How much debt does one have to have to file for bankruptcy? 36 Answers as of July 08, 2013

I owe creditors and banks for loans and credit cards. 5 years ago I stop paying them and it still haunts me now. So I'm trying to find the right solution.

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Heupel Law
Heupel Law | Kevin Heupel
There is no debt requirement in order to file bankruptcy. If you have debt that you cannot afford to repay, then bankruptcy is a legitimate option. The best thing to do is to consult with an attorney to see if you're a bankruptcy candidate.
Answer Applies to: Colorado
Replied: 1/23/2012
Mercado & Hartung, PLLC
Mercado & Hartung, PLLC | Christopher J. Mercado
There is no limit, but you should contact a local attorney to see if Bankruptcy is our best option.
Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 1/13/2012
Theodore N. Stapleton, PC
Theodore N. Stapleton, PC | Theodore N. Stapleton
There is no minimum debt amount to file BK. It depends upon your individual circumstances.
Answer Applies to: Georgia
Replied: 1/11/2012
J.M. Cook, P.A. | J.M. Cook
There is no minimum amount of debt. Also, you may find that the statute of limitations has run on collectability of these debts, depending on other factors.
Answer Applies to: North Carolina
Replied: 1/10/2012
CONSUMER PROTECTION ASSISTANCE COALITION, INC. (DE).
CONSUMER PROTECTION ASSISTANCE COALITION, INC. (DE). | Gary Lee Lane
Enough so it is a struggle for you to pay .
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 7/2/2013
    Law Office of Lynnmarie A. Johnson
    Law Office of Lynnmarie A. Johnson | Lynnmarie Johnson
    The "how much" depends on your individual situation.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 7/8/2013
    The Law Offices of Seth D. Schraier
    The Law Offices of Seth D. Schraier | Seth D. Schraier
    This cannot be answered with a simple "anything above this amount" answer, because bankruptcy for each person is different. Bankruptcy does not look just at your debts, but at your income and assets as well. For example, if you were making $500k a year, and had $10,000.00 in debts, most bankruptcy courts would be hard pressed to allow the bankruptcy. In a similar regard, if you had only $25,000.00 a year in income, but had large assets such as a million dollar home and luxury car, these assets should be sold to pay off the debt. The Bankruptcy Court will look at your income, assets, liabilities, and expenses to get a full picture of your financial standing. If your financial situation is bad enough, you may qualify for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy and have your debts extinguished. If you do not qualify for Chapter 7, you may still qualify for Chapter 13, but a Chapter 13 bankruptcy means you may have to pay off a portion of the debts that you owe.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 1/9/2012
    Bankruptcy Law Center
    Bankruptcy Law Center | Bill Zurinskas
    In Colorado, the statute of limitation on debt is 6 years from the date of last payment. There is no minimum amount of debt required for filing bankruptcy. As a practical matter, $10,000 is the starting point, but I have filed at least one bankruptcy for clients with only $5000 in debt.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 1/9/2012
    Bruning & Associates, PC
    Bruning & Associates, PC | Kevin Bruning
    There is no specific amount of debt that one must have to file bankruptcy. Bankruptcy may be an effective way to deal with old debts.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 1/9/2012
    Law offices of John P. Brooke | John Brooke
    I would generally say around $10,000 or more to file a chapter 7. It all depends on the individual and their ability to pay it back. It also depends on how aggressive the creditors are in collecting.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 1/9/2012
    Lakelaw - Loop Bankruptcy
    Lakelaw - Loop Bankruptcy | David Leibowitz
    There is no minimum amount but you would not file a bankruptcy case unless you had a substantial amount of debt you could not handle.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 1/9/2012
    Moore Taylor Law Firm, P.A.
    Moore Taylor Law Firm, P.A. | Jane Downey
    No particular threshold of debt to file.
