As others have said, it is generally better to do it before. You will avoid problems such as garnishments.
That being said, a bankruptcy filed only days after a judgment was rendered can prevent most of the same problems from ever occurring.
This response is for informational purposes only and is not legal advice. Legal advice is extremely fact-dependent and you should therefore consult a legal professional in person. No attorney-client relationship is formed as a result of the attorney responding to your question or by you reading the attorney's response.
Generally, I'd say it's better to file first because that will prevent the creditor from causing you grief by garnishing your wages, freezing your bank account, or putting a lien on your house. All of those things can be dealt with in the bankruptcy process, but your attorney will want (and deserve) additional fees.
While its not possible to know the correct answer without a review of the totality of your circumstances, and the specifics of your bankruptcy would also come to bear on the answer (Ch. 7, Ch. 13, State, etc.) - generally, the Bankruptcy filing will also stop the legal action in its tracks - i.e. the credit card issuer can not continue to pursue the lawsuit until the BK is resolved.
This may be advantages financially and emotionally, allowing you to get on with things without being first dragged through the lawsuit.
Please note that this answer is generic in nature and does not constitute legal advice with regard to any particular circumstances or facts and does not establish an attorney client relationship.
Particularly if you own any real estate it's better to file before the judgment to avoid having to avoid a lien on the property, it's an extra step that costs more and most people find it too cumbersome to handle without an attorney.
If you file bankruptcy before the judgment is rendered, the pending lawsuit will be dismissed.
If possible, it is better to file for bankruptcy before a judgment is rendered.
You will avoid the hassles of mandatory court appearances (if applicable), garnishment of your wages or other types of execution/levying on your property.
In addition, once a judgment has been issued in state court, you often need to pay an additional fee to have it removed after your bankruptcy is completed.
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