Full Video Transcript
Those involved in bankruptcy are often confused about whether spouses or a cosigner remains liable on a debt that has been discharged in bankruptcy. It's important to note that bankruptcy discharges the debtor's obligation to pay. Generally, cosigners are still liable for the debt. Often cosigner liability is called "joint and severable," which means both parties - the original debtor and the cosigner - are both responsible for the entire amount. If one doesn't pay (or gets discharged in bankruptcy), the creditor can come after the cosigner to collect the entire debt plus interest and fees. The same could be true for spouses. If the spouses are jointly liable for the debt, then if one spouse files bankruptcy, the creditor can still pursue repayment from the other spouse. Even if a divorce decree assigns a particular debt to one spouse, that's just an agreement between the ex-spouses. The creditor can still come after the jointly liable spouse if the other defaults.
There may be exceptions to these general rules or other options that may minimize a cosigner's or spouse's liability for a debt. For more information, contact an attorney in your area today.