What happens if I charge up credit cards before I file for bankruptcy?

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Q. I have more credit card debt than I will ever be able to pay, especially now that interest rates are higher. I know I will end up charging more for the holidays. Can I do that and still declare bankruptcy after the new year?
— Spender

A. We’re sorry to hear you haven’t been able to keep up with your credit card debt.

It’s not always easy, but you need to stop spending more than you can pay.

As for bankruptcy, many people file after the holidays, said Karra Kingston, a bankruptcy attorney in Union City.

However, she said, anything within 90 days of filing for bankruptcy is technically not dischargeable.

“If you choose to charge a lot of holiday purchases on your credit cards and then file for bankruptcy, you may run the risk of having a creditor object to your discharge,” she said. “In bankruptcy, this means that the creditor can ask that the debt not be discharged because you charged up your cards knowing that you had no intention to ever pay the cards back.”

It isn’t a good idea to start charging up your cards before filing for bankruptcy, she said.

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This story was originally published on Nov. 25, 2022.

NJMoneyHelp.com presents certain general financial planning principles and advice, but should never be viewed as a substitute for obtaining advice from a personal professional advisor who understands your unique individual circumstances.