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You’ve finally met the man or woman of your dreams! Everything is perfect and you couldn’t be happier. You decide to get engaged and start making wedding plans…then your significant other hits you with some troubling news. They are filing for bankruptcy! Questions immediately consume you. What does this mean for you? How will this bankruptcy affect your future? Here’s what you need to know.
Getting married is the beginning of a new chapter in life. When you think about it, bankruptcy protection symbolizes that same kind of beginning. It’s a fresh financial start.
What About My Credit?
One of the most important things to remember is that your credit score is not directly affected by your future spouse’s credit score. You have your own credit history and personal score, this is not a number that gets combined with your spouse’s number after marriage. As long as you have not co-signed any loans with your fiancée, you have nothing to worry about. In essence, if you marry someone who has filed for bankruptcy, this will not hurt your credit score at all.
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Timing is Everything with Bankruptcy
One of the keys to protecting your financial future is the timing of your fiancée’s bankruptcy filing. Experts agree that the best scenario is to have your fiancée complete the bankruptcy process first and then get married afterward. Filing bankruptcy prior to your marriage will also increase your chances of obtaining new credit opportunities as a married couple.
Another advantage to filing for bankruptcy protection prior to getting married is that it gives your future spouse more time to get their finances in order before they are combined with yours. Generally speaking, a bankruptcy stays active on your credit report for seven to ten years. However, your fiancée can start rebuilding their own credit immediately after all the court-ordered bankruptcy stipulations are met.
While your fiancée’s bankruptcy will not affect you directly, it could affect your chances of getting a loan together in the future. For example, if you want to take out a home loan after getting married and the bankruptcy is still active on your spouse’s credit report, it may complicate things. It could make a loan approval a bit more challenging or garner the two of you a higher interest rate. If you do apply for joint credit, try listing the person with the best credit first on the application.
Will I Inherit My Spouse’s Debts?
Fortunately, North Carolina is not one of the nine community property states in the nation. For residents of North Carolina, this means you don’t automatically assume your husband/wife’s debts. Your debts are yours and yours alone. You will not be liable for your spouse’s debts. If you do not live in North Carolina, you will need to find out if your state is a community property state and speak with a bankruptcy attorney about the best course of action.
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Making a Financial Start Together
No matter what you decide about combining finances, you should talk with your partner about debts in an open and honest manner before getting married. Both parties should explain any debts or troublesome financial issues. Talk about your fears and concerns before filing bankruptcy, then locate an experienced NC bankruptcy attorney to guide both of you along the way. It’s always best to be forthcoming about these things, making sure that both of you understand what you are facing together. It will make your future marriage much more stable and secure.
If you are facing major financial problems or marrying someone who is unable to pay their bills, it’s important to reach out to a local North Carolina bankruptcy attorney and discuss your options. Learning about Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy today can ensure a lifetime of financial security together.
Dedicated to helping residents of North Carolina find the best solutions to their debt problems. Don’t waste another day worrying about your debt. Call 1-888-234-4181 today to schedule a free initial consultation to discuss your bankruptcy options.