So you found out that you have to file for bankruptcy and figure you’ll go out with a bang by buying as much as you can while maxing out your credit cards. It makes sense doesn’t it? Credit cards are unsecured debt, so they’ll be discharged in a bankruptcy anyway right? Wrong.

It may be tempting to max out your credit cards just before you file for bankruptcy and take out cash advances on credit cards in order to pay off student loans or secured debt, but it’s a terrible decision to make. Many people come up with this bright idea thinking that they’re the only ones, but the courts have seen these tricks far more times than you think. This is considered fraudulent debt, and it will not be discharged.

Many courts and companies liken this revenge spending to stealing because you’re racking up debt without the intention of paying it off. So, what could happen if you try to pull of this stunt?

Well, first of all, it’s likely the creditors will get the debt excluded from your discharge, so you will still have to pay it. According to the law, there are certain debts like maxing out your cards before filing for bankruptcy that cannot be discharged. Here’s the relevant section from 11 USC 523:

(I) consumer debts owed to a single creditor and aggregating more than $500 for luxury goods or services incurred by an individual debtor on or within 90 days before the order for relief under this title are presumed to be nondischargeable; and

(II) cash advances aggregating more than $750 that are extensions of consumer credit under an open end credit plan obtained by an individual debtor on or within 70 days before the order for relief under this title, are presumed to be nondischargeable;

As you can see, they have this covered and they will go back to check. In Arizona courts, there could also be more serious consequences, including having your request for bankruptcy denied.

That’s why it’s important to consult an experienced bankruptcy attorney in Phoenix as soon as possible to get sound advice on what you should and shouldn’t do.