Can I use a credit card to pay for my bankruptcy legal fees?
Filing bankruptcy represents a fresh start, wiping out or reorganizing long-overdue debts. High-interest credit card balances are the most common and burdensome for those struggling to make ends meet.
Selecting the right lawyer should represent a first step towards a solution, not a continuation of the problems that plagued you for years.
In discussions leading up to the 2005 Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act, the incurring of new credit card debt was a prominent topic. Prior to changes in the law, many legal professionals would advise clients to rack up credit debt before a bankruptcy filing that would erase those debts.
Many law firms offer their clients the convenience of credit cards to “purchase” legal services. However, using that form of payment for bankruptcy legal fees violates current federal bankruptcy laws. The purchase represents new debt prohibited in the days before a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 filing and throughout the entire process.
A recent lawsuit filed against a Florida bankruptcy law firm has placed a spotlight on this illegal practice. The proposed class action seeks the return of legal fees paid with credit cards and punitive damages.
Bankruptcy courts commonly erase credit card debts. If a law firm name shows up on credit card statements, those legal fees would not be the responsibility of the client. The balance would be a burden on the nation’s banking system.
If you are experiencing financial problems, creditor harassment, and aggressive collection actions such as foreclosure or repossession, speak to a bankruptcy lawyer about your legal options.