How much debt do I have to have endure to file bankruptcy? 35 Answers as of June 12, 2012

Hi! I have $15,000 in debt and want to file for bankruptcy but was told I don't have enough debt- that I need at least $20,000 to file. Is this true? Please get back to me at your earliest convenience.

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Law Office of Jeffrey Solomon
Law Office of Jeffrey Solomon | Jeffrey Solomon
There is absolutely no dollar requirement for filing chapter 7. The issue is one of advisability depending on your income. Many people file with debt of $15,000.
Answer Applies to: Florida
Replied: 6/12/2012
Indianapolis Bankruptcy Law Office of Eric C. Lewis
Indianapolis Bankruptcy Law Office of Eric C. Lewis | Eric Lewis
That is not true. There is no minimum amount of debt to file bankruptcy.
Answer Applies to: Indiana
Replied: 6/7/2012
Milton Acevedo, Esq.
Milton Acevedo, Esq. | Milton Acevedo, Esq.
There is not a set amount of debt that is required to file for bankruptcy. There are other factors that will come into play such as household income and other things. Please contact an attorney for a review of your case.
Answer Applies to: Florida
Replied: 6/7/2012
Attorney At Law | Harry D. Roth
There is no specific amount of money you need to be in debt. Sometimes $15,000 is plenty and sometimes $20,000 is not nearly enough. It depends upon the circumstances. The consideration really is what will happen to you if you do not file, if you just default on your debt and continue living. ?Bankruptcy professionals can help you sort out what the considerations are. One thing you may not be considering is this. If you file bankruptcy, you can't do it again for 8 years. It is like you have one bullet and you need to save it for the right time, the time when not firing it is worse than not having it anymore. h
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 6/7/2012
Alvin Lundgren | Alvin Lundgren
There is no minimum nor maximum debt requires in bankruptcy. However, with $15,000 you may want to consider some alternate solutions.You may call for a free consultation.
Answer Applies to: Utah
Replied: 6/7/2012
    Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney
    Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney | Janet Lawson
    No, you can file now. There is no debt requirement.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/7/2012
    Law Office of J. Thomas Black, P.C.
    Law Office of J. Thomas Black, P.C. | J. Thomas Black
    There is no minimum amount of debt that you must have in order to file for bankruptcy. However if you consulted a lawyer, that particular lawyer may not believe that you have enough debt to justify it, for one reason or another. You may want to get a second opinion.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 6/7/2012
    Bankruptcy Law office of Bill Rubendall
    Bankruptcy Law office of Bill Rubendall | William M. Rubendall
    There is no minimum amount of debt that you need to have in order to file bankruptcy. However, if the amount owed is within your ability to pay you shouldn't file bankruptcy.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/7/2012
    Charles Schneider, P.C.
    Charles Schneider, P.C. | Charles J. Schneider
    It can be any amount of money.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 6/7/2012
    Olson Law Firm | Edward M Olson
    Your question is really a practical question, not a legal one. There is no requirement to have a certain amount of debt before you file for bankruptcy. However, bankruptcy can be expensive and it will adversely affect your credit rating. So, as a practical matter, you should not file a bankruptcy without REALLY needing to. Having said that, $15,000.00 is not very much debt.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 6/7/2012
    The Stockman Law Office | Mary Stockman Esq.
    You might not qualify for other reasons, but that is false.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 6/7/2012
    Debt Relief Law Center | Roger J. Bus
    That is not true. There is no "limit" as to how little or how much you can have to file Chapter 7.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 6/7/2012
    Oliveros & OBrien
    Oliveros & OBrien | Theodore J Piteo
    There is no minimum debt level to file bankruptcy but certain chapters have maximum debt levels after which the chapter is no longer available to the debtor. What you do want to be aware of is that the filing of a case will limit your ability to file again if an emergency arises in the future. The time limits between filing chapter 7 bankruptcies is 8 years. Going into the filing with your eyes open to your future is always the best policy. Good Luck to you.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 6/7/2012
    Dan Wilson Bankruptcy
    Dan Wilson Bankruptcy | Dan Wilson
    Not true. I ask prospective clients: "Is there a realistic chance you can pay this debt within the next five years?" If not, consider BK.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 6/7/2012
    Steven Alpers | Steven Alpers
    Probably true. The real question is whether it will help you financially or if you are so badly off that you need to file even though you won't clear alot of debt.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/7/2012
    Ross Smith, Attorney at Law
    Ross Smith, Attorney at Law | Charles Ross Smith III
    I doubt that an attorney told you that you "did not have enough debt to file a bankruptcy." They might have told you that you have too much income to file a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy. There are, indeed, certain limits on income that can prevent debtors from filing Chapter 7 Bankruptcies, if their income is too high. Debtors whose income is too high for a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy will often end up filing a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy instead. There is no income ceiling for debtors in a Chapter 13. There is no specific amount of debt required for a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy. However, you can look like you are being "abusive" if you have a lot of income and little debt. $15,000.00 debt is plenty to file a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, if your income is $10,000.00 per year. If your income is $100,000.00 per year, $15,000.00 would very likely be found to be abusive. A Chapter 13 Wage Earner Plan would be more appropriate for such a debtor. Do not take advice from friends on this most important matter. Go see a reputable bankruptcy attorney. Many do not charge for the initial consultation. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: Ohio
    Replied: 6/7/2012
    Neuhaus Law Office
    Neuhaus Law Office | Gregory M. Neuhaus
    There is no minimum. Usually, if a person has less than $10,000 we try to look at other options.
    Answer Applies to: Nebraska
    Replied: 6/7/2012
    Diefer Law Group, P.C.
