Is there a limit to how much I owe under a chapter 13 file? 23 Answers as of August 10, 2011

My debt exceeds $250,000 and I want to know if I am eligible to file for chapter 13. I have a steady income, but it's not much. Is there a limit to how much I can owe? What chapter should I file instead?

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Heupel Law
Heupel Law | Kevin Heupel
In a Chapter 13 you cannot have more than $1,050,000 of secured debt and $360,000 of unsecured debt. Any portion of secured debt that exceeds the value of the collateral is deemed unsecured and counts towards the $360,000 limit. If your debts are higher, then you could look at filing Chapter 7 or 11.
Answer Applies to: Colorado
Replied: 8/10/2011
Eric J. Benzer, Attorney at Law
Eric J. Benzer, Attorney at Law | Eric Benzer
No
Answer Applies to: Maryland
Replied: 8/6/2011
Edward Papa, Esq.
Edward Papa, Esq. | Edward Papa
There is a limit for consumer debts but it appears you are well under it. You need steady income but it doesn't need to be much. Many people are downsized or retire and find themselves in a position where a Ch 13 is a great option. Any individual, even if self-employed or operating an unincorporated business, is eligible for chapter 13 relief as long as the individual's unsecured debts are less than $360,475 and secured debts are less than $1,081,400. 11 U.S.C. 109(e).
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 8/6/2011
Bird & VanDyke, Inc.
Bird & VanDyke, Inc. | David VanDyke
A chapter 7 has no limits. A chapter 13 has unsecured debt limits of approx $360,000 and secured limits of a little over 1 million. If you qualify for a ch 7 and have no need to file a 13 your best bet is ch 7.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 8/6/2011
Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney
Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney | Janet Lawson
At 250,000 unsecured debt you are ok. You can file.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 8/6/2011
    Indianapolis Bankruptcy Law Office of Eric C. Lewis
    Indianapolis Bankruptcy Law Office of Eric C. Lewis | Eric Lewis
    Chapter 13 limits are $360,475 for unsecured debts and $1,081,400 for secured debts. Whether you should file for one chapter of relief over the other depends on your unique situation and could only be advised after a full analysis of your financial condition.
    Answer Applies to: Indiana
    Replied: 8/6/2011
    Grasso Law Group
    Grasso Law Group | Charles Grasso, Esq.
    Yes there are limits in Chapter 13 - you must be under $360,475 in unsecured debts and $1,081,400 in secured debts (this includes the mortgage on your home).
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/6/2011
    Ashman Law Office
    Ashman Law Office | Glen Edward Ashman
    There are maximum debt limits imposed on potential Chapter 13 debtors. Currently, you cannot have more than $336,900 in unsecured debts or $1,010,650 in secured debts. Which chapter to file depends on many other things including the type debts you have, your income, your assets, what you want to keep, etc. It is a choice that often the numbers make for you. Let me stress that you should NOT file pro se. Most pro se cases go badly and many fail. A failed case can be worse that no case. See a lawyer.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 8/6/2011
    Colorado Legal Solutions
    Colorado Legal Solutions | Stephen Harkess
    There is a limit to how much debt can be included in a Chapter 13 bankruptcy. The limits are $360,475 in unsecured debt and $1,081,400 in secured debt. If you exceed these limits then your choices are to file under Chapter 7 (if you qualify) or to file under Chapter 11. Chapter 11 does not have debt limits and can do everything a Chapter 13 can do and some things a Chapter 13 cannot. However, a Chapter 11 filing is very complex and much more expensive to pursue than a Chapter 13 case.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 8/6/2011
    Eranthe Law Firm
    Eranthe Law Firm | Cate Eranthe
    It sounds like you are under the chapter 13 debt limits. What chapter you should file for, if any, is a complicated question depending on a number of factors. You should see a knowledgeable local bankruptcy attorney for advice.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/6/2011
    Ross Smith, Attorney at Law
    Ross Smith, Attorney at Law | Charles Ross Smith III
    You may not have more than $360,475.00 in noncontingent, unliquidated, unsecured debts to file a Chapter 13. You also may not have more than $1,081,400.00 in noncontingent, unliquidated, secured debts. Unsecured debts are medical bills and credit cards and utilities. Secured debts are usually home mortgages or car loans. In a Chapter 13 you make payments to the court for 3 or 5 years. A Chapter 7 bankruptcy might be preferable. In a Chapter 7 bankruptcy you discharge all of your debt immediately. There are lots of experienced bankruptcy attorneys that do not charge for an initial consultation. Why not go see see one? Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: Ohio
    Replied: 8/6/2011
    Bankruptcy Law office of Bill Rubendall
    Bankruptcy Law office of Bill Rubendall | William M. Rubendall
