If a fiancée files for bankruptcy, its impact on the other party to the marriage depends on who is listed on the debt. Ideally, the couple will keep their finances separate until the each person has a credit score that they are comfortable with. For instance, it may be best to keep separate bank accounts, as a creditor could seize half of the money in a joint account if a judgment is secured.
In some cases, the bank that holds the account may freeze an amount equal to double the amount that the creditor has a right to take. It may be possible to add the spouse as an authorized user to help him or her build his or her credit. The other spouse may also want to build his or her credit through the use of a secured credit card.
Seven years after a Chapter 13 discharge and 10 years after a Chapter 7 discharge, the bankruptcy should come off of the spouse’s credit report. This may make it easier to apply for a mortgage or other joint debts and get a reasonable interest rate on the loan. Prior to getting married, it may be a good idea to have a general discussion about finances and how they may impact future goals such as buying a house or having a child.
Debtors who are looking for a fresh financial start may turn to bankruptcy as a means of debt relief. It may be possible to end creditor harassment and stay any actions that they are thinking about taking. An attorney may be able to talk to a debtor about the benefits of bankruptcy as well as how it may impact a debtor’s credit both now and into the future.