Q: I cant afford to pay my credit cards. Can bankruptcy help me? A: Bankruptcy is a very effective way to help you with overwhelming credit card debt. Credit card debt is generally unsecured. That means that the credit card company (or merchant) cannot take back the property that you purchased if you dont pay for it. However, there are certain credits cards where you have given the seller the right to take back the things you have bought if you dont pay for them. Electronic stores and jewelry stores sometimes have such an agreement in the credit card application. If your credit card debt is discharged in bankruptcy, you no longer owe it. If the credit card company or collection agency is calling you to collect, they have to stop as soon as you file your bankruptcy petition in Court. If there is a lawsuit against you by the credit card company, it has to stop. If there is a judgment against you by the credit card company (after a lawsuit), they cannot collect on it. If your bank account is being attached by a credit card company, it has to be released. However, if you have used your credit card in the 60 days before you file for bankruptcy to buy luxury items or for a cash advance more than $1,000, there is a legal presumption that you did not intend to pay this money back. This can be considered to be fraud. In that case, you could still have to pay that money back to the credit card company. Also, if you have used your credit card to purchase luxury items or take vacations and actually intended to file for bankruptcy to avoid paying, this debt might not be dischargeable. The creditor has the burden to prove your fraudulent intent. You can only get a Chapter 7 bankruptcy discharge if you can prove that you do not have the ability to repair your debts. You have to show that after paying for your necessities of life (mortgage, rent, car payments, food, medical costs, clothing, etc.) that you cannot pay back your past debts. If you have enough money left over at the end of each month to pay part of your past debts, you may want to consider Chapter 13 bankruptcy the wage earner plan. In summary, if you really cannot afford to pay your credit card bills, bankruptcy can be right for you. However, if you just dont want to pay them, even though you could afford to, bankruptcy is not the right answer.