Do I have to file bankruptcy on all my credit cards or can I keep one?

When you file bankruptcy, under the bankruptcy laws, you must list all of your debts and all of your assets. Additionally, it is up to the creditors to decide whether they will leave your cards open or not. It is extremely likely that the creditors will not decide to keep your accounts open. In fact, in my experience a creditor has NEVER kept an account open. That does not mean though that you will never have credit again. Building your credit up is something you can begin working on immediately upon your discharge from bankruptcy.


Under 11 U.S.C. §521, the bankruptcy laws list the specific debtor’s duties. You, the person filing bankruptcy, are the debtor. The things you are required to do include:

  1. Filing a list of all of your creditors
  2. Filing a schedule of all the things you own (assets)
  3. Filing a schedule of all the debts you have (liabilities)
  4. Filing a schedule of all of your income
  5. Filing a schedule of all of your expenses
  6. Providing copies of your paystubs or other proof of income
  7. Filing your credit counseling certificate (required before you file)
  8. Filing your debtor education counseling certificate (required after you file)
  9. Providing your tax returns to the bankruptcy trustee
  10. Attend a meeting of creditors and bring your photo identification and social security card


In #3 above, you are required to list all of your debts on Schedule D (for secured debts) or Schedule E/F for unsecured debts. You are not allowed to withhold any debts from bankruptcy. If you have specific questions about the treatment or payback of any debts, consider meeting with an experienced bankruptcy attorney to understand your rights and your creditors’ rights.


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