Is there a way to know if the judge will accept a Chapter 7? How? 20 Answers as of April 16, 2015

I am in the process of looking to file a bankruptcy. I realize I will need an attorney to represent me, but is there a rule of thumb as to whether I will even qualify for a chapter 7 vs. a chapter 13?

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GARCIA & GONZALES, P.C.
GARCIA & GONZALES, P.C. | Richard N. Gonzales
Hire a lawyer. I would need the answers to dozens and dozens of questions to properly answer your question.
Answer Applies to: Colorado
Replied: 4/16/2015
A Fresh Start
A Fresh Start | Dorothy G Bunce
There are two criteria ? first, and most often discussed, is whether you pass the Means Test, The Means Test is more than just looking at a number on a chart ? if your income is above that number, you hunt for deductions. If you don?t have enough deductions to pass, you may still be able to file Chapter 7. The second criteria is the ?good faith test? which is your budget. Even if you don?t pass the Means Test, if you pass the good faith test, a good bankruptcy attorney can get you a chapter 7 discharge anyway. But if you don?t pass the good faith test, you may not be eligible to file Chapter 7 even if you easily pass the Means Test.
Answer Applies to: Nevada
Replied: 4/13/2015
Novakov & Associates, PLLC
Novakov & Associates, PLLC | LINDA S. NOVAKOV
In order to qualify for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you must be able to pass the means test. This is a comparison of your income levels against the median income level for other people who are similarly situated in the area in which you live. If you don't meet the means test to file Chapter 7, and you have a regular income, then you may qualify to file for Chapter 13 - Wage Earner's petition.
Answer Applies to: Kentucky
Replied: 4/13/2015
EDWARD P RUSSELL | EDWARD P RUSSELL
If you have not received a Ch 7 discharge within the last 8 years and if your gross income is less than the medium income for your household size in your area you should qualify for a Ch 7 discharge.
Answer Applies to: Minnesota
Replied: 4/13/2015
The Law Office of Darren Aronow, PC
The Law Office of Darren Aronow, PC | Darren Aronow
If your income is not above the threshold income then you will generally qualify, but that depends on household size and other factors.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 4/13/2015
    The Law Offices of Ryan F. Beach, PLLC
    The Law Offices of Ryan F. Beach, PLLC | Ryan Beach
    Unfortunately, there is no way to guarantee that a Chapter 7 will succeed. However, by consulting with a bankruptcy attorney you should be able to get a better sense of whether you are qualified to file Chapter 7 and the likelihood that the case would succeed. There are income limitations for Chapter 7. Generally, those limitations are based on household income, household size, and certain necessary living expenditures. Again, by consulting with a bankruptcy attorney, you should be able to get an answer of whether you are eligible to file Chapter 7, and if not, what your alternatives are, including Chapter 13.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 4/13/2015
    Law Office of Michael Johnson
    Law Office of Michael Johnson | Michael Johnson
    There are lots of rules and fact to determine which chapter you qualify for. You should consult with a bankruptcy attorney in your area.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 4/13/2015
    The Law Office of Mark J. Markus
    The Law Office of Mark J. Markus | Mark Markus
    First of all, judges do not accept or reject Chapter 7 cases. There are statutory requirements, and a process for objections by creditors, the Trustee and parties-in-interest. The analysis for determination can be very complicated and includes, in some cases, doing a means test analysis, as well as current income and expense analysis, assessment of assets and debts, and other factors which bear on eligibility. The only sound way to determine if you would qualify for one chapter or the other, is to have a comprehensive consultation with a qualified bankruptcy attorney. There is simply no way to short circuit that, despite the ardent desire of many.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 4/13/2015
    Ronald K. Nims LLC | Ronald K. Nims
    You qualify for a Chapter 7 based on income. The "means test" is based on your state. In Ohio, a single personal can file Chapter 7 with an income under $44,000 per year. The test is based on your actual income for the past 6 months. So say a teacher who makes $60,000 a year but has zero income for the 3 summer months in September would qualify (last 6 months would have 3 months of $6,700 and 3 months of zero - monthly average would be $3,350 or $40,200 a year) but in April, they would not qualify. You qualify for a Chapter 13 by having a regular income (meaning you have income every month) and not more than $380,000 unsecured debt (like credit cards) or more than $1,150,000 of secured debt (mortgages and car loans).