    The jurisdictional limits of chapter 13 are $360,475 unsecured and $1,081,400 secured debt.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/5/2011
    Mankus & Marchan, LTD
    Mankus & Marchan, LTD | Tony Mankus
    Under Sec. 109(e) the current limit for unsecured debt is $360,475.00 and $1,081,400.00 for secured debt to be eligible for Chapter 13. There is no limit in a Chapter 7 or Chapter 11. To determine which chapter is the most appropriate for you, you should consult with a bankruptcy attorney since many factors come into play.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 8/5/2011
    Ursula G. Barrios Law
    Ursula G. Barrios Law | Guillermo Machado
    If you qualify for Ch 7, you should attempt it first unless there is a reason you'd prefer Ch 13. You appear under the debt limit, however, for 13.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/5/2011
    Judith A. Runyon, Esq. Attorney at Law
    Judith A. Runyon, Esq. Attorney at Law | Judith A. Runyon
    Yes. Unsecured debt can not exceed $365,025 and secured debt $1,081400.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/5/2011
    Melinda Murphy Dionne, PC
    Melinda Murphy Dionne, PC | Melinda Murphy Dionne
    The debt limits for a Chapter 13 case as of April 1, 2011 are found in 11 U.S.C. Section 109(e) which provides that: (e) Only an individual with regular income that owes, on the date of the filing of the petition, noncontingent, liquidated, unsecured debts of less than $360,475.00 and noncontingent, liquidated, secured debts of less than $1,081,400.00, or an individual with regular income and such individuals spouse, except a stockbroker or a commodity broker, that owe, on the date of the filing of the petition, noncontingent, liquidated, unsecured debts that aggregate less than $360,475.00 and noncontingent, liquidated, secured debts of less than $1,081,400.00 may be a debtor under chapter 13 of this title. If your total debt is $250,000 you should qualify to file a Chapter 13 case. Whether this the best option for you is another question. You need to meet with a bankruptcy attorney to discuss whether Chapter 13 is right for you. You may be better off filing a Chapter 7 case depending on the nature of your debt and the amount and type of your assets.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 8/5/2011
    The Schreiber Law Firm
    The Schreiber Law Firm | Jeffrey D. Schreiber
    Currently it cannot exceed $1,081,400 in secured debt and $360,475 in unsecured debt. If you have a house which is upside down, the negative equity in the house is included in the unsecured debt number.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/5/2011
    The Port Law Firm
    The Port Law Firm | Edward Port
    When filing a chapter 13 case the debt limitations are as follows: noncontingent, liquidated unsecured debt of less than $360,475.00; and noncontingent, liquidated secured debts of less than $1,081,400.00.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 8/5/2011
    The Law Office of Jacqui Snyder
    The Law Office of Jacqui Snyder | Jacqui Snyder
    In order to qualify for a chapter 13 bankruptcy, your unsecured debt cannot be higher than $336,900 or secured debt higher than $1,010,650.00. More information would be needed to determine which bankruptcy you should file, depending on the source of your debts and the amount of your income. It seems like you will have a complicated case and should hire at attorney to help you with it.
    Answer Applies to: Ohio
    Replied: 8/5/2011
    The Law Offices of Kristy Qiu
    The Law Offices of Kristy Qiu | Mengjun Qiu
    Yes, the debt limits for chapter 13 are $360,475 for unsecured debts (i.e. credit cards, money owed on property already foreclosed or repossessed, etc.), and $1,108,400 for secured debts (i.e. mortgages, 1st and 2nd, car loans, anything secured by a collateral). In any case even if the total amount of your debt exceed the limits you can still try for a 13. If none of the creditors object, the trustee won't say anything and you will be able to proceed. Why are you thinking a chapter 13? Do you have property exceeding the exemption limit that you're trying to keep? Or you want to strip a second mortgage/credit line on your property and keep your house? Otherwise unless your income is really that high, you can probably get away with a Chapter 7.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 8/5/2011
    Theodore N. Stapleton, PC
    Theodore N. Stapleton, PC | Theodore N. Stapleton
    You may file a chapter 13 if you have unsecured debt under $336,900.00 and secured debt under 1,010,650.00. I am happy to discuss your options. Please call to schedule a free consultation.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 8/5/2011
    Law Offices of Joseph A. Mannis
    Law Offices of Joseph A. Mannis | Todd Mannis
    Debt limits in a Chapter 13 are $360,475 of unsecured debt, and $1,081,400 of secured debt. If you're below those, you're good to go in a Chapter 13. Given your income not being much, are you SURE you want to be in a Chapter 13 and not a 7? From the limited information given, its hard to say which would be better for you, but as far as the debt limits go, you're OK in a 13.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/5/2011
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