Filing For Bankruptcy - Discharging Some Credit Cards and Not Others

If you have a single credit card debt that is proving difficult to pay, you may think about filing for bankruptcy to discharge solely that debt and keep the rest. In other words, you may be looking to use the laws to discharge one debt and none of the others.

Unfortunately, the system doesn't work quite that way.

The law requires that you list all of your debts - not just the ones you want to discharge or those on which you are past due. This is part of the requirement that your entire financial situation be disclosed.

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That means you must list all debts. All assets. All property, no matter where it is located. You don't get to pick and choose what to disclose and what to omit.

You do, however, have some options with respect to keeping a credit card after you file for bankruptcy. You can choose to reaffirm a debt, for example.

Reaffirmation involves an agreement filed with the court. This agreement, made between you and the creditor, involves a repromise to repay the debt in spite of your ability to discharge it. In other words, you and the creditor agree to act as if the bankruptcy never happened.

There is one major downsite to reaffirming a debt. If you stop paying the debt after your case is completed, you will be held legally liable. There's nowhere to run, nowhere to hide.

A reaffirmation agreement must be filed within 60 days after the meeting of creditors. Your lawyer can either certify that the reaffirmation agreement does not impose a hardship for the client, though many lawyers will not do so for various reasons.

If your lawyer will not sign the reaffirmation agreement then the judge will usually schedule a hearing to ask you about your circumstances and to make sure that the agreement does not impose a hardship on you. If the judge doesn't believe it is in your best interests then he or she may refuse to allow the reaffirmation agreement.

Even if you do sign a reaffirmation agreement you still have 60 days after the agreement is filed with the court or from the date of your bankruptcy discharge to change your mind.

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