Am I eligible to file for a bankruptcy? 35 Answers as of August 11, 2011

I am struggling to pay rent, my car payments and credit card bills. I have a job, but I feel like I am overwhelmed with expenses and can barely get by each month. What are my options?

Ask a Local Attorney. 100% Anonymous. Free Answers.

Free Case Evaluation by a Local Lawyer: Click here
Advanced Litigation Services
Advanced Litigation Services | Joseph Iarussi
Depending on your income you will probably be eligible for a chapter 7.This will be a way to discharge all your debts.
Answer Applies to: Nevada
Replied: 8/10/2011
Burnham & Associates
Burnham & Associates | Stephanie K. Burnham
You may be eligible to file Bankruptcy however, struggling to pay your bills may not be enough to file. Whether you have filed before, your income, and your amount of debt may all be evaluated in determining if you can file. You should speak with a bankruptcy attorney to evaluate your options.
Answer Applies to: New Hampshire
Replied: 8/9/2011
Financial Relief Law Center
Financial Relief Law Center | Mark Alonso
Ch. 7 Bankruptcy sounds like it's a good option for you. In order to qualify, you would need to see if your income is equal to or less than the average income for an earner in CA. Even if that doesn't work, you may still be able to file if you can pass the means test. Filing for this chapter of bankruptcy will wipe out your unsecured debt and any debt attached to a property that you no longer retained. It is also possible to keep some of your property in a bankruptcy. Other options include settling the debt, but this requires you to be able to save funds or bring in funds (from some source, 401K, family member) to settle the debt. Other options include debt consolidation or just contacting your creditors to see if they can put you on payment plan of some type. Depending on your situation, you may want to contact an attorney to go over your specifics..bankruptcy will probably cost you less in the long run.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 8/9/2011
Heupel Law
Heupel Law | Kevin Heupel
Your options depend on the type of debt, your income, and assets. If your debt is more than 33% of your gross income, then you'll never pay the debt off and should consider bankruptcy. My firm offers free consultations and we can provide you the information you need in order to determine whether bankruptcy is a good option. Please call to schedule your free consultation.
Answer Applies to: Colorado
Replied: 8/11/2011
CONSUMER PROTECTION ASSISTANCE COALITION, INC. (DE).
CONSUMER PROTECTION ASSISTANCE COALITION, INC. (DE). | Gary Lee Lane
YES YOU ARE
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 8/8/2011
    Bankruptcy Law Center
    Bankruptcy Law Center | Bill Zurinskas
    Eligibility for bankruptcy in Colorado depends on whether you have filed bankruptcy before. Assuming you received discharge in the prior chapter 7 bankruptcy, you can file chapter 7 bankruptcy every eight years. Different rules apply if you are filing chapter 13 bankruptcy or if the prior bankruptcy was a chapter 13. Chapter 7 bankruptcy is generally the preferred bankruptcy option, but if your family gross income is over the median gross income for a your family size in Colorado, then you may not qualify for chapter 7 bankruptcy. S
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 8/8/2011
    Berg & McLaughlin, Chtd.
    Berg & McLaughlin, Chtd. | Stephen Snedden
    We do a 30 minute free bankruptcy consultation if you are located in northern Idaho.
    Answer Applies to: Idaho
    Replied: 8/8/2011
    Theodore N. Stapleton, PC
    Theodore N. Stapleton, PC | Theodore N. Stapleton
    In order to qualify for filing a chapter 7 you must satisfy the means test which imposes an income ceiling based on your average monthly income for the past 6 months.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 8/8/2011
    Law Office of Lynnmarie A. Johnson
    Law Office of Lynnmarie A. Johnson | Lynnmarie Johnson
    Whether you are eligible for bankruptcy or not depends on many different factors, such as your income, your expenses, the type of debt you owe, etc. I would check with a bankruptcy lawyer and see what they say. Many of us do the first consultation free. Good luck!
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 8/8/2011
    Glen A. Kurtis, P.C.
