Legal Question in Bankruptcy in Arizona

I co-signed for someone on a car loan that was defaulted on. I and the person who defaulted have filed for bankruptcy but my ex husband, who I am not divorced from yet, has been served papers by the creditor for the debt. He was not a party to the debt and didn't sign, does the bank have legal ground to sue? His name is on my house, but we have been seperated 5 and 1/2 years.

Asked on 6/06/12, 8:20 pm

2 Answers from Attorneys

Warren Markowitz Warren R. Markowitz, Esq

It is very likely that the creditor is going to press the issue and try to make a case that the obligation was one that belonged to the marital estate. Your husband will need to establish that it was not made for the benefit of the marital estate, i.e. was not a community debt, and that the obligation was personal to you.

I suggest that he does not ignore this and finds an attorney to assist him in fighting it. I also suggest, that if you have been separated for such an extended period of time, that you consider completing what you have started and file the action to terminate the marriage. You may be subjecting yourselves to unnecessary headaches by avoiding it.

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Answered on 6/06/12, 9:49 pm

Joyce Johnson-Stovall Johnson Stovall and Associates PLLC

Yes... in Arizona it is necessary to sue both spouses for collection of a debt. The issue will be the value of the contribution made by the non-debtor spouse to the community at the time of the debt. There is a presumption that the debt is a community debt and your spouse will need clear and convincing evidence that it is not a community obligation.

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Answered on 6/07/12, 6:20 am

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