As we have known for years, one of the major causes of divorce is arguing and fighting about money and marital debt. However, according to a recent article in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, there is a new study from the Federal Reserve Board which has found that a large difference in credit scores among spouses can lead to numerous problems that people do not necessarily consider prior to walking down the aisle. For example, if one spouse has a good credit score and the other has a bad credit score, this can make it very difficult to obtain a mortgage and finance a house. It could also make it difficult to obtain a car loan with a decent interest rate and to obtain credit for home improvements and credit cards. One spouse’s bad credit score may even affect insurance premium costs.
One question that I am frequently asked is whether a husband and wife are required to file bankruptcy together simply because they are married. The answer is absolutely not. In many cases, one spouse has bad credit and accumulated debt and it would be in their best interest to file a bankruptcy while the other spouse has decent credit and does not need to file. Just because two people are married does not mean that they need to file bankruptcy together. It is absolutely permissible for only one spouse to file. The spouse that does not file does not need to come to Court, does not need to sign any documents, and will not have any indication that their husband or wife has filed bankruptcy on their credit report.
There are also times when two people are about to get married and one of them has bad credit while the other has good credit. In many instances, it makes sense for the party that had bad credit and an accumulation of debt to file the bankruptcy before the marriage even takes place. At that point, that spouse can then enter the marriage with no debt, no harassment from creditors, no lawsuits, and with a completely new and fresh start.
If you have questions, or need any additional information or wish to discuss your individual personal situation, please do not hesitate to call us at 800-360-9392 and put our 30 years of experience to work for you.