What is the effect of my previous lifesytle if I file bankruptcy? 21 Answers as of January 16, 2014

Between my junior and senior years of college, I managed to accumulate nearly $20,000 in credit card debt. I've no idea how I managed to get that kind of credit, but I did. I spent the money on things I didn't really need, and I honestly don't know where most of the money went. I was an immature college student, but I didn't live like a college student. I managed to make my payments because I received a large refund from school every semester because I had a scholarship. I also have $15,000 in student loans, which I know cannot be discharged. Now, I'm about to graduate and I've no idea how I'm going to manage this debt. I want to go to graduate school, and I'm only working 18 hours a week at a part time job. My interest rates are absolutely outrageous. My mom thinks I should file bankruptcy and wipe the slate clean, and honestly that sounds good, because I don't think I need any access to credit for a couple years. I won't be purchasing a home or car anytime soon. I'm worried, though, because of my outrageous spending habits last year. I'm afraid I'll be denied. Any comments/suggestions?

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GARCIA & GONZALES, P.C. | Richard N. Gonzales
Don't fret about it. I would suggest a face-to-face meeting so we can discuss your specific situation. I have successfully filed THOUSANDS of bankruptcies, so I know I can help you. I like to tell clients, "The road to Hell is a two-way street". Again, don't lose any sleep. With the right attorney, you will be just fine!
Answer Applies to: Colorado
Replied: 1/16/2014
Stuart P Gelberg
Stuart P Gelberg | Stuart P Gelberg
Impossible to fully answer without a full consultation. Being unable to explain your debt is a basis to deny a discharge. As long as you haven't incurred new debt recently you shouldn't have any problems
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 1/15/2014
Stephens Gourley & Bywater | David A. Stephens
The spending habits will likely not affect your bankruptcy.
Answer Applies to: Nevada
Replied: 1/15/2014
Garner Law Office
Garner Law Office | Daniel Garner
Generally speaking, how you got into debt is not something the court or the trustee cares to know, unless you paid debts that really should be someone else's responsibility. Your mom's advice makes sense.
Answer Applies to: Oregon
Replied: 1/15/2014
Patrick W. Currin, Attorney at Law | Patrick Currin
Credit card debt in the $20,000+ range is pretty run of the mill in BK court. Unless there was clear intent that you never intended to pay the debt when you incurred it, there is no fraud involved. Credit card companies expect a portion of their customers to default and rarely challenge in BK.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 1/15/2014
    Meister & McCracken Law Firm, PLLC | Joanne M. McCracken
    Bankruptcy provides you with the opportunity to get a fresh start after discharging all dischargeable debtsnot student loans and not credit card debt if the cards were used within a certain time period, usually 90 days, for expenses that are not necessary living expenses. If you decide to seek bankruptcy relief, it is important that you continue to pay as agreed for your debts that are not discharged. This will help rebuild your credit which will begin to make you eligible for the credit you may need later in your lifesuch as a mortgage or auto loan. You can qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy if your liabilities (your debts) are greater than your assets and you pass the means test. If you are thinking of filing, call a qualified bankruptcy attorney and schedule a consultation. The sooner you have your questions answered and your situation analyzed, the sooner you can decide what is best for you. Usually your first consultation is without any charge.
    Answer Applies to: Arkansas
    Replied: 1/15/2014
    A Fresh Start
    A Fresh Start | Dorothy G Bunce
    The bankruptcy court & staff has no interest in judging your past because everyone has an explanation for how they got into debt. They don't have time to judge your lifestyle either because it is only their job to determine whether you are complying with the requirements of bankruptcy law.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 1/15/2014
    Steele, George, Schofield & Ramos, LLP
    Steele, George, Schofield & Ramos, LLP | Alan E. Ramos
    Unless you lied on a credit application or otherwise took an action that could be considered fraudulent, you should have no problem discharging your credit card debt. It is wise that you recognize that you spending habits were irresponsible and that is the cause of your current situation. That bodes well for you in your future and strongly suggests that you won't have this problem again in your lifetime. A bankruptcy could truly give you a fresh start.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 1/15/2014
    Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney
    Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney | Janet Lawson
    You are eligible for ch7 relief and hopefully learning occurred. No one actually "needs" credit cards. Spend less than what you have. Period. Accumulate savings.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 1/15/2014
    Goldsmith & Guymon
    Goldsmith & Guymon | Marjorie Guymon
    Your past irresponsibility with credit is irrelevant when filing bankruptcy. What matters is your current income, current living expenses, and your current credit habits.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 1/15/2014
    MCBRIDE LAW OFFICE | Robert E. McBride
    Credit card issuers may object to the discharge of debts associated with certain transactions. Recent purchases of luxury items, recent large cash advances and other recent extravagant spending are particularly worrisome. You should assume that each of your credit card issuers will review all of your transactions during the 12 to 18 month period just before your bankruptcy is filed. They will be searching for suspect transactions. If you decide to meet with a bankruptcy attorney, prepare to discuss the subject of nondischargeability. Secure copies of your monthly credit card statements (from your credit card issuers if need be) to show your attorney. Even if some of your debts are potentially nondischargeable, you may still benefit from filing bankruptcy. For example, would you be inclined to file if $15,000 of your debt is likely to be discharged while $5,000 might not be discharged?