    Glen A. Kurtis, P.C. | Glen A. Kurtis
    You most likely can file for bankruptcy.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 8/8/2011
    Bankruptcy Law office of Bill Rubendall
    Bankruptcy Law office of Bill Rubendall | William M. Rubendall
    In a situation such as you are struggling to pay rent,car payments and credit card bills but you have a job and feel overwhelmed with expenses and barely get by each month you can consider either chapter 7 or a chapter 13 payment plan.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/8/2011
    The Law Office of Mark J. Markus
    The Law Office of Mark J. Markus | Mark Markus
    There's no way to know without having a consultation with a bankruptcy attorney. Most offer free consultations and you can then examine all your options and make the best decision for your future.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/7/2011
    Lake Forest Bankruptcy
    Lake Forest Bankruptcy | Anerio V. Altman, Esq.
    Many fold. Most BK attorneys offer a free consultation. Schedule one. There are BK options and non-bk options.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/7/2011
    The Law Offices of Kristy Qiu
    The Law Offices of Kristy Qiu | Mengjun Qiu
    You can either file for bankruptcy or you can do a debt negotiation with your creditors. However, keep in mind that even if your creditors reduce your debts, your credit score will still go down significantly, and if you have many creditors, the accumulate effect on your credit score might just be worse than bankruptcy. Moreover, when you negotiate debts with creditors, they usually want you to pay everything all at once or over a short period of time. Bankruptcy, on the other hand, will discharge all your unsecured debts (if your income is not too high to disqualify you from filing a Chapter 7, i.e. if your annual income is less than $42,000 if you're a household of one, or have less than $120 of disposable income). Although you will have to keep paying your rent after bankruptcy, you can discharge any past due rent before you file your bankruptcy petition.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 8/7/2011
    Colorado Legal Solutions
    Colorado Legal Solutions | Stephen Harkess
    Almost everyone is eligible for some type of bankruptcy protection. More detail is needed to advise you. Contact an experienced bankruptcy attorney to help you. Most bankruptcy attorneys, such as my firm, offer a free initial consultation to determine the right solution for you.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 8/7/2011
    Ryan Legal Services, Inc.
    Ryan Legal Services, Inc. | Kevin Ryan
    eligibility to file a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy depends on a number of factors. Most importantly, have you filed a previous Ch 7 or Ch 13 case where you actually received a Discharge Order? If so, there are time periods you must wait to file another bankruptcy case. Secondly, there are limitations on who can be a Debtor under Chapter 7 based upon what is commonly known as a "Means Test." This is a form that is completed as part of the bankruptcy schedules which takes into account wages, business income, pension income and possibly other income (depending on its source; Social Security or SSD does not count). You must also take into account what assets you have and what they are worth. Finally, your household budget must show that you cannot meet your unsecured debt obligations after paying necessary / reasonable expenses. A bankruptcy attorney is important in these matters because they will know how to advise you on the Means Test ( i.e., what income do they count? What deductions do I receive? ). A bankruptcy attorney will also be able (or should be able) to advise you on how to schedule and value your assets and what exemptions apply in order to get you the maximum protections under the bankruptcy Code. More than any other area of law, a bankruptcy attorney, in my opinion, is the most important and essential advocate in a legal matter for the "common man/woman," when considering the ultimate result which can be obtained for the client (freedom from debt).
