How much debt do I need to be qualified for bankruptcy? 22 Answers as of June 14, 2011

I do not have a lot of debt, but I do need help paying my bills. Is there a certain amount that will qualify me for bankruptcy?

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Law Offices of Michael J. Berger
Law Offices of Michael J. Berger | Michael J. Berger
There is no minimum amount a debt needed to qualify for bankruptcy. There is no maximum amount of debt for a Chapter 7 or Chapter 11 bankruptcy, though debt limits for a Chapter 13 are set fort in 11 U.S.C. Section 109 of the bankruptcy code. Our typical client owes as much as they earn in a year. Thus, a client who earns $40,000.00 / year owes $40,000.00. I generally would not advise anyone to file bankruptcy if he or she owed less than $10,000.00.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 6/14/2011
Burnham & Associates
Burnham & Associates | Stephanie K. Burnham
There is no minimum amount to file Bankruptcy. You will need to compare your income with your debts and should speak with a Bankruptcy Attorney to determine which of your debts are dischargeable and whether or not Bankruptcy makes sense for your circumstances.
Answer Applies to: New Hampshire
Replied: 6/10/2011
George Hoselton Bankruptcy Attorney
George Hoselton Bankruptcy Attorney | George Hoselton
Bankruptcy is complicated and very individual to the person. Our advice and recommendations for you is based on your entire circumstance. There is a free consultation to come in and speak with our office where we can give you specific advice on your situation. I apologize that I am unable to answer this question for you at this time. We look forward to hearing from you. If you are located in Oregon, please do not hesitate to contact me.
Answer Applies to: Oregon
Replied: 6/9/2011
Law Office of Asaph Abrams
Law Office of Asaph Abrams | Asaph Abrams
There's no debt threshold for chapter 7 or chapter 13, however, there is a debt limit in chapter 13: $1,081,400 in secured debt and/or $360,475 in unsecured debt. The amounts update triennially in April (next adjustment is in 2013). Definition of what's secured or not is not always clear-cut.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 6/8/2011
Daniel Hoarfrost, Attorney at Law
Daniel Hoarfrost, Attorney at Law | Daniel Hoarfrost
Qualification for bankruptcy is not determined by the amount of debt.Whether or not to file depends somewhat on whether the amount of your debt is manageable by some other means.
Answer Applies to: Oregon
Replied: 6/8/2011
    Law Office of Maureen O' Malley
    Law Office of Maureen O' Malley | Maureen O'Malley
    There are maximums, but no minimum. It would be wise to speak with an attorney to determine whether it would be cost-effective. For example, if your debt is about equal to the attorney's fees, then it would be a waste. I've also learned that people define "a lot" according to various standards. The qualifications for bankruptcy are that you make less than you spend, and that your (equity in) assets is greater than your liability.
    Answer Applies to: Virginia
    Replied: 6/8/2011
    Law Offices of Michael T. Krueger
    Law Offices of Michael T. Krueger | Michael Krueger
    There is not necessarily a debt minimum for declaring bankruptcy, but there is a debt cap. There are 2 chapters for personal bankruptcy, chapter 7 and 13. You must qualify for one of these two. If you make more than the median income after all deductions and expenses are taken into consideration you will not satisfy the Means Test and therefore will not qualify for a chapter 7. If you have more than $1,081,400 in secured debt or more than $360,475 in unsecured debt you will not qualify for a chapter 13. If you are looking for a way to discharge debt and you have the means to pay it back overtime you can utilize a chapter 13. If your debt does not outweigh your assets and you are trying to avoid paying debt in a quick easy process bankruptcy is not for you.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/8/2011
    Mercado & Hartung, PLLC
    Mercado & Hartung, PLLC | Christopher J. Mercado
    You should speak to a BK attorney in your area and he/she can look at your financial situation specifically to better advise you. If you are in WA, we offer free consultations,
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 6/8/2011
    Indianapolis Bankruptcy Law Office of Eric C. Lewis
    Indianapolis Bankruptcy Law Office of Eric C. Lewis | Eric Lewis
    There is no such thing as a limit on debt in bankruptcy. There are ceilings for Chapter 13, but no minimum or maximum for Chapter 7 relief.
