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Getting married when your significant other went bankrupt

You’re thinking about getting married, but your significant other has already declared bankruptcy or is thinking about doing so. You’re wondering what this means for your future. Here are a few things you should know.

First off, credit scores are for individuals, not couples. Lenders won’t see his or her bankruptcy on your report and your own credit won’t be harmed after you tie the knot by a bankruptcy declared before you were married.

That being said, you can run into potential issues if you try to apply for loans together — when buying a home, for instance. Even if your partner has no debt left after the liquidation, if he or she hasn’t repaired that credit score yet, it may still be low. This doesn’t mean that you can just apply for the loans on your own, though, using just your high score.

It is always important to understand your partner’s financial situation. For example, many taxes aren’t discharged in bankruptcy. That could mean that he or she has a tax lien and owes the Internal Revenue Service.

If you get married and then file jointly, that shows up. You may think you’re owed a refund, but the IRS is going to claim the money that is owed first. You may then wind up sending in your return to help pay for your spouse’s outstanding tax debt.

As you can see, there are many ways that a bankruptcy filing can impact a couple. Whenever you file or your significant other does, be sure you understand not only the legal process that has to be followed, but also the long-term implications of filing and what your financial future will look like.

Source: Five Cent Nickel, “Bankruptcy and Marriage – Should You Marry Someone Who Went Bankrupt?,” Neal Frankle, accessed April 06, 2017

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