    Answer Applies to: Ohio
    Replied: 8/7/2011
    Mankus & Marchan, LTD
    Mankus & Marchan, LTD | Tony Mankus
    It sounds like you may be a candidate for bankruptcy. However, you should have a good financial analysis done by a bankruptcy attorney before you make any decisions.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 8/6/2011
    Law Office of Michael Johnson
    Law Office of Michael Johnson | Michael Johnson
    It depends on your income and assets. All you need to do is consult with an attorney and he or she can explain your options. Thank you.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 8/6/2011
    Eric J. Benzer, Attorney at Law
    Eric J. Benzer, Attorney at Law | Eric Benzer
    Yes
    Answer Applies to: Maryland
    Replied: 8/6/2011
    Ethan Myers Law Firm PLLC
    Ethan Myers Law Firm PLLC | Ethan Myers
    From the limited amount of information that you've given me I would say yes. There is no minimum amount required to file bankruptcy. the question is what's right for you. There are two options available. one is a chapter 7 and the other is a chapter 13 (By the way, chapter 7 is discussed in chapter 7 of the bankruptcy code and chapter 13 is discussed in...you guessed it chapter 13 of the bankruptcy code). Attorneys aren't very creative I guess. chapter 7 is more of a liquidation. What happens in a liquidation is that all the assets you own are placed in an imaginary bubble called the property estate. by law it's not allowed to be messed with by anyone. This means no bank trying to foreclose on your house, as well as you not "selling" your coin collection to your best friend for a song (I know you said you rent I'm just giving you an example). Basically it's putting a freeze on your property and a stop to your creditors so you can take a moment to breath. Ok so now that everything is frozen, the ch7 trustee is assigned to the case. he or she will look at what you owe and what you own. how much debt you have and how much stuff you've collected. In each state there are exemptions available. exemptions are the possessions that you get to keep even if you file bankruptcy. they are the stuff that you own that the law has decided you need to be able to keep at a minimum to continue with your new start; otherwise what's the point of filing right. For example in Texas a single person can keep up to $30,000 of personal property (clothing,furniture, art, grandmas antics) each driver in the household can keep a car. A house is protected and can be kept as long as the mortgage can still be paid sometimes this requires a modification. Moving forward Once you've selected the items that you are claiming as exempt. If you have any left the trustee will evaluate them and see if they are worth the time and money involved to sell them. once sold the money will be used to pay off your creditors. the creditors are given different orders of importance and the ones that the law deems more important are paid first. for example federal taxes would be paid before a credit card. those that don't get paid are out of luck. Debtor gets a fresh start and begins to rebuild his or her credit score. medical bills can be written off. credit cards can be written off. almost anything that isn't secured (like a mortgage which is secured by the house) can be written off. IRA's do not have to be cashed out. retirements are excluded from bankruptcy as well. child education funds are also safe. Chapter 13. (don't worry this explanation will be a lot shorter.) Much of chapter 7 is the same as in chapter 13. the difference is, that if you have a lot of stuff that isn't exempt and you don't want it to get sold by the bankruptcy court- you know in order to pay your creditors. Or, you make more than the state median but without an extra justified expense (higher medical bills, special needs children) then you can opt to fill a chapter 13. Ch13 says ok moving forward I'll continue to pay all new expenses. rent car childcare utilities, but in addition to that, I'll also use what used to be my disposable income (and it needs to realistically-for your own sanity be disposable income) to pay for all my previous debts. nothing gets liquidated and I keep everything. ch 13 can be very useful for keeping non exempt items that you dont wont to lose, or helping pay something like taxes back over a long time thus keeping monthly payments manageable. (chapter 13 last between 3-5 years) it's also good for catching up on past due mortgage payments. But be forewarned it's not easy because monthly payments have to be made to/though a trustee usually this payment gets garnished from your paycheck. and 10% ... yes 10% of everything you pay through what is called the ch13 plan goes to the trustee. Don't get me wrong ch 13 can be very useful to help keep someone in their home or get rid of a high tax debt over time, but statistically speaking a high number of ch 13 plans either out right fail, or are converted to ch 7. Well I hope this helps, And as I've been typing this on my phone and I can no longer see. I'll end now.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 8/6/2011
    Judith A. Runyon, Esq. Attorney at Law
    Judith A. Runyon, Esq. Attorney at Law | Judith A. Runyon
    Talk to a bankruptcy attorney
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/6/2011
    Ross Smith, Attorney at Law
    Ross Smith, Attorney at Law | Charles Ross Smith III
    Here are a few requirements for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy that would discharge your debts. 1. No Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in the last 8 years. 2. You must meet the "means test." Right now, in my part of Ohio, that means that a single person, with no dependents, must have made less then $20,200.00 gross income in the last 6 whole calendar months. Add up your pay stubs. The scale goes up if you are married and have children. The means test is actually a little more complicated than I describe. Fortunately, many bankruptcy attorneys will give you an initial consultation at no charge. I'm sure that you would benefit from seeing a bankruptcy attorney. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: Ohio
    Replied: 8/6/2011
    Law Offices of Michael J. Berger
    Law Offices of Michael J. Berger | Michael J. Berger
    Your options include not paying your credit card bills and seeing if you get sued, debt settlement, Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. To see what option is best for you, I will need to know more about your assets, debts, income and expenses. Please call me for a free consultation.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/6/2011
    Law Office of Maureen O' Malley
    Law Office of Maureen O' Malley | Maureen O'Malley
    Bankruptcy is excellent. Everything else is a scam to part you with your money. You can call me, or you can look up a lawyer in your area by googling NACBA.
