How do you know if you qualify for bankruptcy? 30 Answers as of February 11, 2013

I have six credit cards and a student loan in collections and no job. The creditors keep calling and I think I am going to go crazy. This is actually worrying me sick and I don't know what to do. I also have three children.

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Law Office of Norman Moore
Law Office of Norman Moore | Norman P Moore Jr
Sounds like you qualify to me. Just be aware, your chances of discharging the student loan debt are next to zero. Everything else will go though.
Answer Applies to: Wisconsin
Replied: 2/11/2013
Durham Jones & Pinegar | Erven Nelson
There is a means test which looks at your income, assets, expenses, liabilities, debts, family situation, etc. You should call a good bankruptcy attorney to see if you qualify. You probably do qualify. I can give you names of good bankruptcy attorneys. Regarding the creditors, tell them to quit calling and hang up on them. If they send you letters, reply in writing and tell them to quit contacting you. If they don't do so, hire a lawyer who understands the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.
Answer Applies to: Nevada
Replied: 2/6/2013
Law Office of Susan G. Taylor
Law Office of Susan G. Taylor | Susan G. Taylor
I'm pretty sure you qualify. But student loans go through bankruptcy unaffected.
Answer Applies to: Texas
Replied: 2/6/2013
Syndicate Legal
Syndicate Legal | Neil Bhartia
Qualifying depends on quite a few factors which cannot be simply answered here. Which Chapter you qualify for (if any), may depend on your income, financial situation, debts, and your goals.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 2/4/2013
Law Office of D.L. Drain, P.A.
Law Office of D.L. Drain, P.A. | Diane L. Drain
Yes you qualify. Please understand that bankruptcy is a very complicated process. It is wise to talk to an experienced bankruptcy attorney before deciding to take this important step. Most Arizona bankruptcy attorneys offer a free consultation about the basics of bankruptcy. I am attaching a link to some free videos that explain how bankruptcy works. http://www.dianedrain.com/Bankruptcy/BankruptcyQuestionnaires/BKQuestionnaireInd.htm. There is no cost for the initial discussion. Please take time to educate yourself about bankruptcy and to determine which attorney is the best to assist you in the process. Don't assume the attorney is being completely honest about their experience and capabilities. Check them out. Avoid the attorneys who advertise on TV or profess a 100% success rate in their Internet ads. It costs hundreds or thousands of dollars for these ads and someone has to pay for them - the clients. These attorneys mass produce the work and do not offer the client the hands on assistance that is necessary in a well-planned bankruptcy. Normally these firms assign all or most of the work to paralegals and the client rarely talks to an attorney. When interviewing the attorney ask them how long they have practiced bankruptcy law. Ask what percentage of their practice is focused on consumer work. Ask whether they are experienced in both chapter 7 and chapter 13 cases. Ask the attorney for references. Ask about their policy of returning phone calls. They should be committed to answering specific questions about your situation and help you understand your options. If, after talking with them you are still confused about the issues you raised, find another attorney. Check them out with the various ranking sources: such as www.AVVO.com, and the State Bar. An attorney is should be your guide through this process. They should educate you, be there to assist you in how to avoid pitfalls and help you plan for your future after bankruptcy. There are hundreds of "bankruptcy" attorneys in Arizona. Of those just a few will fit the criteria set forth above. Again, bankruptcy is a very complicated process and you want to use an attorney who will be there when you need them.
Answer Applies to: Arizona
Replied: 2/4/2013
    Diefer Law Group, P.C.
