Joey Lester, 48, and Bob Joles, 47, live in the state of Kentucky. They have been together for 16 years and recently got married in the state of New York. While the state of Kentucky doesn’t recognize their union, they were however, able to file a joint bankruptcy petition that allowed them to reorganize their debt in late July. The couple was able to file a joint Chapter 13 bankruptcy filing due to the Obama Administration no longer contesting filings by same-sex married couples.
The couple welcomed the change after they had lost over $200,000 in an investment at the Bodega at Felice in the downtown market area. The filing allowed the couple to save on filing fees and Joles is able to keep his vehicle. At the time of the filing, Joles was unemployed. The filing also prevented the couple from dividing certain assets and items they accumulated during the duration of their relationship.
Lester, who is employed by Verizon Wireless, claims the joint filing made sense for their financial situation since they lived together for so many years. They feel they share everything including their money and debt. While a same-sex couple was able to file a joint petition, those who object to same-sex marriages claim the decision by the Obama Administration violates a constitutional amendment advocacy groups fought to get on the ballot.
The legal representative for the gay couple filed their petition and listed one of the men as the “wife.” The attorney was contacted by the court by email for verification and asked if she was aware the filing was for two men; she replied as saying yes and was prepared to give the court a copy of their marriage license. The bankruptcy trustee for the case claims such a filing has never taken place in the state.
The couple has close to $415,000 in assets with close to $500,000 in liabilities. They claim they had to file bankruptcy after their banks declined to consolidate outstanding loans.