A gay couple was permitted to file a joint petition for Chapter 13 despite the Trustee’s argument that the Defense Against Marriage Act (DOMA) made their marriage illegal. Only legally married couples can file joint bankruptcy petitions.
On June 13, 2011 a California court ordered that a joint Chapter 13 case would not be dismissed for the sole reason of the debtors being a homosexual couple. 11 USC 302(a) permits a single petition for a debtor and such debtor’s spouse.
The court stated:
“In this court’s judgment, no legally married couple should be entitled to fewer bankruptcy rights than any other legally married couple.”
The In re: Balas decision, signed by twenty judges (decisions are customarily signed by just one judge) makes it clear that in California’s Central District there is little doubt about whether homosexual couples married under California law can file joint petitions for bankruptcy.
If you have entered into a homosexual marriage that was legal in the state in which you filed it and would like to consider your options in bankruptcy, please contact a Jacksonville Bankruptcy Lawyer or call (904) 685-1200 for a free initial consultation.