I’m Not Behind on My Credit Cards. Can I File Bankruptcy Now? – Laura

“Dear Lewis,

I have about $19000 in credit card debt (from about a decade of use in college etc.) About $6000 of that is from a transfer balance to consolidate my credit card debt. Now the year of no interest is up and the bill has skyrocketed to an amount I cannot pay. I also have student loans and a modest car payment that I don’t want to default on to pay the credit card company. I know that if no help from the credit card company is forthcoming that I will have to default on the bill-I just don’t make enough to cover the $500+ payment they want along with my other bills.

My question is do I have to be late or miss a payment on my credit card before I can file bankruptcy or can I go ahead and file (if the lawyer and I determine that is the best option)? I would prefer to go ahead and start the process before I really get into an absolute credit score nightmare.


Dear Laura,

There is no requirement that you be in default on your bills to file bankruptcy.

It actually might be to your benefit to be current and file a bankruptcy. Late payments are one of the worst things that can happen to your credit score. So your credit might drop less points (or hit a “higher floor”) if you aren’t late when you discharge the credit cards.

Also, make sure you stay current on the car loan (which you want to keep) and the student loan (which cannot be discharged).

Good Luck!

My name is Lewis Roberts and I’m an attorney licensed in Florida and Georgia. My practice focus is consumer bankruptcy, real estate issues/closings, and mortgages. I also have Florida real estate broker and mortgage broker licenses. I am a proud member of the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys (NACBA), National Association of Consumer Attorneys (NACA), and a graduate of Max Gardner’s Bankruptcy Boot Camp. I enjoy helping people with decisions that impact their financial well-being.

Legal Disclaimer: This is for educational purposes only. It is not to be relied upon as legal advice. It also does not create an attorney-client relationship. No such relationship is formed with attorney without a written agreement.

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