    Diefer Law Group, P.C. | Abel Fernandez
    There are guidelines to qualify. You can go to the bankruptcy court and ask information regarding guidelines. If you cannot figure it out on your own, you need to consult an attorney.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 2/4/2013
    CARL C SILVER ATTORNEY AT LAW
    CARL C SILVER ATTORNEY AT LAW | Carl C Silver
    I think you already know that you qualify. If you have no job, you probably have no money for them. Do not let them get under your skin. Money is great to have but it is not important enough to let creditors get under your skin. Try to treat the problem lightly. If creditor calls annoy you, then don't talk to them. You qualify for bankruptcy if you cannot pay your bills as them come due or have insufficient liquid assets to satisfy debts. Remember you have the greatest gift of all, i.e. three beautiful children. You won't be able to parent them the way you would like if you allow creditors to upset you.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 2/4/2013
    A Fresh Start
    A Fresh Start | Dorothy G Bunce
    There is no "one size fits all" answer to your question which is why a consultation with a bankruptcy attorney can be a good investment. As a general rule, if your debts total nearly half of your annual income or you have less than $100 left over out of your income after paying for necessary living expenses, bankruptcy can be an attractive option. It is unlikely that bankruptcy will be able to resolve your issue with your student loan though.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 2/4/2013
    Law Offices of Joseph A. Mannis
    Law Offices of Joseph A. Mannis | Todd Mannis
    It would depend in large part on how much your monthly income is and how much your monthly expenses are.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 2/4/2013
    Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney
    Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney | Janet Lawson
    Since you do not have a job, relax. Send the creditors a letter telling the to stop calling you. Send it certified mail, return receipt. Keep a copy for your records. If they call after they have the letter, log the calls and see a lawyer about suing them. The student loan is a bigger problem since it is not dischargeable in bankruptcy. Contact them and try to arrange something so that the interest does not continue to accrue. There are some hardship programs. Follow up on this because the interest will eat you alive.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 2/4/2013
    The Law Office of Darren Aronow, PC
    The Law Office of Darren Aronow, PC | Darren Aronow
    As long as you are below the income threshold for your bankruptcy district and that you do not have unexempt assets. The student loan debt will not be dischargeable but the credit card debt will be.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 2/4/2013
    Tony M. May Attorney At Law
    Tony M. May Attorney At Law | Tony M. May PC
    In answering your question based on the information provided, it appears you would qualify for a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy. In a Chapter 7 bankruptcy proceeding, you should be able to get all of your credit cards discharged. However, bankruptcy will not relieve you of your school loans. Those loans are generally not dischargeable in bankruptcy. You should go see a lawyer to analyze your situation further.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 2/4/2013
    Law Office of Stuart M. Nachbar, P.C.
    Law Office of Stuart M. Nachbar, P.C. | Stuart M. Nachbar
    Credit card is dischargeable, student loan debt most of the time is not. Get a free consult with bankruptcy counsel in your area.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 2/4/2013
    Granger Law Firm
    Granger Law Firm | Katharine Granger
    The best way to find out if you qualify for bankruptcy is to make an appointment for a free consultation with an attorney. It sounds like you would definitely qualify, but there are a couple different chapters of bankruptcy available and you would need to decide which is best for you.
    Answer Applies to: Ohio
    Replied: 2/4/2013
    Benson Law Firm
    Benson Law Firm | David Benson
    In general, everyone qualifies for bankruptcy. It's just a question of what Chapter you file under, how your assets are to be treated and whether you receive a discharge. Of course, there are exceptions for people who abuse the bankruptcy system. From what you have stated, it seems you may qualify for a Chapter 7 discharge.
    Answer Applies to: Ohio
    Replied: 2/4/2013
    Charles Schneider, P.C.
    Charles Schneider, P.C. | Charles J. Schneider
    You make an appointment with a lawyer specializing in Bankruptcy.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 2/4/2013
    Havkin & Shrago | Stella Havkin
    You qualify based on your lack of income. The student loans are most likely not discharges lie.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 2/4/2013
    Office of Michael Hyde, Esq | Michael C. Hyde
    You do qualify for seeking relief under the bankruptcy code. The question is, which chapter. Chapter 7 is complete liquidation of your assets to pay off your debts, or as many as possible. Chapter 13 allows you to pay off some debts while you "buy time" to reorganize your debt to income ratio to pay off the remaining debts. In neither chapter can you discharge your student loans, except under very stringent conditions, which most filers do not meet. If you have no assets or income, then you will most likely be filing under chapter 7. You can access the Chapter 7 means test at http://www.uscourts.gov/uscourts/RulesAndPolicies/rules/BK_Forms_Official_20 10/B_022A_0410.pdf . When you have filled everything in, it will give you an indication that the presumption arises - i.e. that you do not qualify for relief under Chapter 7 - or that the presumption does not arise - i.e. that you do qualify for relief under Chapter 7. This form, B22A, is required to be submitted along with your petition. You should print it off and give it to your attorney when you meet with one. If you choose to file without an attorney, remember to attach this form to your petition.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 2/4/2013
    Law Office of Barry R. Levine | Barry R. Levine, Esq.
