he possibly do to have this amount changed if he wanted to?

Alice”

Do You Have a Question You'd Like Help With? Contact Debt Coach Damon Day. Click here to reach Damon.

Dear Alice,

Interesting situation. All I can offer you is what I have seen in my experience. This is really a better question for your bankruptcy attorney.

Divorce and bankruptcy are two different events. When you get divorced you leave your spouse and come to an agreement about who will be responsible for what. That does not change the mutual obligation of either party for joint debts from before the divorce.

If your husband is jointly responsible for the house, even if he is not living in it, he is still obligated. The only way I see that an adjustment could be made would be if the Chapter 13 bankruptcy was either individually or jointly converted to a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. If he did a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, all previously joint debts would then land in your lap, regardless of any divorce agreement. You would probably then have to do a Chapter 7 bankruptcy as well.

Please update me on your progress by

P.S. Be sure to read ‘The Secret of Surviving Through Difficult Economic Times. What I Learned On My Journey‘.

Damon Day - Pro Debt Coach

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