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Bryan P. Keenan

Facing bankruptcy: can I use my credit card for groceries?

Facing bankruptcy is a difficult time for anyone. It becomes even more stressful when there are dependents involved. You may be watching your disposable income run low and fear for the future—how do you keep food on the table when there just isn’t any money left?

If you recently filed for bankruptcy, or are seriously considering filing for it soon, some credit card companies may frown upon using your credit card for certain purchases. For example, if it seems like you suddenly made changes to your purchasing patterns, or made unnecessary purchases, credit card companies may charge you with fraud.

Avoiding fraud with credit cards

Luckily, most credit cards companies are supportive and understanding if you can show that the purchases made were necessary to you and your family. Necessary purchases are considered items like:

  • Groceries
  • Medications/medicine
  • Gas for vehicles
  • Diapers

As long as you can prove that the items bought on your credit cards were necessary to you or your family’s needs, most credit card companies forgive the debt when you file for bankruptcy. However, they will look closely at the last 90 days of your credit card usage before you filed for bankruptcy, as this is the time frame when someone could make large unnecessary purchases knowing that their debt would be forgiven during bankruptcy.

Using credit cards in this way is the definition of fraud and is taken very seriously by the state of Pennsylvania—you could be charged with bankruptcy fraud or credit card fraud when using your credit cards for the wrong types of purchases. The bottom line is: groceries and necessary items are generally okay, but be wary about other large purchases.

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Bryan P. Keenan & Associates, P.C.

993 Greentree Road
Suite 101
Pittsburgh, PA 15220

Phone: 412-923-4941
Fax: 412-444-0158
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