Should I file for bankruptcy if I cannot pay my credit card debts? 26 Answers as of February 10, 2014

Judgments for past credit card debt have been established against me. I am now unemployed. I never paid anything on them. I probably should've appeared in court to fight them but didn't know any better at the time. I was 8 months pregnant and on disability from my job, knew I owed debt but could not afford to pay it and was under the impression not to show unless I disputed owing it. Debt occurred before marriage so hopefully my husband is not responsible for my past.

Ask a Local Attorney. 100% Anonymous. Free Answers.

Free Case Evaluation by a Local Lawyer: Click here
Jason Karavias, Esq.
Jason Karavias, Esq. | Jason Karavias
Filing for bankruptcy may be the best decision for you, but it is advisable to first consult an experienced bankruptcy attorney to ensure that you meet all eligibility requirements for discharge of your debts and that your assets are properly protected. Your husband will not be responsible for the debts you incurred before marriage and will not be involved in your bankruptcy case, other than having his income included in the means test calculation.
Answer Applies to: Pennsylvania
Replied: 2/10/2014
The Law Office of Darren Aronow, PC
The Law Office of Darren Aronow, PC | Darren Aronow
Chapter 7 will get rid of all of your debts.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 1/15/2014
David R. Fondren, Attorney at Law
David R. Fondren, Attorney at Law | David R. Fondren
I can't answer that without reviewing all the facts and looking at other options outside of bankruptcy. Other options include: a job for you, a second job for your husband, reducing expenses, settling with the creditors, amount of debt you have and other factors. You should actually sit down with an attorney and get a thorough review.
Answer Applies to: Missouri
Replied: 1/10/2014
Kirby G. Moss PC | Kirby G. Moss
You can file bankruptcy individually(without husband) and discharge those debts to get a fresh start.
Answer Applies to: Indiana
Replied: 1/7/2014
Stephens Gourley & Bywater | David A. Stephens
Bankruptcy is one possible solution.
Answer Applies to: Nevada
Replied: 1/7/2014
    Joseph Lehn, Esq
    Joseph Lehn, Esq | Lehn Law, PA
    Many people file bankruptcy due to credit card debt that they can not afford to pay. The bankruptcy discharge will eliminate your obligation to pay the debt including the judgments. If you own a house, you will want to file a Motion to Avoid lien in the bankruptcy as well so that the judgments will not impair your house. If you and your husband do not have any debt in common it is very possible that you can file a petition individually.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 1/7/2014
    Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney
    Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney | Janet Lawson
    This is exactly what bankruptcy is for. You husband's income is relevant however to your eligibility for ch7 relief. See a competent lawyer to establish you eligibility.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 1/7/2014
    Hoang & Tran PLLC | Adam Tran
    If you cannot work out a settlement plan, a default judgment against you would mean they can collect (ie. garnish, putting liens, etc). Bankruptcy will help stop the collection, but you need to talk to your attorney to determine the best course of legal action.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 1/7/2014
    Stuart P Gelberg
    Stuart P Gelberg | Stuart P Gelberg
    Many bkry lawyers, including me, offer free consults. From the little bit of info provided you sound like a good candidate for bkry.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 1/7/2014
    A Fresh Start
    A Fresh Start | Dorothy G Bunce
    The details that are missing here are all important. How much is the total amount of your debt? What property do you own that might be vulnerable to being seized by a creditor with a court judgment against you?
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 1/7/2014
    Moore Taylor Law Firm, P.A.
    Moore Taylor Law Firm, P.A. | Jane Downey
    That is an option. Speak with a certified specialist.
    Answer Applies to: South Carolina
    Replied: 1/7/2014
    Hayward, Parker, O'Leary & Pinsky, Esqs.
    Hayward, Parker, O'Leary & Pinsky, Esqs. | Michael O'Leary
    Your husband is not responsible for debts incurred solely by you prior to the marriage. However, bringing a lot of debt into a young marriage can cause problems down the road. You should consider consulting with competent local bankruptcy counsel to learn about bankruptcy, both its pros and cons.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 1/7/2014
    William Bidwell, Attorney at Law | Bill Bidwell
    Husband is not liable for debts you incur. You can file bankruptcy.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 1/7/2014
    Rhymer Law Firm
    Rhymer Law Firm | William Rhymer
    Whether to file or not depends on several factors: How much you owe, what type of debts, the value of your assets, have you filed before and if so when and what type of case was it, whether you have health insurance coverage and what is your household income. I would suggest that you make an appointment for a free consultation so that you can see what your options are with your specific facts. Then you could make a choice that would be in your best interest.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 1/7/2014
    Ross Smith, Attorney at Law
    Ross Smith, Attorney at Law | Charles Ross Smith III
    The judgments against you are dischargeable in a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy. Your spouse is not responsible for your premarital debt. Go see a bankruptcy attorney. Many do not charge for the initial consultation. Bring a list of questions that you want answered.