    There are really no specific requirements for the filing of a bankruptcy. The best thing to do is contact a bankruptcy attorney such as myself. I offer a free consultation. At that consultation, I will review your financial situation and develop a plan for dealing with same.
    Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
    Replied: 2/4/2013
    France Law Group, LLC.
    France Law Group, LLC. | Scott France
    Very good question! In 2005, the bankruptcy laws changed significantly and one such change was how debtors qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. With the introduction of the "Means Test", debtors now must both pass a "current income/expense" test as well as a calculation which covers their previous 6 months of household gross income (excluding social security). Generally speaking, in Ohio, a family of 4 must make less than approximately $72,000/year to pass the Means Test and be potentially eligible for Chapter 7. Of course, debtors must pass both tests and your attorney will run through the calculations with you.
    Answer Applies to: Ohio
    Replied: 2/4/2013
    Attorney at Law | David Holbrook
    Just about every one qualifies. The disqualifies for Chapter 7 are too much income or too much equity in property. A Chapter13 requires a steady source of surplus income beyond basic living expenses. Student loans are not dischargeable in most cases.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 2/4/2013
    Law Offices of Terrell Monks
    Law Offices of Terrell Monks | Terrell Monks
    Almost everyone can legally file bankruptcy. Some people have too much income to file a Chapter 7 case and must file a Chapter 13 (where they pay part or all of their debt over a term of years). It does not sound like you will have that issue. You will not generally be able to discharge your student loan debt (absent very serious and unusual circumstances). As an interim step you might consider changing your phone number so that you have some peace and can think clearly about your needs and options. Also contact the student loan collector and apply for some help there (based on your hardship).
    Answer Applies to: Oklahoma
    Replied: 2/4/2013
    Law Office of Michael Johnson
    Law Office of Michael Johnson | Michael Johnson
    You should contact a bankruptcy attorney in you area and talk to them. From what you explained you should qualify unless you have assets. One thing to note is that student loans for the most part are not dischargable.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 2/4/2013
    Weber & Phillips, P.A.
    Weber & Phillips, P.A. | John G. Phillips
    Many bankruptcy attorneys offer a free or low cost initial consultation. For your mental well being, I would suggest that you find one and discuss your situation with them.
    Answer Applies to: Arkansas
    Replied: 2/4/2013
    Colorado Bankruptcy Law Group, LLC | Peter Mullison
    The best way to learn if you qualify for bankruptcy is to talk with an experienced bankruptcy attorney. Most offer free consultations. That said, whether you can file chapter 7 bankruptcy (which will get rid of your credit card debt without you having to pay anything back) is primarily dependent on your household income. If your household income is over the allowed amounts, you may still file chapter 13 bankruptcy, but you will have to pay a portion of your debt back.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 2/4/2013
    Reger Rizzo & Darnall LLP | Kathleen DeLacy
    There is a means test but if you have no income you should qualify but student loans are not dischargeable but credit cards are.
    Answer Applies to: Delaware
    Replied: 2/4/2013
    Debt Relief Law Center | Roger J. Bus
    You most likely do qualify for a consumer Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Your student loans would not be Discharged, but your unsecured debt would be. Call a qualified and inexpensive consumer bankruptcy attorney in your area and get a free interview and price quote (be sure to compare fees with several law offices before filing, the fees some offices charge may be double what another may charge for the same services).
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 2/4/2013
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC | John F Brennan
    You need to counsel with an attorney as to your situation and best course of action. Generally student loans are not dischargeable. Credit card debt is.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 2/4/2013
    Ken Love Law | Kenneth Love
    Call an attorney, she/he can evaluate your situation and help you determine your options.
    Answer Applies to: North Carolina
    Replied: 2/4/2013
    Pitt, Hay, and Hugenschmidt
    Pitt, Hay, and Hugenschmidt | Edward C Hay
    You are definitely a candidate for a bankruptcy case. Collections would stop, and you could protect your assets.
    Answer Applies to: North Carolina
    Replied: 2/4/2013
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