Legal Question in Bankruptcy in Texas

Chapter 13 liability after death

When my husband and I were separated he filed Chapter 13. He put my info on the form but I did not sign it. He has now passed away. I cannot make the payments. Am I liable for this? We live in Texas, a community property state that does not have legal separation, therefore, we are legaly married. He had no will.

Asked on 5/07/08, 9:38 am

1 Answer from Attorneys

Keith Engelke Law Office of S. Keith Engelke

Re: Chapter 13 liability after death

It is possible to file bankruptcy individually or jointly if you are married. You need to talk to the lawyer that prepared the bankruptcy (or talk to your own bankruptcy attorney). You also need to explore the effect of his death on the bankruptcy. It sounds like your husband filed individually and not jointly. Unless he had authority to sign for you, it is unlikely that the filing was joint. Still you need to check.

Also, there is no such thing as community debt in Texas. The only debts of your husband that you are responsible for are those for necessaries or those that you incurred with him. such as a joint loan application.

If his estate cannot make the payments, the bankruptcy can be dismissed. If this occurs, the debts will not be discharged under the bankruptcy. However, the debts could be discharged by probating or administering his estate.

Bottom line, you need to consult bankruptcy and probate counsel in your area. Make sure the probate attorney has exeperience with insolvent estates. I'd find a bankruptcy attorney first and then ask for a referral for a probate atty.

Good Luck!

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Answered on 5/09/08, 10:28 am

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