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In a situation that may very well have happened in Florida, a couple rented a home together but were evicted after falling behind in rent. When they were no longer together, the man filed for bankruptcy and the back rent was listed in his filing. Both names appear on the filing, but the woman is now questioning her responsibility for the debt.

After 12 years of getting letters regarding the rental payments, she wants to know what can be done. The man is excused from his financial responsibility to pay the debt as it was discharged in his bankruptcy. However, since she did not file for bankruptcy, she is still responsible for payment. It is likely that the landlord filed a judgment against her and this keeps the request for payment valid for up to 10 years at a time. The landlord can continually request the judgment be renewed.

The woman might be able to settle by paying off the debt all at once or trying to get a payment plan set up with the landlord. Another alternative to consider would be filing for Chapter 7 . If she fails to choose one of these methods, her wages and bank accounts may be threatened.

By filing for Chapter 7, she would be required to sell off her non-exempt assets in order to discharge her debt. An attorney with experience in bankruptcy law may be able to offer her advice to best suit her needs and still help her protect her future. The attorney could help negotiate a payment plan with the landlord or examine available forms of debt relief.

Source: FOX Business, “Ex Filed Bankruptcy — is Mortgage All on Me?”, Justin Harelik, November 26, 2013