    Diefer Law Group, P.C. | Abel Fernandez
    The amount of debt that you file on truly depends on income. As a general rule, you can file even if you only have $15,000 of debt. Now, if your income is extremely high, then filing with little debt as compared to your income could either be considered bad faith or subject you to having to repay all of the debt.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/7/2012
    Law Office of D.L. Drain, P.A.
    Law Office of D.L. Drain, P.A. | Diane L. Drain
    There is no minimum amount you need in order to file for bankruptcy. But, sometimes there are other ways to work out credit card debt and avoid bankruptcy. Check with the folks at National Foundation of Consumer Credit Counselors: www.NFCC.org. 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.
    Answer Applies to: Arizona
    Replied: 6/7/2012
    Norman Linder Hull, P.A. | Norman L. Hull
    For a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, there is no minimum or maximum amount of debt. Consult with an attorney to get the full story.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 6/7/2012
    Law Office of Jenni Gustafson | Jenni Gustafson
    There is no "minimum" amount required for declaring bankruptcy. A potential debtor should compare his potential earnings to his overall debt. Most clients with only $15,000 in debt, assuming they are employed/employable, are best off pursuing debt negotiation with their creditors. It of course depends on your particular facts and circumstances. Timing in Bankruptcy is very important, so be sure and consult with a qualified attorney before incurring any further debt (or if you anticipate a large receipt of cash via inheritance etc).
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/7/2012
    The Law Office of Darren Aronow, PC
    The Law Office of Darren Aronow, PC | Darren Aronow
    No there is no minimum balance to file bankruptcy, only that you can not repay your debts.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 6/7/2012
    The Needleman Law Office | Scott Needleman
    There is no minimum amount to file bankruptcy. An example would be a person with $9000 in debt, however, they are being sued and about to be garnished. They will be coming in to see me to stop it. A garnishment in Ohio is 25% of your paycheck.
    Answer Applies to: Ohio
    Replied: 6/7/2012
    Barbara Fontaine, Esquire | Barbara Fontaine
    You could file with only $15,000 of debt, but try to avoid it. Many creditors may let you pay less on the debt. The years is a long time to have the bankruptcy on your credit record. Only file as a last resort. Good luck to you.
    Answer Applies to: Rhode Island
    Replied: 6/7/2012
    Law Office of Pho Ethan Tran PLLC
    Law Office of Pho Ethan Tran PLLC | Pho Ethan Tran
    You can file for bankruptcy when you have debts that you are unable to pay for. So, it depends on the amount of your income.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 6/7/2012
    R. Jason de Groot, P.A
    R. Jason de Groot, P.A | R. Jason de Groot
    There is no limit as to how much debt you must have before filing for bankruptcy. However, it is a decision that should not be made lightly. Bankruptcy will get you out of the debt, and many people would not want to file on only a small amount. It's really up to you and whether or not you would ever be able to pay the debt you owe. You must contact a consumer credit counselling agency before you file and have them go over your financial circumstances with you.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 6/7/2012
    Cohen & Kendziorra, P.A.
    Cohen & Kendziorra, P.A. | Robert S. Cohen
    There is no minimum amount of debt to qualify for bankruptcy. If you want to file a Chapter 7, then you have to analyze your nonexempt assets to determine if filing bankruptcy to discharge debts that may be less than what your personal property is valued is a reasonable option.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 6/7/2012
    Law Office of L. Paul Zahn
    Law Office of L. Paul Zahn | Paul Zahn
    No, that is not true. There is no minimum amount of debt required for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. There are maximums permitted for certain types of bankruptcy, but no minimums.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/7/2012
    The Martin Law Group
    The Martin Law Group | Yolvondra Martin-Brown
    There is no dollar limit with regard to filing a bankruptcy. Depending on your income or the amount of your debt will determine which Chapter you will file.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 6/7/2012
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC | John F Brennan
    Filing bankruptcy is a major decision and has great effects on your future. It should not be done with absolute necessity. Given the amount of debt it would perhaps be better for you to consult with an attorney and make a effort to restructure the debts without resorting to bankruptcy. No firm advise can be given without full knowledge of your situation.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 6/7/2012
    THOMAS G. GILL, P.A. | Thomas G Gill
    No. There is no min amount of debt required to be eligible for BK. Depending on your income and assets it may or may not be in your best interest to file a BK. You should consult an attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Maryland
    Replied: 6/7/2012
    The Orantes Law Firm
    The Orantes Law Firm | Giovanni Orantes
    No. How much debt you have at the time of filing is entirely up to you. Of course, if you owe less than what it would cost to file the bankruptcy, you probably should not file; however, people have filed for $4000 or less or sometimes the filing is not because they have debt they cannot afford, but because they do not want to lose property, which the automatic stay that goes into effect upon filing may help them to retain. You should consult a qualified attorney at your earliest convenience.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/7/2012
    Weber & Phillips, P.A.
    Weber & Phillips, P.A. | John G. Phillips
    There is no specific limit or threshold in the bankruptcy law. If someone told you that you needed at least $20,000.00 then they are 1) giving you their opinion or 2) there is some quirky local rule, custom or practice in your jurisdiction. In Arkansas, you can file for bankruptcy so long as the means test shows you qualify and that has little to do with the actual amount of debt that you have so much as your monthly income and expenses. I would seek out another attorney in your area and talk to them.
    Answer Applies to: Arkansas
    Replied: 6/7/2012
    The Smalley Law Firm, LLC | Cary Smalley
    There is no minimum amount of debt needed to file bankruptcy. I suggest you consult with a bankruptcy attorney to discuss the details of your specific situation.
    Answer Applies to: Kansas
    Replied: 6/6/2012
    Wajda Law Group, APC
    Wajda Law Group, APC | Nicholas M. Wajda
    No, that is not true. There is no minimum amount of debt required to file bankruptcy (although at certain levels it may not be the best choice to file).
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 6/6/2012
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