Do I need a minimum amount of debt to file a personal bankruptcy? 15 Answers as of February 10, 2017

I only have $9,000 debt and I have been told that I need to have at least $10,000 to file a personal bankruptcy in my state under any chapter.

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Ronald K. Nims LLC | Ronald K. Nims
There is no minimum amount of debt required to file bankruptcy. The question is whether is whether you are unable to handle your debt without filing bankruptcy.
Answer Applies to: Ohio
Replied: 2/10/2017
Garner Law Office
Garner Law Office | Daniel Garner
Insolvency is relative to your income. If the $9000 debt is impossible for you to pay off, you can still file.
Answer Applies to: Oregon
Replied: 2/10/2017
Stephens Gourley & Bywater | David A. Stephens
There is no minimum debt amount. However, most attorney's recommend at least $10,000.00 for filing because you can only file every eight years. Therefore if you file this year and have a bad year next year you could not file again for quite a while.
Answer Applies to: Nevada
Replied: 2/10/2017
A Fresh Start
A Fresh Start | Dorothy G Bunce
Bankruptcy law does not require you to have a minimum amount of debt to file, but I would not accept your case with debt twice the amount you indicate you owe. The problem you face is called the good faith test. This requires you to show that you could not pay even a quarter of your debt (in your case, $2,250) over 3 years if you just spent your money on necessary living expenses. I find too many people cannot meet that criteria, as they spend money on things that are not true necessities, or spend a lot more than they need to for necessities. In addition, bankruptcy is only available to eliminate debt infrequently. If you file bankruptcy today and in a year, have an expensive hospitalization, what will you do when you owe $100,000 or more. Count your blessings. Your problem is big to you, but small to the bankruptcy process. Other options are available.
Answer Applies to: Nevada
Replied: 2/9/2017
Law Office of J. Thomas Black, P.C.
Law Office of J. Thomas Black, P.C. | J. Thomas Black
No, there is no minimum amount of debt required to file a personal bankruptcy.
Answer Applies to: Texas
Replied: 2/9/2017
    Richard B. Jacobson & Associates, LLC | Richard B. Jacobson
    Bankruptcy is a federal matter-and the state has only a small role to play. No state can require a certain amount of debt for you to be free to exercise your right to file bankruptcy. While $9,000 is not a huge load of debt to many people, it may be an unacceptable burden to you. Nothing I know of keeps you from filing a bankruptcy petition with that amount of debt. That said, it's always a good idea when you're about to get involved in a court matter to hire a skilled lawyer.
    Answer Applies to: Wisconsin
    Replied: 2/9/2017
    Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney
    Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney | Janet Lawson
    There is not such rule in the bankruptcy code. Any local rule that says that is subject to challenge in the courts.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 2/9/2017
    CARL C SILVER ATTORNEY AT LAW
    CARL C SILVER ATTORNEY AT LAW | Carl C Silver
    No.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 2/9/2017
    Timothy Casey Theisen, P.A. | Tim Theisen
    There is not a legal minimum. My general rule of time is that $8-$10,000 is the minimum that would justify the attorneys fees. If you have less than that, a lot of times what you will find is that smaller creditors will end up not pursuing you anyway, and/or that you can settle with them for not much more than the cost of the bankruptcy. But that process can languish on, and the bankruptcy will put you in a better position to get a fresh start and put this behind you.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 2/9/2017
    Portland Bankruptcy Law Group
    Portland Bankruptcy Law Group | Christopher J. Kane
    That statement is completely false. There is no law that requires you have at least a certain amount of debt to file bankruptcy.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 2/9/2017
    Patrick W. Currin, Attorney at Law | Patrick Currin
    There is no minimum level of debt for a BK. The analysis is weighing income versus debt.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 2/9/2017
    R. Steven Chambers PLLC | R. Steven Chambers PLLC
    No, you do not need any minimum amount. I have filed bankruptcy for people with $3,000 in debt. Since bankruptcy is a drastic measure, you should make sure that it is your best option for amounts under $10,000. If you feel that it is the best option, you can file with any amount of debt.
    Answer Applies to: Utah
    Replied: 2/9/2017
    GARCIA & GONZALES, P.C.
    GARCIA & GONZALES, P.C. | Richard N. Gonzales
    There is no dollar limit. Simply your inability to pay all your debts as they become due.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 2/9/2017
    LAW OFFICE OF MARGARET L. EVANS, PC
    LAW OFFICE OF MARGARET L. EVANS, PC | Margaret L. Evans
    There is no minimum debt level necessary to file in SC.
    Answer Applies to: South Carolina
    Replied: 2/9/2017
    OlsenDaines | Rex Daines
    There is no set minimum amount of debt to file a bankruptcy. From a practical standpoint, $10,000 is a pretty good rule of thumb for a minimum amount. You need to look at the possibility of paying the debt off over the next 2 years. If that is a realistic possibility, then you probably shouldn't file. However, if the debts are all going to collection and they are adding on collection fees, attorney fees, court fees, etc., then maybe you should file before the debt grows even larger. The analysis is based more on your ability to pay than on the amount of debt.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 2/9/2017
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