    Answer Applies to: Indiana
    Replied: 6/8/2011
    Bankruptcy Law Office of Robert Weed
    Bankruptcy Law Office of Robert Weed | Robert Weed
    No minimum. It has to be more than you can afford.
    Answer Applies to: Virginia
    Replied: 6/8/2011
    Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney
    Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney | Janet Lawson
    How much debt you owe is not an issue. If you can't pay your debts, bankruptcy is a reasonable option. Congress wrote the bankruptcy code for you. Don't be afraid to use those laws If you are struggling.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/8/2011
    Bankruptcy Law office of Bill Rubendall
    Bankruptcy Law office of Bill Rubendall | William M. Rubendall
    There is no requirement of owing a minimum of debt to file a bankruptcy. However, if debts are low non-bankruptcy alternatives should be explored. For instance, you may qualify for a payment plan for a company that does consumer credit counseling. Be sure to use a reputable non-profit company.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/7/2011
    Symmes Law Group, PLLC
    Symmes Law Group, PLLC | Richard James Symmes
    I usually won't file a bankruptcy case unless somebody has at least $10K in debt. The standard in bankruptcy is whether the bankruptcy court thinks you will ever be able to pay back your debt in the foreseeable future. If they answer is no, then you may be ok to file bankruptcy. You can only file for chapter 7 bankruptcy every 8 years, so you may want to wait a little bit to accumulate more debt prior to filing.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 6/8/2011
    Carballo Law Offices
    Carballo Law Offices | Tony E. Carballo
    There is no specific amount. Each person must consider his/her ability to pay what the person owes. For example, a person living on $800 social security might want to file if the debt is $5,000 while someone employer who makes $2,000 net per month might not want to filed unless the debt is at least $10,000. You must also consider the cost of filing, including the cost of hiring a lawyer to handle the case and the filing fee. There is no legal amount of debt required to file a bankruptcy case.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/7/2011
    Bird & VanDyke, Inc.
    Bird & VanDyke, Inc. | David VanDyke
    There is no set amount of debt that a person must have to file bk. You can file for any amount of debt. Whether a person needs to file will depend on the amount of debt vs their income. It is your personal choice.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/7/2011
    Ursula G. Barrios Law
    Ursula G. Barrios Law | Guillermo Machado
    There is no debt minimum to file bankruptcy.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/8/2011
    Greifendorff Law Offices, PC
    Greifendorff Law Offices, PC | Christine Wilton
    You probably need to have more debt than it would cost you to make filing bankruptcy worth it . Otherwise, there is no minimum requirement.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/8/2011
    Apple Law Firm PLLC
    Apple Law Firm PLLC | David Goldman
    There is no minimum amount of debt to qualify. The evaluation is often one of does your income justify your debt and what are the costs of the credit hit from a bankruptcy vs the benefits. You should talk with a bankruptcy lawyer to evaluate your situation.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 6/7/2011
    Ashman Law Office
    Ashman Law Office | Glen Edward Ashman
    There is no minimum amount of debt. Many other qualifications as to income, assets, etc. apply.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 6/7/2011
    Law Office of L. Paul Zahn
    Law Office of L. Paul Zahn | Paul Zahn
    There is no minimum amount of debt. If you are looking for an attorney and are in my area, please contact me for a free consultation.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/7/2011
    Law Offices of Joseph A. Mannis
    Law Offices of Joseph A. Mannis | Todd Mannis
    There is no set amount. The standard definition of being bankrupt is not being able to pay your debts as they become due. If that is you, then you've arrived, so to speak.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/7/2011
    The Law Office of Mark J. Markus
    The Law Office of Mark J. Markus | Mark Markus
    There is no minimum amount of debt to file any bankruptcy. It all depends on what's in your best interest.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/7/2011
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