What should I do about my credit card charges before filing for bankruptcy? 20 Answers as of July 07, 2014

I think I'll file for bankruptcy within the next 6 months. I'm meeting with an attorney within the next few weeks. I've used my credit cards recently, and I'm afraid that the trustees will consider those charges fraudulent. What can I do to avoid that? Should I keep making the minimum monthly payments for a while? Thank you!

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

Free Case Evaluation by a Local Lawyer: Click here
Arany & Associates
Arany & Associates | Lawrence C. Arany
The best thing you can do is discuss this issue with your bankruptcy attorney. The facts in your situation will dictate his/her advice. Often its wise to make the minimum payments. On the other hand, if you can point to a significant financial event that caused you to realize that a BK had to be filed, then in that case, provided there are no other charges made following that event, you would be able to withstand a discharge-ability complaint. You must certainly stop using the card!
Answer Applies to: Indiana
Replied: 7/7/2014
Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney
Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney | Janet Lawson
Depending on the amount of the charges you could wait 6 months to file.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 7/4/2014
Law Office of Marlin Branstetter
Law Office of Marlin Branstetter | Marlin Branstetter
If the charges were made when you knew or should have known you lacked the ability to pay the charges the creditor could consider the filing to be an abuse of bankruptcy law. Any charges made after you spoke with an attorney regarding bankruptcy would fall within those guidelines.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 7/2/2014
Any debts made for the purpose of purchasing luxury goods within 90 days of filing bankruptcy give rise to a presumption of fraud. For purchases made before 90 days of filing the creditor must bear the burden of proving fraud.
Answer Applies to: Minnesota
Replied: 7/2/2014
Law Office of Peter M. Lively
Law Office of Peter M. Lively | Peter M. Lively
The trustee isn't the party you need to be concerned about, it is the creditor(s) and perhaps the judge. Certain transactions within a few months of the bankruptcy petition filing date are presumed to be fraudulent (lack of intent to repay). Pre-bankruptcy planning should be done with the attorney who will handle your case taking into account all of your assets, exemptions, and debts. Be aware that pre-bankruptcy payments within 90 days of the petition date aggregating $600 or more to one creditor are preferential and can be recovered by the trustee if the majority of your debt is consumer debt.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 7/2/2014
    GARCIA & GONZALES, P.C. | Richard N. Gonzales
    By all means, ask your attorney this same question or questions. If my clients are feeling nervous, I usually recommend that they make a couple of minimum payments. This will normally buy them some peace. As a practical matter, unless the charges are large, or for luxury items, my clients don't have any thing to worry about. But again, speak to your counsel about this issue.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 7/2/2014
    The Law Office of Darren Aronow, PC
    The Law Office of Darren Aronow, PC | Darren Aronow
    If you know that you are filing then you should stop using it. If they are small charges for food, etc, then trustee should have no issue but large purchases (TV), etc could be a problem for the trustee and/or the creditor.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 7/2/2014
    Ronald K. Nims LLC | Ronald K. Nims
    Taking cash advances or buying luxury goods shortly before filing bankruptcy can result in non-dischargeable debts. I'm sure your attorney will discuss this matter with you can advise you on how to handle it in your bankruptcy. Making minimum payments on credit cards before filing bankruptcy might help your credit scores but won't affect the bankruptcy.
    Answer Applies to: Ohio
    Replied: 7/2/2014
    A Fresh Start
    A Fresh Start | Dorothy G Bunce
    The best choice is to either wait out the 3 - 6 months after using the cards or listen to the advice of the attorney you consult. Depending on the amount involved, this may not be a problem, or it could be a huge problem. BTW, the trustee usually doesn't care how you have used your credit cards in the months before filing bankruptcy because it isn't his problem. The creditor whose card you used may be very concerned about this and could sue you in bankruptcy court.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 7/2/2014
    Steele, George, Schofield & Ramos, LLP
    Steele, George, Schofield & Ramos, LLP | Alan E. Ramos
    You should see your attorney before you start on a plan of action. If you make minimum payments until you see the attorney, you most likely will have no problems. However, it is important that everything that you do is part of an overall strategy.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/2/2014
    Law Office of Melissa Botting | Melissa Botting
    These are questions for the attorney you have already planned to meet. You will make your process much more difficult to take advice piecemeal from multiple attorneys. In order to handle your situation in a consistent most effective and cost efficient strategy, you should not address some problems piecemeal.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 7/2/2014
    The Law Office of M Grater LLC
    The Law Office of M Grater LLC | Mark O. Grater
    Ask your attorney who you are hiring to do your bankruptcy.
    Answer Applies to: Connecticut
    Replied: 7/2/2014
    Law Offices of Linda Rose Fessler | Linda Fessler
    I would continue making payments.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/2/2014
    Garner Law Office
    Garner Law Office | Daniel Garner
    There is a 90-day period prior to your bankruptcy filing in which credit card charges are presumed to be fraudulent. If you're filing within the next 6 months, just make sure that "presumption period" has passed.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 7/2/2014
    Goldsmith & Guymon
    Goldsmith & Guymon | Marjorie Guymon
    Yes, make the minimums.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 7/2/2014
    Wellman Law LLC
    Wellman Law LLC | Keith A. Wellman
    I don't understand why you wouldn't meet with an attorney immediately and get an answer to this and similar questions. Or, if that's the soonest the attorney can meet with a prospective new client it begs the question whether you would be getting timely responses and optimal attention to your case as it progresses. But to best answer your question based on these facts, the intent at the time of the charges is really what matters. If there is a good reason why you decided AFTER the charges that you would need to file Bankruptcy then Creditors would have a losing case. The presumption of fraud disappears after 70 to 90 days after the charges, but actual fraud is always non-dischargeable, which is why intent is the bottom line. There are additional considerations such as how much is involved, and as mentioned, why you decided you may need to file Bankruptcy, that would be helpful in getting a better understanding of how to handle these charges.
    Answer Applies to: Kansas
    Replied: 7/2/2014
    Barnhart Law Office
    Barnhart Law Office | Bruce C Barnhart
    First, stop using your credit cards. See an attorney as soon as possible. Bring your last six credit card statements with you.
    Answer Applies to: Nebraska
    Replied: 7/2/2014
    Kenneth A. Parker, P.C.
    Kenneth A. Parker, P.C. | Ken Parker
    Credit card usage within 60-90 days can be deemed non-dischargeable. Make sure you discuss your concerns with your attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 7/2/2014
    Danville Law Group | Scott Jordan
    The rule, generally, is to not use your credit cards at least 90 days before filing bankruptcy. If you believe you will be filing in 6 months, stop using the credit cards now. Whether or not you should stop paying on your credit cards is a discussion you and your attorney will need to have, and not on this open forum.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/2/2014
    Law Office of Stuart M. Nachbar, P.C.
    Law Office of Stuart M. Nachbar, P.C. | Stuart M. Nachbar
    Make the minimum for at least 3 months.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 7/1/2014
Click to View More Answers:
12 3 4 Free Legal QuestionsConnect with a local attorney