One of our old cars needs new tires and possibly a radiator repair. We plan on filing in a few weeks. Can we go ahead and get the repairs done?
If it isn't obvious from what has been said, if you are paying cash, these expenses should be fine and will not likely create any problems. Keep receipts just in case the trustee wants to see them. If you charge these on a credit card, after you have begun planning for a bankruptcy, it could be construed as a nondischargeable constructive fraud, and that could be a problem. You cannot intentionally incur debt that you know you will not pay in advance of a bankruptcy filing. Hope this is clear, and good luck to you.
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Why are you concerned that this would not be allowed? These are ordinary living expenses. As long as you are intending to pay for them, these transactions are irrelevant to the bankruptcy. To be confident in your bankruptcy planning, and prepare to file a problem-free petition, you should avail yourself of competent representation. If you do not know a good bankruptcy lawyer, use the attorney-finder at www.nacba.org. I am a longtime proud member of NACBA and trust my WA colleagues to advise accurately and aggressively protect your interests.
Best wishes for a favorable outcome, and please remember to designate a best answer.
This answer is offered as a public service for general information only and may not be relied upon as legal advice.
As noted above, these expenses are certainly valid. I would just add that it would be good to keep receipts and records of the transactions (don't pay your friend cash under the table for the work, essentially). You will be providing bank statements to the trustee, and they may ask for records if they see a lot of money leaving your account just before filing. The Seattle Chapter 7 trustees most likely won't have too many questions, if any, but it's good to have the records just in case.
Reasonable and necessary expenses are will not be questioned. If you charge them immediately before filing, there is a possibility that you will have to pay the amount back, but unless you are clearly charging with the intent to avoid paying, there should be no problem with getting a discharge on the rest of your debt.