Best Riverside Bankruptcy Lawyer – Bankruptcy Attorney
When you file a Riverside bankruptcy, what kinds of debts are dischargeable under the Bankruptcy Code? Credit card debts are usually discharged in bankruptcy. However, this should be taken as a general statement only. Taxes paid through credit cards are usually not dischargeable in bankruptcy. But, we know that taxes may be paid through credit cards. In fact, this kind of payment is encouraged by state and federal governments. So what do we do?
Why is a credit card debt used to pay taxes not dischargeable in bankruptcy? As a Riverside bankruptcy lawyer specializing in Chapter 13 cases, I have encountered several legal opinions holding that it is considered fraud to incur a credit card debt without the present intent to repay the debt. Several courts have ruled that Section 523(a)(2) of the Bankruptcy Code, an exception to the discharge for money obtained by false pretenses or fraud, applies to credit card purchases made without the intent to repay them. So, depending on the timing of your tax payment, in conjunction with your financial situation, the trustee may consider the tax payment fraudulent.
In 2005, the Legislature passed two laws to protect credit card companies, specifically noting these kinds of situations. When a credit card is used to pay a tax that is non-dischargeable, Sections 523(a)(14) and 523(a)(14A) protect the creditor from discharge of the debt in bankruptcy. Under the 2005 laws, use of a credit card to pay taxes may make the taxes dischargeable with the passage of time, into a debt that never becomes dischargeable.
Given these new laws, it may not be a good idea to pay taxes using credit cards. Personal income tax that is due for recent years is considered a priority and is not dischargeable under the bankruptcy code. While the tax would become dischargeable in two or three years, if not paid, the credit card debt used to pay it would not.
Attorneys are of the opinion that if you are considering a Riverside Chapter 7 or 13 bankruptcy in the near future, it is best to start minimizing the use of your credit cards now.
A Riverside bankruptcy is composed of inter-related laws and rules. The award-winning lawyers at Thompson | Wedeking have helped thousands of people, just like you, get the fresh start they deserve. Don’t let another day go by giving your hard earned money to creditors. Please call our office at 888.558.2992 for a free-no hassle consultation, download a copy of our free California Guide to Bankruptcy or find out how you can become a client right now.