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Individual Bankruptcy- Community Property State California- Business Credit Card Debt

Crescent City, CA |

I would like to file individual Chapter 7 bankruptcy regarding some business credit card debt personally guarenteed for a defunct corporation. I have no other debts I am individually liable for, however my spouse and I own a home we live in together but only my spouse in on the loan. Without this home loan, I would automatically pass the means test because then all of my debts are business not personal. If I had to add this personal home loan to my list of debts, I no longer have primary business debt and would likely not pass the means test based on income. Can I file individual Chapter 7 and not include the home since my name is not on the loan?

Attorney Answers 3


I highly recommend that you find a bankruptcy attorney that does both Chapter 7 and 13 work. Anyone would be silly to give you an easy answer to a complex problem.

The above is general legal and business analysis. It is not "legal advise" but analysis, and different lawyers may analyse this matter differently, especially if there are additional facts not reflected in the question. I am not your attorney until retained by a written retainer agreement signed by both of us. I am only licensed in California. See also terms and conditions item 9, incorporated as if it was reprinted here. Please visit my web site: for more information about my services.

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The Means Test is intended to steer certain high income/low expense debtors to a Chapter 13 option. Assets do not have a direct impact on the Means Test, but excess equity in a piece of real estate might suggest a Chapter 13 filing. I need more information to give you a better response. If you are not on the deed or mortgage as an owner, but your spouse is, absent more facts, her assets/debts/income might complicate the Means Test.

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I assume you mean your ratio of business:personal debt is not more than 50% business when you add the mortgage as debt on your Schedule D. In a community property state if you incurred the debt during marriage it is community debt and will likely have to be listed. If your spouse owned the property prior to your marriage then you may not have to. In any event, you should consult with a bankruptcy attorney.

This answer is meant to be educational/informative and is not legal advice. It does not create an attorney/client relationship between us.

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