How do I know what chapter of bankruptcy is right for me? 30 Answers as of June 26, 2013

My spouse is the only one with a job and we cant afford to pay the bills anymore. We have a steady income, but its only enough to cover the interest on your debts. What can we do?

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

Free Case Evaluation by a Local Lawyer: Click here
Law Office of Asaph Abrams
Law Office of Asaph Abrams | Asaph Abrams
Generally chapters 7 and 13 of Title 11 (the Bankruptcy Code) apply to consumers. An integral part of a face-to-face attorney & prospective-client meeting is to determine your lucky number: 7 or 13. This answer (as well as our Web site) doesn't address all facts & implications of the question; it's general info, not legal advice to be relied upon; it creates no attorney-client relationship; it may be pertinent to CA only; it's independent of other answers. Hire legal counsel before acting or refraining from bankruptcy/legal action.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 8/13/2011
Mercado & Hartung, PLLC
Mercado & Hartung, PLLC | Christopher J. Mercado
Generally, i advise filing a ch 7 unless you don't qualify under the means test. however, a chapter 13 could be a better option for you depending on your situation. contact a local attorney to get specifics.
Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 8/10/2011
The Law Offices of Kristy Qiu
The Law Offices of Kristy Qiu | Mengjun Qiu
1. Do you own a home and are you late on mortgage payments? 2. Assuming the answer to the question above is yes, are you trying to save your home? If the answer to both of the questions above is Yes, you need a Chapter 13. Otherwise Chapter 7 might be an option for you. Although if you don't even know what type of bankruptcy you need, I highly suggest that you hire a lawyer - most pro se cases end up being dismissed.
Answer Applies to: Florida
Replied: 8/10/2011
Mankus & Marchan, LTD
Mankus & Marchan, LTD | Tony Mankus
There are many factors to consider. You should consult with a bankruptcy attorney.
Answer Applies to: Illinois
Replied: 8/10/2011
Engberg Law Office
Engberg Law Office | Harry A. Engberg
The type of bankruptcy is based on your income over the last six months. It is also based on the number of persons in your family. In SD a family of two, the income limit is $53, 443.00. If you are under this amount you can do a Chapter 7. The limit goes up with each child. There are exceptions with special circumstances.
Answer Applies to: South Dakota
Replied: 8/10/2011
    Theodore N. Stapleton, PC
    Theodore N. Stapleton, PC | Theodore N. Stapleton
    Chapter 7 is a liquidation and chapter 13 is a wage earner repayment plan. There are many facts that determine which chapter to file. I am happy to discuss the issue with you.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 8/10/2011
    Indianapolis Bankruptcy Law Office of Eric C. Lewis
    Indianapolis Bankruptcy Law Office of Eric C. Lewis | Eric Lewis
    What chapter of bankruptcy relief is available or suitable for someone is highly dependent on your unique situation and cannot be told without a full analysis of your financial condition. Typically, Chapter 7 is what most people file when they have little to no assets and insufficient income to build a meaningful savings. Chapter 13 is also widely employed.
    Answer Applies to: Indiana
    Replied: 8/10/2011
    The Law Office of Mark J. Markus
    The Law Office of Mark J. Markus | Mark Markus
    You should have a consultation with a bankruptcy attorney in your state to determine your options and eligibility.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/10/2011
    Advanced Litigation Services
    Advanced Litigation Services | Joseph Iarussi
    Most likely you file for Chapter 7 (discharge of all your debts) not a Chapter 13 (court ordered repayment plan for a term of years).Your income and other factors will determine if you are eligible for a Chapter 7
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 8/10/2011
    Heupel Law
    Heupel Law | Kevin Heupel
    Determining the right chapter depends on your income, type of debts, and your assets. Without knowing more, it is too difficult to tell you whether to file Chapter 7, 11 or 13. However, we offer free consultations. Please call 720-319-8900 to schedule your free consultation.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 8/10/2011
    Lewis Adams and Associates
    Lewis Adams and Associates | Lewis P. Adams
    Most offices that practice bankruptcy law such as ours, offer a free consultation to assess your situation. If you have no real property and no equity in vehicles, and you qualify under the income qualifications, often a Chapter 7 is best. If you are attempting to keep real property that is in default or has substantial equity, the Chapter 13 may be a better way to go. More information would be needed to provide a better answer.
