How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Ellen Your Own Question
Ellen, Attorney
Category: Bankruptcy Law
Satisfied Customers: 36714
Experience:  Bankruptcy Lawyer. Experienced.
Type Your Bankruptcy Law Question Here...
Ellen is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I have been using credit cards for the last 5 months really

Resolved Question:

I have been using credit cards for the last 5 months really heavy because I got cut in pay and my mom back home needed some help. Now I am getting to the point that I have about 130K in credit card debt and I can not pay it any longer. But I am afraid how is that look like if I try to file bakrupcy being that I have been using credit cards for the last 5 months?? I live in CA.
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Bankruptcy Law
Expert:  Ellen replied 8 years ago.

You will want to stop using the credit cards for at least 60 days prior to filing bankruptcy. It will "look" like you had a cut in pay and could not meet your expenses. This is not unusual.

As an individual, there are two types of bankruptcy available. A Chapter 7 and a Chapter 13. There are distinct differences in between a Chapter 7 and a Chapter 13 bankruptcy.


A Chapter 7 bankruptcy could discharge (erase) all of your unsecured debt such as credit cards, judgments and personal loans. It would be an opportunity for a fresh financial start. However, you may have to surrender assets, if any, that exceed your exemption.


A Chapter 13 bankruptcy is a repayment plan for an individual. It may require that you repay some of your unsecured credit card debt over a 3 -5 year period. However, you may retain assets that exceed your exemption.

Here are the exemptions for California:


Best wishes for a successful outcome. If you have additional questions, please do not hesitate to submit them to me directly.

Thank you,
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Thank you. How many months back they usually look on your credit card and bank statements? Also I am legally married but my husband name is XXXXX XXXXX any of these credit cards. Would that affect him?
Expert:  Ellen replied 8 years ago.



A six month lookback period is typical.


A husband and wife are not required to file a bankruptcy jointly. One party can file without the other.


The effect on the non-filing spouse will be dependent upon whether there are joint debts and/or joint assets. If there are no joint debts and no joint assets, there may be little or no effect on the non-filing spouse. If there are joint debts and/or joint assets, the non-filing spouse would remain liable on the joint debt and the joint assets would need to be included in the filing.


I hope that the information which I provided was helpful to you.



Please click ACCEPT/BONUS so that I can get credit for my work



Ellen and 2 other Bankruptcy Law Specialists are ready to help you