How far in debt to file for bankruptcy and why? 8 Answers as of June 03, 2015

How far in debt do you have to be in order to file for bankruptcy?

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GARCIA & GONZALES, P.C. | Richard N. Gonzales
There is no set number. Just unable to pay all of your obligations as they become due.
Answer Applies to: Colorado
Replied: 6/3/2015
Richard B. Jacobson & Associates, LLC | Richard B. Jacobson
There is no magic number. The only real question is do you feel you need to file. It is very rare for anyone to ask why you are filing since the reason is usually obvious: you can't pay your debts and you are feeling the strain. Retain an experienced lawyer.
Answer Applies to: Wisconsin
Replied: 6/3/2015
A Fresh Start
A Fresh Start | Dorothy G Bunce
Bankruptcy law does not provide any hard and fast rule, but as a matter of practicality, you want to get bang for your buck, you want to be unable to resolve your debt any other way, and you need to be mindful of the fact that you are only eligible to discharge debts through bankruptcy once every 8 years and not use up your right to a discharge unnecessarily. I feel that in my business, I want to see debt of at least $20,000 that can be discharged to take on a case in Chapter 7. Other attorneys will have different criteria.
Answer Applies to: Nevada
Replied: 6/3/2015
Ronald K. Nims LLC | Ronald K. Nims
There is no legal limit. But if it's less than $5000 and you're not being garnished, it hardly seems worthwhile.
Answer Applies to: Ohio
Replied: 6/3/2015
The Law Office of Darren Aronow, PC
The Law Office of Darren Aronow, PC | Darren Aronow
There is no minimum amount. If you cant pay it then you can file bankruptcy.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 6/3/2015
    Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney
    Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney | Janet Lawson
    There is no limit. Eligibility is based on your income. You may find a lawyer at
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/3/2015
    Tokarska Law Center
    Tokarska Law Center | Kathryn U. Tokarska
    Legally speaking, there isn't a specific amount of debt that makes bankruptcy appropriate. That is because debt is relative and the other big factor of course is. income and to some extent future income potential. During a consult, I typically calculate the debt to income ratio, family size/situation, types and amounts of debts, household budget, income - past, current, future potential. Can REASONABLE budget adjustments be made to repay debt in a REASONABLE amount of time. What is reasonable for one set of circumstances may not be so for another. What is the likelihood of creditor pursuing in court to collect, age of debt, whether person has adequate basic protection: health/vehicle insurance. If it's appropriate discuss alternatives like credit consolidation/settlement. Typically bankruptcy attorneys provide free consultations, it's an opportunity to review the options. Having said all this, if whatever that debt number is I personally think that BK is an overkill but the person wants to file anyway (perhaps for psychological or emotional reasons) despite my advice to seek alternatives then I have them sign a disclaimer stating what I advised them and that they wish to move forward with BK anyway with the understanding of the costs/consequences. I don't share the disclaimer with anyone but it's kind of insurance for me in that should someone come back later alleging that I sold them on filing BK. Oh no, not with me. One reason why I enjoy being a bankruptcy lawyer is knowing that most, if not all, previous clients having made the tough choice, are satisfied and probably living much better lives today than before we met.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/3/2015
    Patrick W. Currin, Attorney at Law | Patrick Currin
    It depends on what you can expect to make, but a good rule of thumb is $20k of debt that can be erased. Every case is unique though, you should consult an attorney.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/3/2015
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