Do I Qualify for Bankruptcy?
Pay Attention to California Restrictions
If you are considering filing for bankruptcy, the first question you should ask yourself is: Do I qualify for bankruptcy? Attorney Chris Bush can help you determine the answer to that question and whether bankruptcy is right for you.
San Diego personal bankruptcy lawyer Chris Bush has developed a law practice focused exclusively on helping individuals and families find debt relief. His arguments in several California courts have influenced bankruptcy case law and he is regionally known as a lecturer on bankruptcy law. Contact him today to speak to learn about your options.
Individuals and families may be eligible to file for bankruptcy under two chapters of the federal Bankruptcy Code: Chapter 7 and Chapter 13.
Do I Qualify for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?
Chapter 7 bankruptcy eliminates most consumer debt and provides individuals and families with a "fresh start." However, Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection is not available for everyone.
To file for bankruptcy under Chapter 7, you must pass a financial means test known as the California Bankruptcy Means Test. If your income is less than the median income in California, you likely qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. If it is higher than the median income, you may still qualify for bankruptcy if, over the next five years, your disposable income (your gross income minus allowed expenses) will be less than $11,725*, or less than 25 percent* of your nonpriority unsecured debt (such as credit cards).
It does not matter if you have extensive debt or if you are solvent or insolvent. The means test is the only financial requirement that you must meet to qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing.
Do I Qualify for Chapter 13 Bankruptcy?
Chapter 13 bankruptcy is available to many individuals who do not qualify under Chapter 7. Chapter 13 bankruptcy does not discharge all bankruptcy debt. Rather, it makes paying back debts more manageable through a debt repayment plan.
Chapter 13 bankruptcy relief is available for any individual with less than $360,475* of unsecured debt and less than $1,081,400* of secured debt.
When Can't I File for Bankruptcy?
You may not qualify to file for either Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy if:
- Within the last 180 days, a prior bankruptcy proceeding was dismissed because of your actions.
- You refused credit counseling from an appropriate credit counseling agency.
*Note: The financial numbers on this page change over time.