Should I Pay My Bills Before Filing for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?


Chapter 7 bankruptcy is designed to help people clear out debts which they can’t afford to pay off. Due to the very nature of this process, many people wonder if they should even bother paying their creditors if they plan on filing for Chapter 7. In this blog, our Atlanta bankruptcy attorneys discuss what debts you can ignore, and which ones should always be paid.

Nondischargeable Debts

Some debts cannot be discharged in any bankruptcy case, unless the debtor can prove that they have some sort of extraordinary circumstance. You should always prioritize paying off these debts, as they will follow you even after the completion of your bankruptcy case. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Certain tax debts
  • Debts related to child or spousal support
  • Student loans
  • Debts related to a DUI injury case
  • Criminal restitution payments

Dischargeable Debts

If a debt is dischargeable, it may not be in your best interests to make payments prior to filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. However, this will depend on the type of debt, as well as how soon you plan to actually file. For example, you will likely want to continue making your mortgage or car payments, unless you expect that it will be sold during the bankruptcy process. For credit cards, on the other hand, making payments can be a waste of money.

However, this does NOT mean that you now have free license to rack up credit card bills. If the court suspects that you used the cards to purchase luxury items, or that you were attempting to charge money with no intention of paying it back, they may choose not to discharge these debts.

Don’t Take Unnecessary Risks

While paying certain creditors prior to filing bankruptcy can be a waste of money, you should always seek counsel from an experienced Atlanta bankruptcy lawyer before making this decision. When you retain Purcell Law Firm, P.C., our attorneys can educate you on the best course of action, and help guide you to debt relief.

Considering bankruptcy? Call (978) 853-6497 today for seasoned counsel.