Can I include my credit card debt in bankruptcy? 11 Answers as of April 08, 2011

I am considering going bankrupt. This will be the 2nd time in my life so I am reluctant. But I have a large amount of credit card debt and medical debt. Since losing my full time job, I cannot keep up with payments and I also have student loan debt that I cannot default on. A large portion of my credit card debt is from one credit card. I was an authorized user of the card, but the actual card was originally given to my grandmother. I have incurred debt on this card since her passing three years ago. I want to know if I do decide to file for bankruptcy...A) can I face any legal action for using this card that is in my name but because the credit wasn't originally given to me? and B) can I include this debt in my bankruptcy filing or could I leave it out and continue to pay for it? I also wonder. I am engaged to be married and am also reluctant to file for bankruptcy because I do not want to hurt my future husband's credit or our future. But, given the large amount of debt I am beginning to wonder if bankruptcy is our only option. Better to do it before getting married or wait and then have to do it later?

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Benson Law Firm
Benson Law Firm | David Benson
Yes, you can include credit card debt in your bankruptcy. All debts are included. The only question is how they are treated. As to the timing of your bankruptcy, I would suggest filing before you get married because your fiancee's income will not be included to determine whether you qualify for a Chapter 7. If you wait until you get married, it is possible that your combined income would exceed the median and make it very difficult to qualify under Chapter 7.
Answer Applies to: Ohio
Replied: 4/8/2011
Mercado & Hartung, PLLC
Mercado & Hartung, PLLC | Christopher J. Mercado
First off, credit card and medical debt are dischargeable in BK. Your student loans will likely not be dischargeable though. Second, you will be responsible for the charges made on your credit card you shared with your grandmother. If you file BK, you will schedule this debt with your others. As far as your credit is concerned, your BK will not affect your future spouse's credit unless you are applying for something using both your credit histories. As to whether you should file before or after getting married, I would need more information from you. We offer free consultations if you are interested.
Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 4/7/2011
Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney
Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney | Janet Lawson
Well, you have a few problems. First of all, using the card of a deceased person may be fraud. You need to have a lawyer look at the credit card agreement. You can't leave it out because the credit card issuer will receive notice that you filed, and the law requires you to list all of your debts. The bankruptcy will not hurt your future husband. Go talk to a lawyer and be very honest with him or her.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 4/1/2011
Law Offices of Joseph A. Mannis
Law Offices of Joseph A. Mannis | Todd Mannis
Yes you can discharge the credit cards, and yes better before you get married (unless perhaps your future husband also had a lot of debt he wanted to discharge). Please feel free to call me if you have further questions or would like to set up a free consultation.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 4/1/2011
Greifendorff Law Offices, PC
Greifendorff Law Offices, PC | Christine Wilton
You must include all debts in your bankruptcy. You do not get to pick and choose which debts are included.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 4/1/2011
    Bankruptcy Law Center
    Bankruptcy Law Center | Bill Zurinskas
    Yes, you can include your credit card debt in chapter 7 bankruptcy, as well as in chapter 13 bankruptcy. Almost all bankruptcies include some credit card debt. It is mandatory to list ALL debts in bankruptcy. Whether or not the credit card debt is dischargeable in bankruptcy is another matter. Credit cards debts incured with intent to defraud may be nondischargeable. You must talk to an experienced bankruptcy attorney before filing your bankruptcy since your facts suggest problems.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 4/1/2011
    Burnham & Associates
    Burnham & Associates | Stephanie K. Burnham
    It will be a good idea to clean up your credit before you get married. Credit card debt is the number one debt that gets eliminated in Bankruptcy. You will need to speak with an attorney to determine if you qualify for Bankruptcy. As an authorized user of a credit card you are liable for the debt on the card and can discharge your liabilities through Bankruptcy - however, the question that will determine in your case if you can discharge this debt is: have you made payments on this debt? If you took out debt without having any intentions of paying the debt back that is fraud and the debt may not be discharged.
    Answer Applies to: New Hampshire
    Replied: 3/31/2011
    Ferguson & Ferguson
    Ferguson & Ferguson | Randy W. Ferguson
    Better to do before you get married. Credit card and medical debt can all be discharged in chapter 7 bankruptcy.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 3/30/2011
    Cohen & Kendziorra, P.A.
    Cohen & Kendziorra, P.A. | Robert S. Cohen
    Credit card debt is unsecured debt which is included in any bankruptcy filing.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 3/30/2011
    Law Office of Eric Ridley
    Law Office of Eric Ridley | Eric Ridley
    I understand your reluctance to re-file, but sometimes it's necessary and often the best choice. A) Not very likely. The Court and Trustee are only concerned with the creditors receiving equitable treatment. I wouldn't worry about this. B) Since you generated the debt, and have been accepting responsibility for the payments, I would include it in the bankruptcy filing. C) Better to file now. The earlier you file, the sooner this will drop off your credit report and make your married life even better than it's going to be!
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/30/2011
    Bankruptcy Law Office of Robert Weed
    Bankruptcy Law Office of Robert Weed | Robert Weed
    There are definitely legal issues involved in you using a credit card in your name but on your grandmothers account, after she died. You need to talk carefully to a lawyer about those facts in careful detail and see what's recommended. The bankruptcy court might be the place to face up to that problem, but it might not. (I'm surprised they didn't find out about your grandmother's death and close the card. That would have helped them, and you, a lot.)
    Answer Applies to: Virginia
    Replied: 3/30/2011
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