Do I have to be behind on payments before I can file bankruptcy?

The short answer is “no.” Being current or behind has nothing to do with your ability to file for Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy. You can be totally up-to-date on all of your bills or you can be years behind.

Maybe you are totally current on all of your bills but you know there is no realistic possibility of paying off the debt. This is a good time to reassess your situation and get help.

Oftentimes, clients are afraid of falling behind because they fear the collection calls. So, you just continue to make the monthly minimum payments on your credit card bill. This is a terrible idea because:

1) you aren’t making any headway in paying off the debt; and
2) you are throwing your hard earned money away.

If you are having difficulty paying all of your bills, focus on paying on those things you need – for example, rent, mortgage, car payments. Additionally, debts that will not be forgiven even after bankruptcy should get paid – such as student loans, alimony, child support and recent taxes. Credit card payments should be last on the list to get paid.