If credit card issuers fail to obey a bankruptcy rule that requires them to notify the court when they negotiate payments with debtor cardholders, they could end up with a mountain of debt of their own.

The rule involves the reaffirmation agreements negotiated between debtors and creditors that must be filed with the court in any bankruptcy case. Two major card issuers have faced class actions for failing to follow the letter of the law: Sears, Roebuck & Co. and GE Capital Services.

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