Part of my job is determining whether a person qualifies for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy. The first thing you need to do is come to my office for a meeting. We offer free in-person consultation, and we also offer free phone consultations. Deciding which type of bankruptcy is right for you is really determined on a case-by-case basis.
Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
The qualifications for a Chapter 7 are determined by what we call the “means test.” Bankruptcy is means tested, which means you have to have an income below a certain amount of money — which is the median income for your state. So if you make below median income, then you qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. I will be able to go over those numbers with you and compare them to the national standard for bankruptcy.
Chapter 13 Bankruptcy
There are a lot of different factors that determine whether or not you can qualify for Chapter 13 bankruptcy. One of the big ones is disposable income. At the end of the day you have to have money left over to pay your creditors. What we do is take your income from all sources and then we subtract your regularly incurred monthly expenses. What is left over is going to be your planned payment. That’s what we need to determine on a case-by-case basis, and that’s why you really need to consult with a qualified bankruptcy attorney who can sit down with you and review your income and expenses to determine what you qualify for.