Do I file jointly with my spouse or can I just file alone? Every prospective bankruptcy filer in the state of Oregon asks this question. Many Portland and Salem filers just don’t want their spouses involved, particularly if the would be filer just isn’t comfortable with the potential impact it could have on their spouse. For other prospective Oregon Bankruptcy filers, the idea of dragging their spouse through the filling process just isn’t particularly appealing.
Remember that if you file together in Oregon, the available exemptions for protecting your real and personal property will nearly double. The cost of filing bankruptcy will remain the same(well with our firm anyway) and you will get rid of all your spouse’s debts as well as yours.
You should consider that filing separately is still going to subject your spouse to some of the bankruptcy process. She won’t need to sign anything or appear at any hearing, but your attorney is still going to need all her paystubs for the seven months or so prior to filing and, as likely as not, her tax return, even if she filed separately. Moreover, your Oregon bankruptcy attorney will still need a summary of her ongoing living expenses.
The one upside to having your spouse not file is that the bankruptcy should not appear on her credit. The question is how much is that really worth if you have debts in common. In Oregon, chances are if some of your debt is jointly held, filing alone to save her credit is probably a mistake. In contrast, if you live right across the Columbia river in Vancouver, Washington, it might make all the sense in the world. For an explanation of why this is so or anything regarding a potential joint bankruptcy filing, please feel free to give me a call or set an appointment at either our Portland or Salem, Oregon Bankruptcy Law Offices or at our Vancouver, Washington Bankruptcy Law Office.