Two-Dollar Bankruptcy

Prior to 1973, by getting married, a person contracting a debt while single could effectively protect his or her property from a judgment creditor. See former A.R.S. § 25–216. The creditor had no claim to the property of the debtor’s marital community. This was known as the ‘two dollar bankruptcy’ because a marriage license cost two dollars.” Flexmaster Aluminum Awning Co., Inc. v. Hirschberg, 173 Ariz. 83, 87–88, (App. 1992). This option was effectively eliminated by the passage of A.R.S. § 25-215. Today, the term is relevant only because judgment creditors continue to accuse married judgment debtors of trying to obtain a “two-dollar bankruptcy.”

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