Bankruptcy for Credit Card Debt: Is it a Good Idea?

Bankruptcy is meant to give consumers drowning in debt a second probability, which a fortune of people who overspent heavily using credit rating cards, think they need. But if you look at the average credit card symmetry in the United States in the summer of 2021 — $ 5,400 – is that truly drowning in debt ? It could be if you ’ re among the 60 % of people who file for bankruptcy with an income of under $ 30,000. That ’ second right – 60 % of the people who file for bankruptcy take home less than $ 500 a week. Try paying for rent, utilities, food and exile with that … then throw $ 5,400 in credit card bills on top of and see if it feels like you ’ ra drowning financially ! “ The huge majority of people who file bankruptcy are there because they in truth need it, ’ ’ said Edward Janger, who teaches and writes about bankruptcy at Brooklyn Law School. “ They don ’ thymine get into it because they think it ’ sulfur going to be fun and easy. They ’ ra struggling and bankruptcy let ’ s them hit the readjust button. ”

The goal of bankruptcy is to wipe out personal indebtedness for debt and, at least in the case of chapter 7 filings, that has become about a certain thing. If you file chapter 7, the achiever rate for discharging unbarred debts ( like credit cards ) is an astounding 95.3 %. You besides should be mindful that not everyone qualifies for chapter 7 or chapter 13 bankruptcy and there are some negative repercussions for having credit rating batting order debt discharged. There will be a bombastic minus stamp on your credit report for 7-10 years, making it highly unmanageable to get a lend and if your fiscal life goes balmy again, you can ’ metric ton file for eight years. Janger, who graduated from Yale and got his law degree at the University of Chicago, suggested anyone considering bankruptcy reappraisal those consequences. “ Filing bankruptcy international relations and security network ’ t something to take lightly, ” he said. “ There have been plenty of studies that show that people choosing this do indeed because they ’ re in deep perturb and this gives them a means out. “ But the cost is you ’ re going to have trouble getting credit for the future 10 years and if you do, it ’ mho going to be identical expensive. That means you ’ ve got to live on cash and expect until the bankruptcy works its direction off your credit report. ” indeed, should you file for bankruptcy to eliminate credit calling card debt ? If your goal is to get a restart on your finances, bankruptcy can do that, but know the fiscal consequences for making that choice .

Falling Behind on Credit Card Payments

The road to bankruptcy via credit card debt is reasonably easy to follow. It starts by skipping one monthly payment on your citation cards, then finding a late tip slapped on your bill the adjacent calendar month. The future pace is to miss payments two straight months. Do that and the Credit Card Act of 2009 permits card companies to raise the interest rate on your card. They besides can raise the sake rate if :

  • Your credit score goes down
  • You own the card for more than one year
  • The prime interest rate increases
  • The promotional introductory period ends

The sum the interest rate goes up varies, but it ’ s not uncommon for person missing payments to see that rate jump from the home average of 17.8 % to 30 %. In fact, there is no jurisprudence preventing menu companies from going even higher. When the interest rate jumps – and late payment penalties and over-the-limit charges compound the trouble – your credit menu debt goes soaring. If you stop making tied minimal payments, that ’ s when the debt solicitation agencies arrive. debt collectors are notoriously aggressive in pursuing credit card debt. Their lawyers can sue you in court and obtain judgments that include garnishing wages and placing liens on your property. Filing for bankruptcy can stop the lawsuits and collection agencies. It ’ mho called an automatic arrest and it prevents creditors from starting or continuing action against you to collect the debt. It is one of the definite positives for filing bankruptcy .

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy for Credit Card Debt

Filing chapter 7 bankruptcy not only can wipe out credit rating card debt, it besides can sweep all forms of unbarred debt into the drivel, if done by rights. Among the bills that can go away are :

  • Medical
  • Utility
  • Personal loans
  • Back rent
  • Phone
  • Deficiency balances due to repossession

There are debts that you can ’ t wipe out with chapter 7, including child support, alimony, taxes, student loans, legal judgments and debt obtained through fraud. Remember that any non-exempt place you own, which typically would include a second theater or car, jewelry, art and other non-essential “ luxury items ” will be sold by the bankruptcy trustee and proceeds turned over to the creditors involved in your case, including the calling card companies .

Exceptions for Eliminating Debt with Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

While there are enough of reasons to eliminate credit menu debt through chapter 7 bankruptcy, there are two major reasons you would not have the debt successfully discharged :

  • You incurred debt on your credit card as the result of fraud
  • You used the credit card to purchase property that the creditor has a security interest in, such as a high-end appliance or piece of jewelry.