    Answer Applies to: Pennsylvania
    Replied: 1/15/2014
    Archer & Archer | Andrew Archer
    In your situation, I find it very difficult to get "denied." You have a federal right to file.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 1/15/2014
    Philip R. Boardman, Attorney at Law
    Philip R. Boardman, Attorney at Law | Phil Boardman
    Bankruptcy is a chance for a fresh start. Not only will your debts be discharged, you will be able to rebuild your credit. For example, my office enrolls all clients in a 720 program that rebuilds credit in a very short period of time. Once your credit is rebuilt and you are debt free, that opens a lot of doors for you.
    Answer Applies to: Virginia
    Replied: 1/15/2014
    Barr, Jones & Associates LLP
    Barr, Jones & Associates LLP | Andrew Brasse
    The bankruptcy court and the trustees who handle the cases will not look into how you used your credit cards over the years. They don't even really ask about it at the hearing. The only possible issue of concern is if you were using the cards in a fraudulent manner, i.e. accumulating a lot of debt right before filing a bankruptcy. Otherwise, it should be of no concern, and the bankruptcy will clear out the debt and help you move forward.
    Answer Applies to: Ohio
    Replied: 1/15/2014
    Stittleburg Law Office
    Stittleburg Law Office | Bernd Stittleburg
    Bankruptcy qualification is based on your income, assets and expenses. If you have low income, your expenses are high and you have no assets, then you may want to consider Chapter 7. The only way to know whether you can qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy is to talk to a bankruptcy attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 1/15/2014
    The Law Office of Darren Aronow, PC
    The Law Office of Darren Aronow, PC | Darren Aronow
    It does not matter what you spent the money on or that you are graduating college. As long as your income is low enough (which it sounds like that is the case), then you will be approved and the credit card debt will be discharged.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 1/15/2014
    Moore Taylor Law Firm, P.A.
    Moore Taylor Law Firm, P.A. | Jane Downey
    You wouldn't be able to discharge student loans but could pay them over time.
    Answer Applies to: South Carolina
    Replied: 1/15/2014
    Law Offices of Joseph A. Mannis
    Law Offices of Joseph A. Mannis | Todd Mannis
    Your mom is right. The whole point of the bankruptcy laws is to provide you with a fresh start. They aren't looking at your previous behavior, and even if they did, what you are describing is hardly horrible. File the bankruptcy and move on, it will have been the best thing you've ever done. At least speak with an experienced bankruptcy attorney such as myself.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 1/15/2014
    Law Offices of Linda Rose Fessler | Linda Fessler
    I would file for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. You should be able to get your debts discharged.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 1/15/2014
    The Law Office of Mark J. Markus
    The Law Office of Mark J. Markus | Mark Markus
    Bankruptcy is certainly an option to consider. You should schedule a consultation with an experienced bankruptcy attorney to evaluate your situation and provide you the options to manage your debt.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 1/15/2014
    Steven Meyer | Steven Meyer
    I'm sorry to hear about your situation. It sounds as if you might be a good candidate to file bankruptcy. You really should consult right away with an attorney in your area. Make sure to find an attorney who has experience in handling bankruptcy cases. Most lawyers do not. Our office has handled many bankruptcy cases. I am not sure where you are located, bu if you live in Florida, we would be happy to speak with you about the situation.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 1/15/2014
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