At What Amount Should You File Bankruptcy on Credit Card Debt in Philadelphia?

At What Amount Should You File Bankruptcy on Credit Card Debt in Philadelphia?

Credit card debt exerts a heavy financial burden on most American households, including thousands of households right here in Pennsylvania. In fact, according to credit rating agency TransUnion, the average Pennsylvanian has about $4,600 in credit card debt. The question is, how much credit card is too much? And at what point should filing bankruptcy become a consideration? Continue reading to hear bankruptcy attorneys in Philadelphia discuss bankruptcy and credit card debt – including what can happen if you run up your credit cards before filing bankruptcy.

bankruptcy lawyer near me

What is the Minimum Debt to File Bankruptcy in Pennsylvania?

A credit card can be a double-edged sword. On one hand, credit cards are a convenient way to build credit, enjoy greater financial flexibility, and pay for everyday expenses, all without the hassle or danger of carrying cash around. On the other hand, credit cards can lead even the most responsible cardholders to unintentionally rack up huge amounts of debt.

Contrary to popular belief, credit card debt doesn’t always result from excessive shopping and overspending. Even if the cardholder spends within perfectly reasonable limits, an unforeseeable setback, such as an injury or the loss of a job, can make it burdensome if not impossible to keep up with monthly payments. Then, once a cardholder falls behind, penalties like fees and high interest rates begin to accrue. In many cases, it’s only a matter of time before these penalties snowball into a financial catastrophe for the cardholder.

The good news is that bankruptcy can reduce or even erase your credit card debt. But is bankruptcy truly necessary in your situation?

The answer to that question depends on a few factors, including how much credit card debt you have, how much debt you have from other sources, and what your overall financial goals are. When you contact the Philadelphia Chapter 7 bankruptcy lawyers or Chapter 13 bankruptcy attorneys of Sadek & Cooper for your free bankruptcy consultation, we can talk about all of these issues in detail, including other important information like your income and assets. Because our law firm handles both bankruptcy and alternatives to bankruptcy, we are thoroughly prepared to help you compare your options in depth.

Without knowing any information about your debts, income, or assets, it’s impossible to gauge whether filing bankruptcy would be the best and most appropriate way to address your credit card debt. However, in advance of your consultation, we can offer some general information about eliminating credit card debt with bankruptcy:

  • Alternatives to bankruptcy could work better for you. Bankruptcy is great for certain debtors, but isn’t the ideal approach to every situation. For example, if you’re struggling to make your minimum payments, you might be a good candidate for debt consolidation. It’s important to review your options with a Philadelphia bankruptcy alternatives lawyer who can educate you about the short-term and long-term consequences of each financial strategy. Depending on how deep in debt you are, budgeting more aggressively and making simple lifestyle changes could be enough to solve the problem.
  • There is no “minimum amount of debt” to file bankruptcy. Your credit card debt does not need to meet a minimum threshold before you file bankruptcy. Some debtors have a few thousand dollars in debt, while others have tens or hundreds of thousands. However, there are maximum thresholds. If your unsecured debt (which includes credit card debt) exceeds $394,725, you will be prohibited from filing Chapter 13. But with that in mind…
  • Debt isn’t the only reason to file bankruptcy. Even if your total amount of credit card debt is relatively low, filing bankruptcy could still be advantageous for other reasons. For example, bankruptcy’s “automatic stay” can put a stop to debt collectors and utility shut-offs. If credit card debt has caused you additional financial problems, such as difficulty paying off your mortgage or car loans, bankruptcy can also help you avoid foreclosure and repossession.

Ultimately, there are many reasons to consider filing bankruptcy, even if credit card debt plays only a small role in your financial difficulties.

bankruptcy lawyer philadelphia

Using Credit Cards Before Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

As a final word of caution, it’s a very bad idea to run up your credit card before bankruptcy, both a legal and financial standpoint. The reason is simple: it’s a form of fraud.

If you intentionally run up huge credit card charges with the intent to file bankruptcy afterward, your credit card company can file a complaint asking the bankruptcy court to deny your discharge, which is what eliminates the debt. If the bankruptcy court agrees with the credit card company, it will declare your credit card debt to be non-dischargeable, which means you will not be able to wipe out the debt.

If a debt is declared non-dischargeable, it has to be paid off. Only dischargeable debts – which credit card debts typically are, absent fraud or other problems – can be wiped out in bankruptcy.

Philadelphia Bankruptcy Lawyers Can Help You Eliminate Credit Card Debt

Don’t let anxiety about credit card bills continue to control your life. If debt is causing problems for you, help is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Get the fresh start you deserve by filing Chapter 7, filing Chapter 13, or exploring alternatives to bankruptcy in Pennsylvania.

To learn more about eliminating your credit card debt in a free and confidential legal consultation, call the Philadelphia credit card debt lawyers of Sadek & Cooper Law Offices at (215)-545-0008 today. We proudly serve Philadelphia County, Delaware County, Montgomery County, and beyond.




Doug Tinlin
Doug Tinlin
06:55 15 Feb 18
Brad Sadek gave me hope when he decided to handle my mortgage for enclosure defense. I had exactly 10 days left of the 30 days ultimatum given me, but he was able to bargain for an extra 30 days for me to pay up. That duration turned out just right.
Jacinth Jacinth
Jacinth Jacinth
16:07 31 Jan 18
Excellent service. Brad and Matt were outstanding and friendly. They helped me through this. I’ve never met attorneys like these. Thank you!
julie njoku
julie njoku
12:29 24 Jan 18
Brad Sadek is excellent!. He understands and he's fair. You feel like you have someone fighting for you. The staff is friendly, professional, and courteous. These guys are the best at what they do !
Owen Black
Owen Black
20:14 09 Jan 18
Thanks for the great service! I would recommend this firm highly. Throughout the years I have been helped by this firm greatly and very much appreciated.
Steven Rychalsky
Steven Rychalsky
15:30 09 Jan 18
Sadek and Cooper law office was a wonderful experience to work with. Bankruptcy is a difficult experience but they helped with the stress so much and made it easy. I would recommend Sadek and copper too anyone.
Chris Kourelias
Chris Kourelias
19:09 28 Dec 17
Working with both Brad & Matthew was a pleasure. Both gentlemen are extremely knowledgeable and helpful in providing me the right assistance needed to make the correct decision to benefit me in the long run. I would recommend both candidates to anyone looking for assistance with a reputable law firm.
Jennyfer Santana
Jennyfer Santana
21:17 21 Dec 17
Highly Recommended. Matt & Brad assisted with my case. I felt comfortable throughout the entire process. Matt was very understanding, patient, and ensured he answered all my questions! Both great guys and very friendly! It was a pleasure working with Matt and Brad.
See All Reviews Write a review
Call Us Now