How does one qualify for bankruptcy? 9 Answers as of May 28, 2015

Is there an exact dollar amount that you must fall under in order to file for bankruptcy? Do certain types of bankruptcy have different amounts?

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GARCIA & GONZALES, P.C. | Richard N. Gonzales
Meet with an experienced BK lawyer. I charge a small fee for a one hour meeting to discuss all of your options with you. I have been complimented by hundreds (if not thousands) of consumers on how informative my consultations are. The lawyers who offer a free meeting can not take much time with you, maybe 15 minutes. With most law firms you don't even meet with a lawyer. I guess you get what you pay for.
Answer Applies to: Colorado
Replied: 5/28/2015
Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney
Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney | Janet Lawson
That is a complex question. You need to see a consult with a bankruptcy lawyer. These are generally free. You may find one at
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 5/28/2015
Ronald K. Nims LLC | Ronald K. Nims
There are three kinds of bankruptcy for consumers.Chapter 7 - eligibility depends on your household income, the bigger the family the higher the income that is acceptable. For example, for a 1 person household in Ohio the income limit is about $45,000 a year for a family of 4, it's $72,000. Some states the limits are much higher and some they are much lower. Chapter 13 - you're required to have a regular income (like a job, social security, a pension etc). There is no income limit but you're limited to mortgages and car loans of $1,100,000 and credit card and other unsecured debts of $380,000. Chapter 11 - if you don't qualify for chapter 7 or chapter 13, you qualify for chapter 11. The intention is that Chapter 11 is for businesses and people with complex financial situations. Chapter 11 is MUCH more expensive than the other two ($5,000 year and up). So everyone qualifies for some type of bankruptcy.
Answer Applies to: Ohio
Replied: 5/27/2015
Richard B. Jacobson & Associates, LLC | Richard B. Jacobson
In most cases you need not meet any special qualification to file a bankruptcy petition. You just have to feel you need it. There are some obvious conditions: you must be a resident of the US; and you must file in the federal district where you have lived longest in the prior 180 days. To file under Ch. 13, you must have regular income. Not so in Chapter 7, which is old-fashioned straight bankruptcy. The whole process is much easier if you retain an experienced bankruptcy lawyer to advise and represent you. But hire a good one: there are lots of lawyers who do one bankruptcy in a year or two. These are unlikely to be as helpful as those with much greater experience. Good Luck.
Answer Applies to: Wisconsin
Replied: 5/26/2015
A Fresh Start
A Fresh Start | Dorothy G Bunce
In the hundreds of pages of bankruptcy laws, there is no specific dollar amount that someone must owe to be eligible for bankruptcy. There are dollar limits as to Chapter 13, and if someone owes more than the limit, that person is ineligible for Chapter 13. But the overall requirement as to amount of debt is the the bankruptcy must be filed in good faith. Someone who can afford to pay 25 percent of their debts through a bankruptcy payment plan over 5 years, is probably not eligible for Chapter 7. And if other options to resolve debts are available, it would be unethical for a bankruptcy attorney not to discuss those options with a prospective client.
Answer Applies to: Nevada
Replied: 5/26/2015
    The Law Office of Darren Aronow, PC
    The Law Office of Darren Aronow, PC | Darren Aronow
    Generally most people want to file chapter 7 and your income has to be below the threshold amount for your area.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 5/26/2015
    Mauritz Van Niekerk, Attorneys at Law
    Mauritz Van Niekerk, Attorneys at Law | Christiaan van Niekerk
    There is certain income guidelines and if you meet the guidelines for your household income that will qualify you for either a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 5/25/2015
    Law Offices of Joseph A. Mannis
    Law Offices of Joseph A. Mannis | Todd Mannis
    If you are unable to pay your debts as they become due, and your assets are not above what you are allowed to keep, odds are you will qualify, but without knowing all the facts of your situation, it's hard to give you an exact answer.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/25/2015
    Law Offices of Daniel J Winter
    Law Offices of Daniel J Winter | Daniel J Winter
    There is something called the means test which determines how much you can make, and if you make less, you automatically qualify; if you make more, you can still qualify after completing a complicated test.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 5/25/2015
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