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Discharging Credit Card Balances

September 11, 2009

As a general rule, credit card debt is among the easiest type of debt to discharge during a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 Bankruptcy. However, in some cases credit card companies will dispute the discharge of credit card debt by filing an adversarial proceeding against the debtor in the bankruptcy court. The creditor may claim that all or a portion of the debt is non-dischargeable. Debts that are declared non-dischargeable may have to be paid during the bankruptcy, or may survive the bankruptcy altogether.

A credit card company may claim that the debtor committed fraud in obtaining or using the credit card. If the creditor can prove that the card was obtained under false pretenses (i.e. that the application was false), the credit card debt may be declared non-dischargeable because of the fraud.

A credit card company may also claim that charges were placed on the credit card when the debtor had no intention to repay the debt. Additionally, a presumption of fraud arises where luxury goods and services are purchased or cash advances are taken shortly before the filing of a bankruptcy case. 

Credit card companies are entitled to notice of a debtor’s bankruptcy case, and these companies monitor bankruptcy cases for signs of fraud. Certain actions send up a red flag including:

·                     Filing bankruptcy on a new card;

·                     Taking a cash advance prior to filing;

·                     Charges for travel or vacation;

·                     A debt transfer from one card to another;

·                     Credit charges while unemployed; and

·                     Charges made after consulting a bankruptcy attorney.

The more time between the credit card activity and the bankruptcy filing, the less likely the charge will cause a discharge dispute. The best advice is: if you are considering bankruptcy, stop using your credit cards. Consult with your bankruptcy attorney regarding the best way to discharge your credit card debt.  Contact Fears | Nachawati for a free consulation by calling toll-free 1.866.705.7584 or by e-mailing




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