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When Should I Stop Using My Credit Card Before Bankruptcy?

Filing for bankruptcy is a difficult decision and one that should not be taken lightly. But if you have already made the decision to file, there are certain things you should and shouldn’t do before filing to ensure the best possible outcome.

One of these things is understanding when to stop using your credit cards before filing for bankruptcy. The Bay Area bankruptcy attorney at the Law Offices of Melanie Tavare can explain how using your credit cards before bankruptcy can affect the outcome of your case and advise you on when you should stop using credit cards in your particular situation.

The Effects of Credit Card Use Before Bankruptcy

It is crucial that you stop using your credit cards before filing for bankruptcy. When you continue to use them, your creditors will assume that you are able to pay off the debt, which could make it more difficult for you in the long run.

This is because when creditors see continued credit card use, they may think that your financial situation isn’t as bad as you say it is and may challenge your right to file for bankruptcy. In addition, any money spent on unnecessary items could be considered fraudulent under bankruptcy law, so it is important to avoid it altogether before filing.

Under 18 U.S.C. § 157, the consequences of being found guilty of bankruptcy fraud can be dire because it is considered a federal crime punishable by up to five years in federal prison in addition to hefty fines.

What to Do With Your Existing Credit Cards?

When considering whether or not to file for bankruptcy, understanding when and how much credit card debt must be paid off beforehand is key in order to ensure a successful outcome.

Once you have decided not to use your credit cards anymore, the next step is figuring out what to do with them. Since canceling them could hurt your credit score and make it more difficult for you in the long run, it’s best just to keep them open until after the bankruptcy process has been completed.

This will help preserve some of your credit score and make it easier for you to rebuild your credit once the process has ended. You also don’t have to worry about accumulating additional debt since creditors won’t be allowed to extend new lines of credit while you are in the midst of a bankruptcy proceeding.

Thus, by ceasing all new purchases on those cards prior to filing and keeping existing ones open until after the process has been completed, individuals can safeguard their finances while still giving themselves the time and space necessary during this difficult period.

Consult with a Bankruptcy Attorney About Your Credit Card Use

It’s always wise to consult with an experienced attorney who specializes in bankruptcy law before filing for bankruptcy. Melanie Tavare, a bankruptcy attorney who serves clients in Hayward, Oakland, and throughout the Bay Area, can examine your particular case and explain when you should stop using credit cards before bankruptcy, given your particular situation. Call 510-255-4646 today to schedule a free case review with Melanie Tavare. 

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"Melanie is the best she very responsive and helpful throughout the process everything was taken care of smoothly. If you are thinking of going through bankruptcy she is the best attorney for you. I will forever be grateful having the chance to work with her. She is very honest too."


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"Choosing to work with Atty. Melanie has been one of the best decisions I've ever made. She was a very patient professional to work with and attentive while providing valuable solutions to all of my concerns. If you are searching for of an Attorney who is knowledgeable, transparent, and diligent - well that's Atty. Melanie."


"What I liked about working with Melanie was how prompt and easy to work with she was. She made the process clear and understandable with as little stress as possible. I would work with her again and recommend her to others."