    Answer Applies to: Virginia
    Replied: 8/6/2011
    Goldsmith & Guymon
    Goldsmith & Guymon | Marjorie Guymon
    You are eligible to file bankruptcy. The question is what type? I recommend meeting with an attorney who can properly advise your on your options.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 8/6/2011
    Ashman Law Office
    Ashman Law Office | Glen Edward Ashman
    Without seeing your numbers no one can answer that. You should see a bankruptcy lawyer as your options may include wiping out some or all your debt in court.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 8/6/2011
    Carballo Law Offices
    Carballo Law Offices | Tony E. Carballo
    You need to go and see a bankruptcy lawyer for a consultation (generally the first consultation is free). There is a lot of information that the lawyer will need and there are lots of questions you should ask and none of that should be done here. This is for people who have a question about bankruptcy and not for a complete analysis of your financial situation and advice as to whether bankruptcy is what you should do. You need to go see the lawyer with information about what you have earned or received in the past six months, what your spouse has earned or received in the past six months if you are married and living with your spouse, the value of the property you and your spouse owns and the debts that you both have.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/6/2011
    Ursula G. Barrios Law
    Ursula G. Barrios Law | Guillermo Machado
    With valid social and never having filed, you are eligible. Consult an attorney for chapters and prices.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/6/2011
    Eranthe Law Firm
    Eranthe Law Firm | Cate Eranthe
    There is no simple answer to your question. Most people who are struggling qualify for bankruptcy. To learn about your options consult with a knowledgeable local bankruptcy attorney.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/6/2011
    Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney
    Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney | Janet Lawson
    go talk to a lawyer.... you sound like a perfect candidate for bankruptcy.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/6/2011
    Grasso Law Group
    Grasso Law Group | Charles Grasso, Esq.
    Ask yourself if you were able to discharge your credit card debt (and other qualified unsecured debt), would you then be able to make your other payments (rent, car, food, etc). If so, then you should consider bankruptcy as an option.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/6/2011
    Melinda Murphy Dionne, PC
    Melinda Murphy Dionne, PC | Melinda Murphy Dionne
    If you have never filed a bankruptcy case before, I can think of no reason that you would not qualify to file a bankruptcy case. Contact a bankruptcy lawyer and set up a free consultation. You will be amazed at the relief you will feel when you find out there are options open to you. There is a way out of debt. There are people out there that can help you. Make the call, stopping worrying about your debt, and take charge of it.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 8/6/2011
    Indianapolis Bankruptcy Law Office of Eric C. Lewis
    Indianapolis Bankruptcy Law Office of Eric C. Lewis | Eric Lewis
    There are a lot of factors that determine whether one is "eligible" for one chapter of bankruptcy relief or not. You would be well advised to seek guidance from a local bankruptcy attorney for advice.
    Answer Applies to: Indiana
    Replied: 8/6/2011
Click to View More Answers:
12 3 4 5 6 Free Legal QuestionsConnect with a local attorney