Can't I just go to Cancun before I file - I've had a very hard year and I deserve a trip, or a fur coat, or a weekend gambling . . .
No, you can't have a fling before filing bankruptcy, and don't even think about maxing out your cards.
Stop Using Credit Cards After Deciding to File Bankruptcy
Once you have decided to file for bankruptcy, you should stop using your credit cards. Credit card issuers have reason to suspect that some individuals will run-up charges on their credit cards before bankruptcy, thinking what the heck the debt will be discharged anyway. However, when you file for bankruptcy, it's more than likely that your credit card issuer will examine your account records. If you charge items too close to filing for bankruptcy, that is, 90 days before your filed, or if you take cash advances within 70 days of filing, the credit card issuer may sue you in bankruptcy court seeking to make those recent charges non-dischargeable. You will incur additional legal fees and you would still owe those amounts after your bankruptcy was closed. So what is the point of your little fling if you are going to have to pay for it anyway? Doesn't that defeat the purpose of your bankruptcy?
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So don't charge luxury goods before your bankruptcy. It's one thing if you are using credit cards as a means of survival or for your support, charging groceries and gasoline, it's something entirely different to charge luxury goods with the idea that you're not going to pay for them. It may be considered fraud to buy items like an IPhone, jewelry, or a Nook-color whether for yourself or as a gift for someone else before you file for bankruptcy. The bankruptcy code states that $500 or more in luxury goods or services charged to one creditor within 90 days of filing for bankruptcy are presumed to be non-dischargeable. And the credit card issuers do know what you charged - it's on their records.
My best advice: don't.
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