What is considered a luxury expense that cannot be discharged in bankruptcy?

Asked almost 3 years ago - El Segundo, CA

I am thinking about filing Chapter 7 but I have some fairly large purchases on my credit cards in the past 90 days. Most are definitely for regular living expenses but some are not. Is there a general standard to determine a "luxury expense or service"? Would doing superficial body work on my car be considered "luxury"? If I go to a bankruptcy attorney and pay his/her fees from a credit card, can that amount not be discharged? What about attorney's fees, in general (I was involved in a small litigation recently)?

Attorney answers (4)

  1. Marco Antonio Torres

    Pro

    Contributor Level 12

    2

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Patience is, as they say a virtue, and in this case perhaps a necessity to avoid a presumption which may be too difficult to overcome. Timing is certainly everything and if you are concerned that judgment creditor may come after your assets and/or wages then you should consider how California's 704 exemptions can help you protect your assets until the period of time has run and you are in a better position to file a petition.

  2. Eric Charles Lewis

    Contributor Level 17

    2

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Really, it's just about pure common sense. If it doesn't have to do with the support, maintenance, health and safety of you and your family, it's likely a luxury or item. Cosmetic work done to your car would be a luxury expenses; replacing tires, batteries, headlights would not. Attorney fees are dischargable.

    Advice on this forum is for informational purposes only and should never be mistaken as a substitute for legal... more
  3. Theodore Lyons Araujo

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

    1

    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . Case by case basis but any charges made in the 90 days before you file are presumed to be non-dischargeable and fraudulent transfers IF the credit card companies files an adversary.

    Disclaimer: This answer does not constitute legal advice. I am admitted in the States of New York, New Jersey and... more
  4. Marc Gregory Wagman

    Contributor Level 17

    1

    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . Agreed it is rather common sense. Superficial body work on a car would likely be considered a luxury and not a necessity. If credit cards are used within 90 days of the filing the amounts charged are "presumed" to be non dischargeable. All the creditor need do is file an adversary. Attorneys fee's are dischargeable in a bankruptcy unless they are for alimony child support or other domestic support obligations.

    The response given is not intended to create, nor does it create an ongoing duty to respond to questions. The... more

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