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How Much Debt Do You Have to Be In To File Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?

When you are unable to make your payments on a loan, credit cards, or medical bills, filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy may be your best option, especially if you’re struggling to keep up with your housing costs. But how much debt do you have to be in to file Chapter 7?

We are asked this question frequently, and there is no minimum or maximum amount of debt you have to have to declare bankruptcy. However, there are several other factors that determine your eligibility as well as whether you’re a good candidate to file. Our bankruptcy attorney in Florida is exploring these factors to help you make the right choice for your financial future.

Understanding Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

Chapter 7 bankruptcy is known as liquidation bankruptcy. Your assets are liquidated, and they are sold to pay for your debts, and after this is completed, the debts included in the bankruptcy are discharged, meaning you no longer owe the creditors. In most cases, as long as you maintain good standing with your mortgage and car payment, you will be able to keep your property (though maybe not your equity) and some property is exempted.

Chapter 7 is not available for everyone. There are strict limitations based on your family size and your income to determine your ability to pay your debts.

What Debt Is and Is Not Discharged Under Chapter 7?

Most unsecured debt can be discharged under Chapter 7 bankruptcy proceedings. This includes:

  • Credit cards
  • Personal loans
  • Old utility bills
  • Medical bills

Some debts can not be discharged, including:

  • Most federal student loans
  • Some tax debt
  • Domestic debt, including child support and alimony that is owed.

Who Is a Good Candidate for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?

If you are struggling to pay your bills or have fallen significantly behind on debt repayment, and your income is below the specific threshold, you may be a good candidate for filing Chapter 7. However, it may not be best for every situation, especially when there are other options that can protect your property. Good candidates for Chapter 7 include

  • You are carrying large balances on credit card bills and having to choose the bills you can pay every month;
  • You’re getting frequent calls and letters from creditors;
  • Interest and late fees make it impossible to catch up or make a dent in your debts;
  • People who rent or who own minimal property;
  • Most of your debt can be discharged (like credit cards or medical bills);

If you’re not sure if you are a good candidate for Chapter 7, or need to learn about your other options, it’s important to speak with an experienced bankruptcy attorney who can help you choose the right option.

Schedule a Free Consultation with a Bankruptcy Attorney Today

Whether you have $6,000 in debt or $60,000, we are here to help. With over 20 years of legal experience related to bankruptcy, we are dedicated to helping our clients develop a plan to deal with debt and move forward toward financial freedom. Schedule a free consultation today by calling [phone] or filling out the form below to get started.

Written By:

Attorney Robert Stiberman

Robert is an experienced bankruptcy attorney adept at handling Chapter 7, 13, and 11 filings, with more than 15 years of experience in bankruptcy cases. Robert represents clients in both consumer and business bankruptcy ... Read More

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