    Answer Applies to: South Carolina
    Replied: 1/9/2012
    Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney
    Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney | Janet Lawson
    If you stopped paying 5 years ago (and the accounts were opened when you lived in California) the statute of limitations (4 years) has run on those debts. There is nothing they can do to you now (unless they have judgements - which are good for 10 years). Laugh at them and hang up. Do not make a payment or you will re-start the 4 year period again.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 1/9/2012
    Anthony Saunders Esq., PLLC | Anthony M. Saunders
    Every debtor's situation is different. Income and meeting the means test is an obstacle you have as well as determining whether bankruptcy is the right fit for your situation as far as how much you owe and whether or not bankruptcy would be the best thing to do. You should contact an attorney about your options and the amount of debt owed to discuss whether or not bankruptcy is right for you.
    Answer Applies to: Utah
    Replied: 1/8/2012
    Selleck Legal, PLLC
    Selleck Legal, PLLC | Stacey Selleck
    You can file for bankruptcy for any amount that you owe. I typically tell my clients that I will not file for them unless they owe a minimum of $8,000 to creditors - just as a general rule of thumb so that it is worth it for them.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 1/9/2012
    Diefer Law Group, P.C.
    Diefer Law Group, P.C. | Abel Fernandez
    There is no set amount of how much you need to owe it is based on good faith. If you don't owe a lot money and you have high income, it might be considered bad faith. You need to provide more details regarding how much you owe and your income. As a general rule, I require clients to have at least $7,500 in dischargeable debts in order to file.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 1/8/2012
    Law Office of L. Paul Zahn
    Law Office of L. Paul Zahn | Paul Zahn
    If you have more debt than you can pay, that is the only requirement needed for filing for bankruptcy. There is no minimum amount.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 1/8/2012
    North Sound Law, PS
    North Sound Law, PS | Spencer Bergstedt
    I have folks ask me all the time about how much debt they need to qualify for bankruptcy and the answer is, it depends on your particular circumstances. Every person seeking bankruptcy is different and what may be a lot of debt to you is not a lot of debt to someone else. There are no particular debt amounts to qualify you for bankruptcy. It's more a matter of how your debt relates to your income and monthly expenses. The best thing to do is consult with an attorney to go over your situation and explore your options.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 1/8/2012
    Law Office of William C. Wood, LLC | William C. Wood
    There is no minimum debt requirement to file a bankruptcy case. I would recommend consulting with an experienced bankruptcy attorney to discuss your situation in detail.
    Answer Applies to: Maryland
    Replied: 1/8/2012
    AyerHoffman, LLP
    AyerHoffman, LLP | David C. Ayer
    There is no set amount of debt which is appropriate for bankruptcy. One rule of thumb says if you cannot pay off the debt within five years, you should consider filing. You should speak with a debt relief attorney or a bankruptcy attorney to determine a course of action which is right for your particular situation.
    Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
    Replied: 1/8/2012
    Philip R. Boardman, Attorney at Law
    Philip R. Boardman, Attorney at Law | Phil Boardman
    There is not a threshold amount of debt that you must have. You really have to determine for yourself if filing is the route to go. A rule of thumb that I offer in situations such as yours is whether you can take care of the debt in the next 2-3 years. If you can not, then bankruptcy may be a good option for you.
    Answer Applies to: Virginia
    Replied: 1/8/2012
    Dan Wilson Bankruptcy
    Dan Wilson Bankruptcy | Dan Wilson
    No specific amount to file. I ask clients "Is there a realistic possibility you can pay this debt off within a reasonable time?" If answer is no, seriously consider Bankruptcy.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 1/8/2012
    Carballo Law Offices
    Carballo Law Offices | Tony E. Carballo
    There is no specific amount but you must consider the cost of filing, including attorney's fee, and decide whether that is the best alternative depending on whether you qualify for Chapter 7 or 13. A consultation with a bankruptcy attorney is the best thing you can do as soon as possible. The test is also whether or not you can afford to pay the debts so even a small amount of debt may be enough if your income is so low that it would be impossible for you to pay. It may be that debt in default more than 4 years ago may no longer be legally collectable so you may have a good defense in case you are sued over such old debts. Even if the debts are not collectable legally, that does not mean they are not going to be shown as outstanding on your credit report so filing bankruptcy does change that and then your credit report will show you do not have outstanding debts because of the bankruptcy discharge. You can then immediately begin to reconstruct your credit and may have credit again fairly quickly assuming you have adequate income. Bankruptcy Chapter 7 does show in your credit report for 10 years but that does not mean you cannot have credit after completing your case and can have fairly good credit in two or three years and even being eligible to obtain a mortgage after two or three years.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 1/8/2012
    The Smalley Law Firm, LLC | Cary Smalley
    There is no minimum amount of debt one needs to file for bankruptcy.
