Bankruptcy Warnings: Is Your Partner Hiding Too Much Debt?

October 21, 2011 by  Filed under: Bankruptcy 

You may think that it’s almost impossible for a spouse or partner to have the kind of debt that would bring about a bankruptcy – but take a look at any bankruptcy or divorce forum, and you’ll see otherwise. There are countless stories of partners hiding expensive addictions, like gambling, porn or shopping. If your name is linked with your partner’s in any financial capacity, you can bet that your credit score is careening down the path towards bankruptcy.

While one partner filing for bankruptcy doesn’t necessarily affect the other, there’s no denying that if you’ve cosigned for any of your partner’s credit cards, loans or other financial items, bankruptcy courts may order you to pay for the damage done.

Here are the bankruptcy warning signs that your partner is hiding too much debt:

1. Your partner refuses to talk about money. While money may still be a taboo subject in Western society, your partner should be willing to talk finances with you, especially if you live together or you’re married. If he or she shrugs off the subject or flies into a rage when you bring it up, you can bet that there’s a mountain of debt responsible for their strange response.

2. You don’t need access to your partner’s credit card to see if they’ve been spending too much. If your partner constantly comes home with new things – even if they claim they got it for cheap – it may be a sign that they have a compulsive spending disorder. Like any other addiction, sufferers are compelled to buy things simply to experience the “high” that comes from the purchase.

3. He or she insists on getting the mail first. It may seem like he or she is being responsible at first, but consistent behavior like this indicates that your partner is gathering up evidence of their spending problem to hide it from you.

4. If creditors keep calling for your partner, or he or she continually ignores phone calls from strange numbers, there’s no doubt that they’re hiding debts from you – the kind of debts that can lead straight to bankruptcy.

Even if you don’t see these bankruptcy warning signs, use the following tips to ensure that you both are honest about your debts:

  • Pay bills together.
  • Review any and all financial documents that have both of your names on them.
  • Go over your credit scores at the same time. Discuss your findings.
  • Finally, be as open as possible about money discussions. If you tend to get angry, dismissive or negative when talking about money, then your partner will be less likely to open up to you. Money shouldn’t be a taboo subject – so don’t make it that way.

The more honest you are about your debts, the more likely it is that you avoid the debt trap and enjoy a happy and healthy financial relationship with your partner.

Reed Allmand, sponsoring attorney for, is constantly looking for ways to provide the best financial information for his clients. Whether you are considering filing for bankruptcy, or are currently going through a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13, visit for up to date news and information you need to know.

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