For most married couples, being able to file bankruptcy together is an option available during difficult financial times. If the couple is a same-sex couple, however, being able to file bankruptcy as a couple wasn’t possible. A new policy by the Justice Department will change that and afford same-sex couples many of the same rights afforded to opposite-sex couples.

Attorney General Eric Holder announced that a new policy will allow same-sex married couples the right to file bankruptcy together. The policy will also prevent the spouses in a same-sex marriage from having to testify against each other in court.

Attorney General Holder said that anywhere someone from the Department of Justice represents that United States, that person will strive to make sure that same-sex marriage partners are given the same rights, protections and privileges as their heterosexual counterparts.

The announcement by Attorney General Holder likely gives hope to same-sex married couples who are in debt. With the policy change, these couples might be able to get out of debt and take control of their finances by seeking protection under Chapter 13 or Chapter 7 of the bankruptcy code.

Realizing that your bills are piling up on you is scary. Getting past due notices from the credit card company, mortgage company or car loan holder can cause you undue stress. If you are in more debt than you can handle and need to determine if you are eligible for bankruptcy protection, seeking the assistance of a Wisconsin bankruptcy attorney might help you to understand your rights and responsibilities to seek protection.

Source:  Wisconsin Rapids Tribune, “Justice Dept. to extend benefits to same-sex couples” Christopher Doering, Feb. 08, 2014