Badgley Law Group is committed to the rights of all married couples, and helping them through the bankruptcy process. In honor of Valentine’s Day, we present to you a case study of our Chapter 7 clients Kyle and Joshua, a Deland couple who married in Washington, D.C. in 2013. Did you know that until a few years ago, same-sex couples couldn’t file a joint petition for bankruptcy? Had Kyle and Joshua come to us for help then, we could not have facilitated a joint Chapter 7 filing.
Two significant court decisions cleared the way for change.
First, on June 26, 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) in United States v. Windsor. From that point on, same-sex married couples could file a joint bankruptcy petition in states where same-sex marriage was allowed. Same-sex couples who were denied marriage rights in their state still couldn’t file for bankruptcy jointly.
The next landmark decision solved that problem. The Supreme Court ruling on June 26, 2015 on Obergefell v. Hodges determined that all same-sex couples in the United States have the right to marry. This opened the door to joint bankruptcy filings for all married couples in all states.
When Josh’s car was totaled in an accident in 2015, he had to cut back his work hours to part time due to his injuries. The couple was already strapped: they had purchased a home as well as a car for Kyle, and had credit card debt to manage. Josh’s reduced income impacted the couple’s ability to pay their debts, and they struggled to make payments on the second car they had purchased to replace Josh’s totaled car.
“For a few months, we looked at a couple of big Orlando law firms, but they all had horrible reviews. Then we found Badgley Law Group on Avvo,” says Kyle.
All of Orlando bankruptcy attorney Jeff Badgley’s reviews on Avvo are 5 stars, and his past clients speak to their trust in his services, the time he spends with clients, and their overall satisfaction with the outcome of their cases.
“The process was very simple and straightforward,” continues Kyle. “A great deal of stress was lifted from our shoulders, even after the first meeting. Josh and I were very fortunate to be able to file together with the new laws passed regarding same-sex marriage, and we were glad to have been Jeff’s first same-sex Chapter 7 bankruptcy case.”
Kyle and Josh will be able to keep their home and cars, while their credit card debt will be discharged. They will continue to pay on their student loan debt.
Jeff Badgley encourages same-sex married couples in Orlando to pursue this option when needed: “There are no legal roadblocks in Orlando anymore. It’s a smooth, quick process now that the courts understand that filing jointly for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy is a couple’s legal right.”
Badgley Law Group is honored to help all couples secure their financial future. Call (407) 781-0420 today for a free consultation.
Photo credit: Ted Eytan, Flickr