    Answer Applies to: Ohio
    Replied: 4/13/2015
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC | John F Brennan
    You need to see an attorney. It depends on the amount of money from your income which is judged available to pay to creditors.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 4/13/2015
    Eranthe Law Firm
    Eranthe Law Firm | Cate Eranthe
    There are a number of rules. Go see that local, knowledgeable bankruptcy attorney and they can help you figure it out.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 4/13/2015
    The Orantes Law Firm
    The Orantes Law Firm | Giovanni Orantes
    Well, there is no rule of thumb, but a set of rules that would determine if you qualify for a Chapter 7 case and whether you will be allowed to remain in the Chapter 7 case.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 4/13/2015
    Goldsmith & Guymon
    Goldsmith & Guymon | Marjorie Guymon
    Yes, whether you pass the means test and the good faith analysis which look at whether you are over median income and whether you have any disposable income after paying your necessary expenses.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 4/13/2015
    Deborah F Bowinski, Attorney & Counselor at Law | Debby Bowinski
    You should definitely retain and experienced lawyer to guide you through the process. There are a number of differences between chapter 7 and chapter 13. Some of those differences are related to the types of debts one owes and the goals one has within the bankruptcy context. Other differences relate to eligibility for chapter 7 relief which is largely driven by household size and gross household income. If your annual household income is below the median for your size household in your state then you can file a chapter 7 automatically. If your household income is above the median then there is a complicated further analysis that must be done in order to determine whether you will be permitted to file chapter 7 or whether you must file a chapter 13 case instead. Only your lawyer who is quite familiar with your circumstances can answer that for you with any certainty.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 4/13/2015
    Stephens Gourley & Bywater | David A. Stephens
    The rule of thumb is if your debts are mainly consumer debts, you must qualify under the means test to file chapter 7, or have an exemption from the means test. The qualifications under Chapter 13 only deal with the amount of your debts and whether you have regular income.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 4/10/2015
    Mauritz Van Niekerk, Attorneys at Law
    Mauritz Van Niekerk, Attorneys at Law | Christiaan van Niekerk
    Yes there are very specific guidelines and if you follow the guidelines day you will know exactly which one of you will qualify for.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 4/10/2015
    Law Offices of Daniel J Winter
    Law Offices of Daniel J Winter | Daniel J Winter
    Yes, there is something called the "means test", which says that if you make under a certain amount of money you qualify, and if you are over, you might qualify still, but it is a complicated test. So you are best off talking to a bankruptcy lawyer who can help you.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 4/10/2015
    Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney
    Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney | Janet Lawson
    An experienced lawyer will be able to tell this based on the facts of your case. You may find one at NACBA.ORG - see the attachment. Many many factors go into 7 vs 13.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 4/10/2015
    Richard B. Jacobson & Associates, LLC | Richard B. Jacobson
    There is not a 'rule of thumb' as such. Rather there is a fairly lengthy 'Means Test' which you complete, to create what Congress thinks of as an objective measure of what you should be spending. You also do up a monthly budget of income and expenses. The bottom lines of the Means Test will tell you whether or not you can file under Chapter 7. There is one rule of thumb, as it were. If your household income for the past six months, doubled, is less than the State median for a household of your size, then you certainly can file under Chapter 7. If it is greater, then you would have to complete the rest of the Means Test to see where you stand. My office files many bankruptcy cases, of all types. We'd be glad to sit down with you and discuss how we can help. Good Luck.
    Answer Applies to: Wisconsin
    Replied: 4/10/2015
    Kenneth A. Parker, P.C.
    Kenneth A. Parker, P.C. | Ken Parker
    As Bankruptcy attorneys, we know how to determine if you qualify for either a Chapter 7 or 13. Call a Bankruptcy attorney to discuss your situation.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 4/10/2015
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