    Answer Applies to: Utah
    Replied: 8/9/2011
    Ethan Myers Law Firm PLLC
    Ethan Myers Law Firm PLLC | Ethan Myers
    It sounds like chapter 7 might be a good legal mecanisum for the two of you to use. Obviously I can't say for sure without knowing the details so I'll give you a short overview. first of all, you should know that whether you are employed or unemployed is never a qualifying factor for being allowed to file for bankruptcy. You can have a job, a good paying job and still have acsess to resources available under the bankruptcy code, depending on what chapter you file. ch7 or ch 13. Also their are a lot of assets that are protected from your creditors even under bankruptcy. Second, even if you are married you or your spouse can still file as a single debtor. Of course you may discover that filing a joint case is the best option. (the filing fee is the same). Third, if all you are able to pay right now is the interest or minimum payments your credit score might not be all that good. And although bankruptcy is a negative factor on your credit score it is not the only factor. But with bankruptcy you are able to elevate a lot of stress that comes with a financial hardship.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 8/9/2011
    Charles Schneider, P.C.
    Charles Schneider, P.C. | Charles J. Schneider
    Unfortunately you have not given enough information to give a recommendation. Bankruptcy chapters give different relief and have different consequences. It involves mathematical calculations to see even if you are eligible. Most attorneys offer a free initial consultation that you should exploit to discuss the question.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 8/9/2011
    Bankruptcy Law office of Bill Rubendall
    Bankruptcy Law office of Bill Rubendall | William M. Rubendall
    Individuals can propose a payment plan under chapter 13 or file a liquidation case under chapter 7. Consult an attorney as to whether one or the other will be appropriate to deal with your debts.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/9/2011
    Ursula G. Barrios Law
    Ursula G. Barrios Law | Guillermo Machado
    I'd go Chapter 7 if you qualify, but you need to consult an attorney first.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/9/2011
    Law Office of Maureen O' Malley
    Law Office of Maureen O' Malley | Maureen O'Malley
    See a reputable.bankruptcy lawyer. Look for one in your area by googling NACBA. You'll actually save money with a lawyer because you'll be properly.advised about what's best for you, will tell you all you need to do, and it will be done properly.
    Answer Applies to: Virginia
    Replied: 8/9/2011
    Law Office of Lynnmarie A. Johnson
    Law Office of Lynnmarie A. Johnson | Lynnmarie Johnson
    What type of bankruptcy you can file depends on what your level of income is and/or whether or not you are behind on something, like a mortgage that you want to keep.. Most attorneys do free first consultations, I would see an attorney and see what kind of bankruptcy they recommend for you. Good luck!
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 8/9/2011
    Edward Papa, Esq.
    Edward Papa, Esq. | Edward Papa
    You don't give enough information to determine which Chapter of Bankruptcy is best for you. I suggest you make an appointment with a local attorney. Many offer free consultations. He will be able to tell you which chapter is best for you based on your income, expenses and assets.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 8/9/2011
    Diana K. Zilko, Attorney at Law
    Diana K. Zilko, Attorney at Law | Diana K. Zilko
    The best bet is to meet with an attorney who handles bankruptcy so that a Means Test and other analysis can be performed to see what chapter you may qualify for, and what your options are.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/9/2011
    Eric J. Benzer, Attorney at Law
    Eric J. Benzer, Attorney at Law | Eric Benzer
    Probably Chapter 7, but seek legal advice.
