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What is a Joint Petition?

One of the primary reasons people filing for bankruptcy in Tampa seek legal assistance is because they are unable to make sense of all the legal terms associated with the filing process. The pressure to complete a bankruptcy filing free of mistakes is heavy and if anything is incorrect, even if the mistake was unintentional, the filer can face serious consequences.

The process can be even more complicated if you are filing for bankruptcy with a spouse. This means the bankruptcy court will review the credit history for both you and your significant other, and make their determination based on information from two people. Filing for a single bankruptcy with a spouse is known as a joint petition.

What are the Benefits of a Joint Petition?

Joint petitions are beneficial for several reasons. You must be legally married to file a joint petition, but doing so means only having to pay a single filing fee. The court will also consider the income and debts of both individuals, which can affect whether or not a couple qualifies for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13.

For many, this means a reorganization of debt that allows you to get back on track faster than total debt elimination, and allows for protection from property seizure. And in other cases, debt elimination is possible if it is preferred because the shared debt of the couple helps them meet the requirements of filing Chapter 7.

For more information about both Chapter 7 and Chapter 13, visit uscourts.gov.

Should I File a Joint Petition?

Whether or not filing a joint petition is the better option varies from case to case. This is one of several reasons it is important to work with an experienced bankruptcy attorney right from the very beginning. By contacting someone the moment your financial situation seems dire, you are taking the first steps toward rebuilding and getting things back on track. You have many decisions to make and understanding those decisions is essential to using bankruptcy in the best way possible.

Are you considering filing for bankruptcy? Are you married and wondering if a joint petition is your best option? Contact the Law Offices of Robert M. Geller at 813.254.5696 to schedule a consultation or to discuss your situation.

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At the Tampa Bay law firm, the Law Offices of Robert M. Geller, P.A., we help people with consumer bankruptcy matters in the Tampa Bay-St. Petersburg,  Florida communities such as Clearwater, St. Petersburg, Thonotosassa, Riverview, Lutz, Plant City, Brandon, Carrollwood, Wesley Chapel, St. Petersburg Beach, Lakeland, Mulberry, Dade City, Pinellas Park, Largo, Seminole, Odessa, Oldsmar and Lithia, and counties such as Hillsborough County, Pinellas County, Pasco County, Polk County and Manatee County.