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Will my Chapter 7 bankruptcy affect my husband's military career?

Nashville, TN |

I am going through a chapter 7 bankruptcy. My husband and I decided this was the best course of action because the vast majority of our debt was in my name only. We have one joint account that we intend to pay off after my discharge. But several of my creditors have told me that the military could discipline him, deny him a promotion, or even discharge him if they find out his wife has gone through a bankruptcy. Is this legal? I know that my bankruptcy can affect his credit because of the joint debt we accrued, but he is paying off the debts that are in his name.

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Attorney answers 3


You do not have anything to worry about. Your bankruptcy should NOT have anything to do with your husband or his military career.

Unfortunately, many bill collectors will lie and say anything to intimidate you into paying. However, the statements they made to you are totally untrue. As long as your husband is paying the debts that he is obligated on, he should have no future problems of any kind.

To see a library of articles on various aspects of bankruptcy law, practice and procedure, please feel free to click this link:


Your husband will not be disciplined by the military for your bankruptcy. Bankruptcy is not illegal, not even in the military (although it is discouraged). A dishonorable failure to pay debts is an offense in the military, but the key word is dishonorable. If the creditors persist in harassing you with this type you can request that they only contact you in writing or invoke other portions of the Fair Debt Collections Act (which may be a good idea anyway).
HOWEVER, your husband may need to worry about your bankruptcy IF he has a top secret clearance. Your bankruptcy will not get his clearance revoked automatically, but it could impact his ability to get or maintain this clearance.

This answer does not, nor is it intended to, create an attorney-client relationship, but is offered solely for informational purposes. Since the facts of each case are different, it is important to seek out qualified counsel with whom information can be shared and assessed under an attorney-client privilege so that competent and tailored advice can be provided.


If the military discharged people for filing bankruptcy, we would have an undermanned fighting force. The creditors have no idea what the are talking about or are trying to threaten you into paying. Since bankruptcy is entirely legal and controlled by the courts why would the military have a concern about it? I dealt with many sailors going through the same issue and they never faced any kind of problem from their commands.