    Answer Applies to: Maryland
    Replied: 8/9/2011
    The Port Law Firm
    The Port Law Firm | Edward Port
    Your best bet is to seek the advice of a bankruptcy attorney. You should receive a free consultation and get the answer to the questions to are seeking. The attorney will need to know specifically what you are earning yearly and what assets you have to determine which chapter is right for you. There are also other factors which may dictate what you should file.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 8/9/2011
    Jackson White, PC
    Jackson White, PC | Spencer Hale
    Because of your steady income and your apparent ability to pay something, a chapter 13 might be a good fit, but without more information it is impossible to tell. You should speak with an attorney to get more details.
    Answer Applies to: Arizona
    Replied: 8/9/2011
    Melinda Murphy Dionne, PC
    Melinda Murphy Dionne, PC | Melinda Murphy Dionne
    Whether you should file a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 is something that you need to discuss with a bankruptcy lawyer. One of the things you look at in deciding whether to file, and which chapter to choose, is the value of your assets versus the amount of debt you owe on them. If, for example, you have a house worth $150,000 and you only owe $75,000 you would probably be better off filing a Chapter 13 case if you could afford the monthly payments. Another question that has to be answered if when was your debt incurred. Do you have recent credit card charges? If you do what were the charges? There is help available and most bankruptcy attorneys offer a free initial consultation. In the consultation you can discuss all of your options and the pros and cons of each possible choice.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 8/9/2011
    The Schreiber Law Firm
    The Schreiber Law Firm | Jeffrey D. Schreiber
    Bankruptcy is not a one size fits all situation. Every case has different facts and different circumstances which makes impossible just to state what Chapter us right for you, and you may not be able to file a Chapter 7. The best way to properly evaluate your circumstance is a consultation with a bankruptcy attorney.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/9/2011
    Ashman Law Office
    Ashman Law Office | Glen Edward Ashman
    The way to determine what chapter of bankruptcy you can or should file is to sit down with a lawyer. A number of things affect what you can file, including present and past income, living expenses, amount and type of debt, assets, etc.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 8/9/2011
    Bankruptcy Law Center
    Bankruptcy Law Center | Bill Zurinskas
    Chapter 7 bankruptcy is almost always the best bankrupty option. It costs less than half the cost of chapter 13 bankruptcy. There is no payment plan. Simple chapter 7 cases are over in about 4 months and you can begin to rebuilt your credit immediately after filing. Chapter 13 is a payment plan type bankruptcy which lasts usually from 36 to 60 months. If you do not qualify for chapter 7 bankruptcy (usually because your family income is too high or you previously filed a chapter 7 bankruptcy within 8 years) then chapter 13 bankruptcy is your only choice. Chapter 13 bankruptcy may be the better option in cases where you want to keep your home by curing the default or take advantage of the super discharge or pay priority taxes in the plan without future interest or keep assets that would be seized in chapter 7 bankruptcy. Take advantage of a free consultation with an experienced bankruptcy attorney, there are more advantages to filing chapter 13 than I can list here.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 8/9/2011
    Law Office of Michael Johnson
    Law Office of Michael Johnson | Michael Johnson
    You can confer with an attorney or review the bankruptcy law to see what you qualify for.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 8/9/2011
    Colorado Legal Solutions
    Colorado Legal Solutions | Stephen Harkess
    You should talk to a bankruptcy attorney. Most offer a free initial consultation. There is not enough information in your question to fully answer it, but a 20-30 minute consultation with an attorney should give you a pretty good idea of what direction you need to go.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 8/9/2011
    Law Offices of Joseph A. Mannis
    Law Offices of Joseph A. Mannis | Todd Mannis
    Doesn't sound like there's any way you'd have the income necessary for a Chapter 13, and from the facts given, it might not even be desirable, probably isn't. So, you'd probably be filing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, which is a straight liquidation. Call a bankruptcy attorney and make sure this is the case however. I'd be happy to help you.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/9/2011
Click to View More Answers:
12 3 4 5 6 Free Legal QuestionsConnect with a local attorney