Jeffrey M. Rosenblum, P.C.
A Fresh Start

Can credit card companies collect after bankruptcy?

You have over $20,000 in credit card debt. You are thinking of using Chapter 7 bankruptcy to get a fresh start. What you want to know is whether or not the credit card companies can still come after you for payment once your bankruptcy filing is completely.

They cannot. As long as those debts are both included in your bankruptcy filing and then discharged, all attempts to collect have to stop.

If you get another credit card after bankruptcy, any debt on that card is fair game. New debts are not exempt, even if you get them from the same lenders. But those older debts are gone.

You may have to pay off some of what you owe during the bankruptcy process itself. With Chapter 7, assets that do not qualify for exemptions -- these exemptions may include tools of the trade, your home, your car, etc. -- get sold and the proceeds are split up between creditors. If you have $10,000 worth of assets to sell, for instance, the credit card companies may get a portion of that.

They're not going to get everything. Your $10,000 does not fully cover what you owe, and some of that must go to other lenders if you have more than just credit card debt. The remaining debt then gets eliminated and they cannot try to get it from you in the future.

If you do want to use Chapter 7 bankruptcy to seek that fresh start, make sure you know exactly what legal steps you need to take so that the process goes smoothly.

Source: Credit, "I Have $23K of Credit Card Debt. Is Bankruptcy My Best Option?," Karin Price Mueller, accessed May 11, 2018

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