No, only the person who files a bankruptcy case will have the filing reported on their credit history. Under the bankruptcy code, a person has a right to file a case without their spouse.
As a bankruptcy attorney in Asheville, NC, a common question I receive from stressed out consumers is whether they should file a bankruptcy case without their spouse. Just as a bankruptcy filing does not get reported to the credit bureaus for a non-filing spouse, the liability on debts does not go away for the non-filing spouse either.
In order to give good advice, I will typically look at the credit reports for both spouses to determine: (1) how much debt is owed by the non-filing spouse, and (2) whether the non-filing spouse’s credit score is distressed already.
If there is significant debt in the non-filing spouse’s name already, and there has already been some damage done to their credit score, my recommendation is usually to go ahead file a case jointly. Under the bankruptcy code, a joint case is technically two separate bankruptcy cases, one for each spouse. However, because the amount of work is roughly the same for an individual or jointly-filed case, the costs of filing (Attorney Fees, Court Filing Fees) are usually about the same.
If we can get more relief for a household by filing jointly, doing so can provide more relief for the same amount of cost. If you are ready to figure out your family’s financial options, and live in Western North Carolina, please contact me for a free, initial bankruptcy consultation.