Married people in North Carolina can file for bankruptcy jointly or individually. If you are considering bankruptcy, it is a good idea to evaluate which option is best for you.
There are several factors to consider.
Whose name are your property and debts in?
If you are behind on payments, such as the mortgage on your home, and the property is in both your and your spouse’s name, it may make sense to file jointly. If you have little to no equity in the home and want to wipe out your debt, filing jointly may avoid the possibility of your spouse being on the hook for the loan. If only one of you is responsible for the debt, filing individually may make more sense because it protects your spouse’s credit and also maintains the option for both spouses to individually file at separate times.
Has either of you filed before?
There are limitations on how often you can file for bankruptcy. If either of you has filed a Chapter 7 bankruptcy and received a discharge within the past eight years, the spouse who has not filed bankruptcy in that period may be able to file individually, but you may not be able to file jointly.
There are advantages and disadvantages to filing for bankruptcy jointly and individually as a married couple. Your specific financial history, circumstances and goals determine which option is best for you and your spouse. Whichever option you choose, it is important to carefully evaluate it before you file.