The issue of imposter could be the resultant role of you making false statements that allowed you to get the credit batting order in the beginning locate. For example, over-stating your income on your application ; or possibly doctoring or counterfeiting a credit wag to make purchases. It besides is considered imposter when you use the credit menu to make “ luxury ” purchases of more than $ 725 or took a cash boost of more than $ 1,000 within 70 days of filing bankruptcy. In other words : If you know you ’ re going to file bankruptcy, don ’ metric ton go running up tabs on your credit batting order. The second cause is rare, but could result in purchases you made, being repossessed. If creditors see that you bought a top-of-the-line appliance or populate room furniture or gold and ball field jewelry, that could be considered plug debt. They could call it “ collateral ” and ask for it.

The debts for these purchases can be wiped out, but you won ’ thyroxine be permitted to keep the property .

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy for Credit Card Debt

chapter 13 bankruptcy is called “ reorganization ” and unguaranteed debt, like credit cards, is given a very low priority in the reorganization. When you file for chapter 13 bankruptcy, you submit a design to the bankruptcy trustee that says you will pay most, if not all, of what you owe in three to five years. The following step is to prioritize the debts, starting at the top with plug debts ( home, car ), and precedence debts ( child support, alimony or back taxes ). unbarred debt, like citation cards is at the bottom of the precedence number. The chapter 13 filer then looks at his stream and future income and determines how much will go to repay debts in a 3-5 class period. identical fiddling, if any, is set aside for credit card debt. If the bankruptcy trustee agrees with the plan, and the consumer makes the ask payments, all debts are discharged, including credit card debt, when the final requital is made. Because chapter 13 bankruptcy does not put much emphasis on repaying unbarred debt, it ’ s likely most, or all of what you owe on credit cards will disappear with a successful dismissal .

Filing Bankruptcy on Credit Cards Only

Filing bankruptcy just to eliminate credit card debt is not hardheaded for one reason : You must include all debts when you file bankruptcy. That ’ south true whether you ’ re filing chapter 7 or chapter 13. so, if you had no early debts, there are better options for paying off credit card debt, like debt management or debt colony programs, that wouldn ’ t be as drastic or have a much damaging impingement as bankruptcy .

Qualifications for Filing Bankruptcy for Credit Card Debt

If you want to file chapter 7 or chapter 13 bankruptcy, there are qualifying standards to meet, most of which are intended to determine whether a consumer is capable of handling the debt themselves. People wanting to file chapter 7 bankruptcy must pass a “ means test ” and those trying to file chapter 13 have rigid amounts of debt they can ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate exceed. The means examination for chapter 7 involves two considerations. You can pass the test if your income over the previous six months is under the median income for your family size in the state you live. The majority of chapter 7 filers pass the means test this way. If you don ’ thymine, then you move on to the second consideration : Is there enough income left over to pay down your debt, after deducting expenses for essential items like rent, food, dress, department of transportation, utilities, etc. If there is adequate money left, you will be dismissed from chapter 7 and referred to filing for chapter 13. If there isn ’ t enough money left over, you may qualify for chapter 7. In Chapter 13, the qualifying debt amount for an individual can ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate exceed $ 419,275 for unguaranteed bills ( credit cards, student loans ) and $ 1.257 million for guarantee debt ( family, car ). Be careful with both categories of debt. If you have fallen behind on payments, your totals may exceed the allow amount .

Can Credit Card Companies Sue Me After I File for Bankruptcy?

When you file for bankruptcy, the “ automatic stay ” protection goes into effect and prevents credit rating card companies from initiating or continuing a suit against you to collect money. If the credit card company filed a debt collection lawsuit against you before you filed, — and the casing hasn ’ t been settled – the lawsuit can ’ t proceed while the automatic pistol stay is in effect, unless the bankruptcy court gives the card caller license. If you do receive a fire in chapter 7, most often that will include fire of judgments from debt collection lawsuits .

Bankruptcy Without an Attorney and Credit Counseling

While the process involved in eliminating credit wag debt through bankruptcy is not difficult, it constantly is bad to represent yourself in a legal topic without an lawyer. If you do not have experience with the paperwork and timing involved in filing a bankruptcy lawsuit – not to mention cognition of the sections and sub-sections of the law that apply specifically in your case – you would be doing yourself a grave disservice in not hiring a bankruptcy lawyer to represent you.

One of the major qualify conditions for filing, is taking a pre-bankruptcy credit counseling course within 180 days of filing for bankruptcy. You can fulfill that obligation by speaking with a accredit counselor from a nonprofit organization credit rede representation. At the very least, the counselor can look at your fiscal situation during a accredit guidance school term and offer any alternatives to bankruptcy that might solve your fiscal problems, therefore negating the need to file bankruptcy. chapter 7 is a potential source of relief and that is what it is designed to be. If you are an honest, but inauspicious debtor – you ’ ve run up debt because of job less, medical debt or just trying to provide the basics for you family – and you equitable can ’ t do … bankruptcy lets you hit the reset button .

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Category : Finance

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