    Answer Applies to: Ohio
    Replied: 1/7/2014
    Patrick W. Currin, Attorney at Law | Patrick Currin
    From your detail it appears that it might have been advisable to file before your marriage. Your spouse is not liable to pay your debts with his separate property, but all community property will be imputed to you for BK purposes. The decision to file now is a complex one that needs to be assessed by an experienced bankruptcy professional like myself.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 1/7/2014
    Garner Law Office
    Garner Law Office | Daniel Garner
    Your spouse is not responsible for debts you acquired prior to the marriage unless he obtained some benefit from them or voluntarily assumed responsibility for any of them. However, federal bankruptcy law requires a so-called "means test" which requires disclosure of all income into your household for the 6 months immediately preceding your bankruptcy filing. If that calculation shows that your household is above the median income for your area, you may be required to contribute part of your spouse's future income toward the debts in a Chapter 13 bankruptcy. You can find the standards used by following links on the Oregon bankruptcy court's website. If you find that your annualized gross household income exceeds the median for a family of your size, you should contact a bankruptcy attorney to complete the means test accurately. If your disposable monthly income, after allowances for typical household expenses, falls below a certain threshold, you may still qualify for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy and avoid the repayment requirements of a Chapter 13. The U.S. Trustee's Office scrutinizes the means tests filed in all bankruptcy cases, to determine if the appropriate information has been provided and ultimately to determine if you might have the means to pay at least part of your debt. Therefore, you must be absolutely certain that you complete the means test form accurately, or you could be forced into a Chapter 13 or be denied a discharge of your debt in Chapter 7.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 1/7/2014
    Bird & VanDyke, Inc.
    Bird & VanDyke, Inc. | David VanDyke
    It sounds like bankruptcy is definitely a viable option. Since you are married now your spouse's income will be considered on your means test qualification.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 1/7/2014
    Law Office of Stuart M. Nachbar, P.C.
    Law Office of Stuart M. Nachbar, P.C. | Stuart M. Nachbar
    Yes you should file.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 1/7/2014
    Law Offices of Marc Weinberg | Marc Weinberg
    If these were your personal debts and not your spouse, you can file bankruptcy for yourself only. The important question is what is your total combined income for your household. We need to know the gross income and net income for both of you. and the total number of dependents in the house. If it is you, your spouse, and a child, then the number is 3, etc. I need this information to better answer your question. Also, do you own a house, and/or own cars or are you making car payments. The amount of your debts (Judgments, etc) is further important for me to properly answer your question. Look forward to hearing from you.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 1/7/2014
    Deborah F Bowinski, Attorney & Counselor at Law | Debby Bowinski
    You should schedule an appointment with a bankruptcy lawyer to evaluate your situation. Without knowing more about the amount if debt, the age of the judgments, the size and income of your household, etc. it is impossible to provide an informed answer to your question.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 1/7/2014
    The Law Office of M Grater LLC
    The Law Office of M Grater LLC | Mark O. Grater
    Filing for bankruptcy would be one way to get rid of the debt if you decide not to challenge each on individually outside of bankruptcy.
    Answer Applies to: Connecticut
    Replied: 1/7/2014
    Law Office of J. Thomas Black, P.C.
    Law Office of J. Thomas Black, P.C. | J. Thomas Black
    If you have judgments against you, you can't pay them, and you otherwise qualify to file bankruptcy, then yes I think it would make sense to consider filing for bankruptcy.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 1/7/2014
    Law Offices of Daniel J Winter
    Law Offices of Daniel J Winter | Daniel J Winter
    Generally, you can eliminate credit card debt even if there are judgments. Yes, it is worth it to file bankruptcy. And, if your husband is not an authorized user or on the account in any way, he can't be held responsible for those debts. You need to call an experienced bankruptcy attorney to see whether you qualify for bankruptcy, and how it would work for you.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 1/7/2014
    Law Offices of Linda Rose Fessler | Linda Fessler
    You can file bankruptcy yourself. Husband should not be held responsible for debts acquired before marriage.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 1/7/2014
    The Orantes Law Firm
    The Orantes Law Firm | Giovanni Orantes
    Your question involves too many issues to advise you properly. I have filed cases for many people in your situation, but we must examine all of the facts of the case, including the community assets and debts, before advising you to file. In addition, you need an expert to determine what chapter you qualify for and what chapter would accomplish your goals.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 1/7/2014
Click to View More Answers:
12 3 4 5 Free Legal QuestionsConnect with a local attorney