Credit Card Debt and Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

The United States bankruptcy code is in place to discharge many different types of individual consumer and business debts.  However, some debts are more difficult to have discharged and some debts are not discharged in bankruptcy at all.  For example, there is a common misperception that student loans cannot be discharged in bankruptcy.  While student loans are typically exempted from the general discharge a bankruptcy court grants a filer at the conclusion of a typical bankruptcy case, one can formally request the bankruptcy court to discharge student loans.  The process can be protracted and expensive, however, because one must hire a bankruptcy attorney to start a lawsuit against a student loan creditor in bankruptcy court.  The burden of proof is on the filer who is asking the bankruptcy court to discharge the student loan.  A filer must show that the student loan could cause the filer to experience an undue financial hardship going forward.  Common types of debt that are often not discharged through the bankruptcy process include alimony, child support, most tax debts, and debts resulting from personal injuries that someone may have caused while driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Though there are whispers of changes to make it easier to discharge student loans in bankruptcy, the other aforementioned debts will likely remain excluded from discharge in any bankruptcy case. However, some of the more common debts that the majority of filers use bankruptcy to resolve include medical bills, mortgages, car loans, and credit card debts. At Behm Law Group Ltd., our attorneys can help you build a successful case for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Fairmont, MN, and the surrounding region. Behm lawyers will work with you from start to finish to help get your debts discharged and find long-term financial stability through the Chapter 7 bankruptcy process.

Most individual consumers in Minnesota have credit card debt. The average amount of credit card debt across the state since 2019 is around $6,000 to $30,000, but those who file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy can have anywhere between $3,000 and upward of $100,000. Since there is no debt limit in Chapter 7, filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy is the most effective solution for those with serious amounts of unsecured debts like credit card and medical debts.

The Chapter 7 bankruptcy process works to liquidate your non-exempt assets in exchange the discharge of your debts.  A discharge will vary on a case by case basis depending on debt types, but overall, credit card debt and other unsecured debts are discharged in full. In order to find out if you qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you need to take the Means Test, which determines whether your income is under or over the state median/average income for a household of similar size. If your income is lower, you qualify for Chapter 7 and you can start your bankruptcy petition.

Once you have made the decision to seek debt relief through the Chapter 7 bankruptcy process, it is not advisable for you to make further payments to most of your creditors because any debts to those creditors will be fully discharged. As soon as you find out that you qualify to file a Chapter 7 case and you’ve gotten the go-ahead from your lawyer, stop paying your credit card and other debts that you don’t want to keep. If you continue payments past that point, it will simply put you in a worse financial situation because you could be using that money for other, more productive purposes.

When you file your petition, an automatic stay under 11 U.S.C. § 362 is imposed upon your creditors preventing them from initiating or continuing any collection actions against you. This means that those creditors will not be able to impose additional late fees against you as your case continues.  It also means that your creditors cannot harass or sue you. If any creditors start or continue collection actions against you, Behm Law Group bankruptcy attorneys are here to protect you and hold those creditors accountable in court by formally asking the court to hold them in contempt.

Thousands of Americans resolve their credit card and other debts through the  bankruptcy process. To learn more about filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Fairmont, MN with the help of a skilled attorney, call Behm Law Group Ltd. at (507) 387-7200 or email