    Answer Applies to: Kansas
    Replied: 1/8/2012
    Law Office of Christine A. Wilton
    Law Office of Christine A. Wilton | Christine Wilton
    You may have legal rights outside of bankruptcy and should contact an attorney who practices in Fair Debt Collections and California's Rosenthal Act. You don't need a minimum amount of debt to file for bankruptcy.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 1/8/2012
    Law Office of Andrew Harris
    Law Office of Andrew Harris | Andrew Harris
    There is no minimum threshold of debt that one must have in order to file bankruptcy. Each case is totally different, and the total amount of debt is relative to each debtor. If you cannot catch up on your debt, then make an appointment with a bankruptcy attorney in your area that offers free consultations. Bankruptcy may or not be the best solution for you, and a good bankruptcy attorney should advise you on all your options.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 1/8/2012
    Law Office of Yvonne Michaud Novak
    Law Office of Yvonne Michaud Novak | Yvonne Michaud Novak
    There isn't a certain amount of debt that a person needs to have to file bankruptcy. Factors that affect a person's decision to file include garnishments, amount of collector harassment the person can stand, foreclosure, or a setoff by the bank or a government agency. A local bankruptcy attorney should be able to advise you if your situation is appropriate for a bankruptcy.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 1/8/2012
    Judith A. Runyon, Esq. Attorney at Law
    Judith A. Runyon, Esq. Attorney at Law | Judith A. Runyon
    There is no debt limit for a CH. 7. It depends upon your whole picture, so you need to talk to a bankruptcy attorney first.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 1/8/2012
    Bankruptcy Law office of Bill Rubendall
    Bankruptcy Law office of Bill Rubendall | William M. Rubendall
    If you stopped paying your debts 5 years ago you may no longer owe them. The statute of limitations is 4 years. If you are sued you can raise the defense that the debts are too old to be collectible. You shouldn't waste a bankruptcy filing if you have no debts that are owed.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 1/8/2012
    The Law Offices of Kristy Qiu
    The Law Offices of Kristy Qiu | Mengjun Qiu
    There is no minimun amount of debt required. For chapter 7, there is no ceiling of debt, however, for a chapter 13, you cannot have more than 1M in secured debt, or 360k in unsecured. You can try, but if anyone objects the judge will dismiss your chapter 13 case for exceeding jurisdictional limit.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 1/8/2012
    Sanders Law, P.A. | Andre Keith Sanders
    There is no minimum amount to file. If you cannot pay your debts, you should probably file, but would need more information if this is the best option for you.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 1/8/2012
    Mazyar Hedayat and Associates
    Mazyar Hedayat and Associates | Mazyar Malek Hedayat
    There is no minimum amount of debt that you must have in order to file bankruptcy.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 1/8/2012
    Law Offices of Michael B. Fisher | Michael Fisher
    There is no minimum debt requirement in order to file for bankruptcy protection.
    Answer Applies to: New Hampshire
    Replied: 1/8/2012
    The Law Office of Darren Aronow, PC
    The Law Office of Darren Aronow, PC | Darren Aronow
    There is no debt minimum.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 7/2/2013
    Athena Legal, LLC | Athena Inembolidis
    There is no minimum debt amount required to file a bankruptcy. However, there are costs involved in filing. If those costs exceed the debt, then it probably doesn't make sense to file.
    Answer Applies to: Ohio
    Replied: 1/8/2012
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