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Pro se chapter 7 in washington state (community property state)

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  • #16
    Thank you. So my line of thought was correct then. My thinking were we do not have huge amounts of debt. I have stuff from prior to marriage and he does not. Anything he has would now be ours because it was incurred after marriage. He doesn't really want to file.


    • #17
      despritfreya - Thanks for providing this information. But just for clarification. If my husband in WA state ran up credit card bills that I'm not a cardholder on (opened the cards after we were married), can I file chapter 7 (without him filing) to include his credit card debt and that debt will hopefully be discharged and my husband doesn't have a blemish on his record???? That sounds too good to be true. Thanks. (and sorry if i'm something you already clarified)
      Last edited by sophieanne; 07-28-2018, 07:16 PM.
      Filed Chapter 13 - 07/20/12
      Discharged 8/2/16


      • #18
        sophieanne Unfortunately I do not know how credit reports work. My guess is that the actual bankruptcy wont't show up since he did not file. I do not know how the credit card issuer will report the account. The credit card issuer will not be able to collect against community property but he still has a sole and separate liability and can be sued.

        I do not believe trying to keep a credit report "good" is a valid reason not to include him in the bk. If he comes into sole and separate property such as an inheritance down the road, the creditor, once it has a judgment, could go after any sole and separate property that is not exempt under state law. I have seen this happen too many times.

        The reality is if both of you file neither of you will ever have to worry about this again and you can get that fresh start so many consumers want. I am told that rebuilding credit is not that hard.



        • #19
          despritfreya do you know how the automatic stay works in this situation. If I filed without my husband but the debt we both got the summons for was a card in his name from after marriage. Would they still be able to contact him and garnish him if they received a judgement during the bk process?


          • #20
            Originally posted by bda2018 View Post
            do you know how the automatic stay works in this situation. If I filed without my husband but the debt we both got the summons for was a card in his name from after marriage. Would they still be able to contact him and garnish him if they received a judgement during the bk process?
            I believe you are filing a Chapter 7. There is no co-debtor stay in a Chapter 7. The lawsuit could continue to judgment against your husband but only as to his sole & separate liability. The creditor should not be able to garnish his wages to the extent Washington law says those wages are "community". You will want to check with a Washington attny on the nuances for this issue.

            In reality, if I represented the creditor, to be absolutely sure, I would seek a "comfort" Order lifting the stay just as a precaution and to insure that my client was not doing anything wrong. In addition, since state court judges 1) are afraid of bankruptcy and 2) do not understand bankruptcy, I would want the comfort Order so that the state court judge didn't turn around and assert that the creditor (my hypothetical client) cannot proceed at all.

            Again, there is rarely a reason to leave one spouse out of the bk. In the end, he probably will have to file. Two bks means two sets of legal fees (if you hire an attny) and, if he (either with or without you) is in a better financial situation when he decides to file he simply may not qualify for a 7 - something he apparently qualifies for today.

            I note you wish to proceed pro se. I strongly urge you to consult with several local bk attnys. Initial consultations are usually free or very low cost.



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