Can I Keep One of my Credit Cards When Filing Bankruptcy?

This is one of the questions that our Arizona bankruptcy lawyers often are asked.  Many people who need to declare bankruptcy have a favorite credit card that they want to keep even after they have filed for bankruptcy protection.  

Keeping a credit card while filing bankruptcy

Unfortunately, you can not pick and choose which debts you are wanting to include in your bankruptcy.  Thus, in a word “No”  you can not keep one of your cards when filing for bankruptcy in Arizona.  We understand that it makes no sense, if you want to pay back some of your debt, it just isn’t fair to your other creditors.
An example of how this might work is:  You have a balance that you want to Discharge on your Mastercard but want to continue to pay the personal loan that you borrowed from your work’s credit union.  That is not something that you can do.  Picking and choosing debts to include in bankruptcy is not allowed.
Credit Cards with Zero Balance in Bankruptcy

Often, people will tell our experienced bankruptcy attorneys that they chose not to include a creditor on their bankruptcy because the card had a zero balance.  Just because they don’t owe money on a card does not make it a card that they can choose not to include.
In fairness, usually they are wanting to hang on to that credit card because it is $0 balance and they hope it will help them re-establish their credit after filing bankruptcy.  Unfortunately, the lenders (issuers of the credit card) don’t look at this the same way.  Most often, the lenders subscribe to services that follow and update current bankruptcies that are filed.  Thus, the lenders compare bankruptcy filings to their own database.  Any active account that the lender might have (Even with a $0 Balance) that matches up to a bankruptcy case will lose borrowing privileges.  Your credit card will be canceled, even sans a balance.
Can I Exclude a Credit Card when Declaring Bankruptcy?  It’s an Important Card.
So, what if I just exclude a card and don’t tell anyone about it?  Will that allow me to keep a credit card when declaring bankruptcy?  Once again, no matter how important the credit or department store card might be, excluding the account and/or the card is simply not an option.  We feel that you should use one of the federal debt relief programs:  Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 in order to start a new debt freeChapter of your life.   

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