Should I file Chapter 7 or chapter 13 bankruptcy? 26 Answers as of July 11, 2013

I have been summoned by a collection agency and have been given 2 weeks to file a response in court. I've been preparing to file for Chapter 7 but have found that based on the state means test I make approx 5k a year too much to file for Chapter 7. I would pursue Chapter 13 however I'm not certain my job will last much longer and I may be out of work in several months. I've been considering changing my salary to part time to make less money to qualify for Chapter 7 but this could take time and I'm being sued. Suggestions? Can I change a chapter 13 filing in the event I lose my job after I file?

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Law Offices of Michael J. Berger
Law Offices of Michael J. Berger | Michael J. Berger
You should consult with a certified specialist in bankruptcy law, like me. I may be able to find deductions that will help you to pass the means test and file Chapter 7. Yes, it is possible to Move to Convert a Chapter 13 to a Chapter 7 if you qualify for a Chapter 7,
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 7/15/2011
The Law Office of Marvin Wolf
The Law Office of Marvin Wolf | Marvin Wolf
That's not a question that should be answered in a forum because the answer is too particular for your case. As a general matter, telling me that you "failed the means test" doesn't mean to me that you really failed the means test. Most people mean that they make too much gross income compared to the medium gross income part of the test - and they stop there. That's just part 1 of the means test. You can fail this part - a lot of people do - and might still pass the overall means test - there are more parts. Please, get a skilled lawyer - the means test is not for amateurs. And please, everyone, don't get too detailed on a forum in what you are planning to do - it could bite you later.
Answer Applies to: New Jersey
Replied: 7/12/2011
Mercado & Hartung, PLLC
Mercado & Hartung, PLLC | Christopher J. Mercado
You should contact the creditor and see if you can work out a voluntary repayment plan. That should buy you more time. As for BK, you need to talk to a local attorney. Your BK will be a little more complex than usual.
Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 7/12/2011
Law Office of Jackie Robert Geller
Law Office of Jackie Robert Geller | Jackie Robert Geller
You can convert your chapter 13 case to a chapter 7 upon request. However, be sure to consult with your attorney to be sure it is the right move.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 7/12/2011
Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney
Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney | Janet Lawson
You can convert to chapter 7 if your income changes post petition.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 7/12/2011
    Eric J. Benzer, Attorney at Law
    Eric J. Benzer, Attorney at Law | Eric Benzer
    Yes if you meet requirements but fraud is fraud and please be careful.
    Answer Applies to: Maryland
    Replied: 6/10/2013
    Bankruptcy Law office of Bill Rubendall
    Bankruptcy Law office of Bill Rubendall | William M. Rubendall
    If you don't pass the means test for chapter 7 you can file chapter 13. If circumstances change, such as loss of income after the case is filed, you can convert the case to chapter 7.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/11/2011
    Law Office of Maureen O' Malley
    Law Office of Maureen O' Malley | Maureen O'Malley
    See a lawyer. $5,000 extra should be workable. And if you can't file before the state court action file a response denying liability and request time to find a lawyer.
    Answer Applies to: Virginia
    Replied: 7/11/2011
    Law Office of Eric Ridley
    Law Office of Eric Ridley | Eric Ridley
    You can generally convert a chapter 13 to a 7 at your discretion, yes.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/4/2013
    Bird & VanDyke, Inc.
    Bird & VanDyke, Inc. | David VanDyke
    An attorney can sometimes qualify you for chapter 7 even if you don't think you qualify. If, after thorough analysis of your income, you still don't qualify for a chapter 7 then you could file a chapter 13. Then, if at some point in time you do end up qualifying for a chapter 7 you could convert the case from 13 to 7.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/11/2011
    Melinda Murphy Dionne, PC
    Melinda Murphy Dionne, PC | Melinda Murphy Dionne
    The means test is a very complex analysis that is best performed by an experienced attorney. There are many deductions that can be used to rebut the presumption of abuse that arises for debtors with high income. Very few debtors are ineligible to file a Chapter 7 case. You need to seek the advice of a skilled bankruptcy lawyer who can run the numbers for you to determine if you qualify. If you are required to file a Chapter 13 case, you can subsequently convert your case to one under Chapter 7 if you lose your income.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 7/11/2011
    Ursula G. Barrios Law
    Ursula G. Barrios Law | Guillermo Machado
    Attempt a Chapter 7 first and worst case (which is 2nd best option) go Chapter 13.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/4/2013
    Hines Law Offices
    Hines Law Offices | Holly H. Hines
    You can file a Chapter 13 and if need be convert the case to a Chapter 7 if your employment should change and you can no longer afford the payments.
    Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
    Replied: 7/4/2013
    Ashman Law Office
    Ashman Law Office | Glen Edward Ashman
    Your question tells me you are about to screw up your bankruptcy by filing pro se. DON'T. The numbers that allow a Chapter 7 almost always prevent a Chapter 13 so you do NOT have a "choice." And changing hours is unhelpful as the means test ignores present earnings and looks at the past. A good lawyer, if you are only 5K over median can likely figure out how you can "pass" the means test, so instead of screwing up and not getting proper relief, use a lawyer and let him do his job.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 7/11/2011
    Carballo Law Offices
    Carballo Law Offices | Tony E. Carballo
    Yes, you can convert your Chapter 13 case to a Chapter 7 case if you lose your job later.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/10/2013
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