There has bee some attention to the role marriage places when filing for bankruptcy, but that only covers how a married couple should proceed with the process. More specially, filing together or separately in marriage carries different risks and benefits. But, what about getting married during an active bankruptcy?
Two Become One
As a single person, the bankruptcy process can be much simpler. When one person files for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, they may find that qualifying is easier, due to having only one income. A single person may also find that a high debt burden is more detrimental when only a single income is available to cover those debt payments. Further, if a single debtor has numerous non-exempt assets they could find themselves at a greater risk of asset liquidation. A single person in Chapter 13 bankruptcy will be responsible for repaying their debts according to the debtor’s plan.
If a person gets married while in an active bankruptcy the main concern is income. Once married the combined income of the couple will likely affect the active bankruptcy case. In a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, the debtor may no longer be eligible for bankruptcy, even if they filed as an individual. The combined income from the filer and their new spouse will be considered in their income statements, which could be deemed as too much for Chapter 7. In a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, the combined income will not disqualify the filer from the process, rather it is likely to increase the amount required to be paid as part of the debtor’s plan.