Can I still use my credit cards before I file for Chapter 7?
Generally credit card debt is dischargeable (able to be erased) in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. However, there are exceptions: (1) If you use one credit card to buy more that $600 worth of “luxury goods or services” within 90 days of filing for bankruptcy, the debt is presumed to be non-dischargeable (you would still owe it after the Chapter 7 is finished). (2) If you take over $875 in cash advances from a credit card within 70 days of filing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, the debt is presumed to be non-dischargeable.
While you should not knowlingly use your credit cards this way, it is up to the credit card company to raise the issue with the Bankruptcy Court by filing a proper, timely objection while your Chapter 7 case is pending. In the event the credit card company files an objection, the matter would likely be set for a hearing. If the credit card company never files an objection, the debt will normally be discharged.