Joint Administration

Daisy Rogozinsky
June 13, 2022

In bankruptcy, it is sometimes possible for multiple parties to have their cases dealt with together. This can happen by joint administration or joint petition. In this article, we define both of these terms and explain how they apply to bankruptcy law.

Key Takeaways

  • Joint administration is when multiple legal cases are administered together
  • In bankruptcy law, joint administration is when multiple bankruptcy estates are managed under one docket
  • Joint bankruptcy administration is sought after because it is more convenient, efficient, and affordable
  • A joint petition is when multiple parties file a petition to the court together asking for a ruling 
  • In bankruptcy, a joint petition is when two spouses file for bankruptcy together
  • Joint bankruptcy petitions are desirable because they can save time and make it easier to qualify for chapter 13 bankruptcy instead of chapter 7

What Is Joint Administration?

Joint administration, also known as administrative consolidation, is a court-approved mechanism under which multiple cases can be administered together. It can happen as long as there are no conflicts of interest and the separate parties can pool their resources and hire the same professionals.

Joint Administration in Bankruptcy Law

In bankruptcy law, joint administration is when multiple bankruptcy estates can be managed under one docket for the purposes of administrative convenience, increased efficiency, and reduced expenses. It’s commonly sought out as part of the first-day relief in cases with affiliated debtors. 

In a jointly administered bankruptcy case, the following applies:

  • Pleadings for all debtors are filed in one case
  • Each debtor must submit their own separate schedule and statement of financial affairs
  • Each debtor must maintain their own separate claim register
  • The consolidated debtors receive only one docket
  • All of the debtors and their creditors have only one 341 meetings

What Is a Joint Petition?

A joint petition is when multiple parties, usually a married couple, file a formal request to the court together asking for an order or ruling on a particular legal matter. The term is most often used in the context of divorce, but it can also be used in bankruptcy law. 

Joint Petitions in Bankruptcy Law

In bankruptcy, a joint petition is when an individual and their spouse file a single bankruptcy petition together. This means that the spouses file only one set of papers and disclose both their incomes, expenses, and debts on one bankruptcy schedule. 

Note that if a married person is filing bankruptcy, this does not mean their spouse must do the same. Similarly, while married couples are allowed to file a joint petition, they are not required to do so. If they want to file separately, they can. 

The benefits of filing a joint petition include:

If you are married and planning to file for bankruptcy, it’s recommended to speak to an experienced bankruptcy lawyer to help evaluate you and your spouse’s financial situation in order to see if it’s a good idea for you to file a joint petition.

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