What is the minimum debt for bankruptcy? 24 Answers as of October 21, 2013

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Philip R. Boardman, Attorney at Law
Philip R. Boardman, Attorney at Law | Phil Boardman
There is no minimum.
Answer Applies to: Virginia
Replied: 10/21/2013
The Law Office of Darren Aronow, PC
The Law Office of Darren Aronow, PC | Darren Aronow
There is no minimum debt.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 10/21/2013
Law Office of Robert Sisson | Robert Sisson
There is no real minimum. It comes down to if it's the right option for you.
Answer Applies to: Wisconsin
Replied: 10/21/2013
Bird & VanDyke, Inc.
Bird & VanDyke, Inc. | David VanDyke
There is no minimum debt to file for bankruptcy. This is because what may not be a lot of debt for one person could be overwhelming for another person, usually depending on income and household size. Bankruptcy is a serious matter and one should not use this right unless absolutely necessary. The court allows you to personally determine how much debt is to much to deal with.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 10/18/2013
Deborah F Bowinski, Attorney & Counselor at Law | Debby Bowinski
There is no minimum. However, it must be an amount that you cannot repay in a reasonable amount of time, and an amount that makes it worth your while to go through the process and have a bankruptcy case filing in your credit history. If you are considering bankruptcy I suggest that you schedule an initial consultation with an experienced attorney (many will do this at no charge) to learn what is involved in the process and to determine whether it is a reasonable solution for you.
Answer Applies to: Colorado
Replied: 10/18/2013
    Law Office of David T Egli | David T. Egli
    There is no minimum debt for bankruptcy. When you file a chapter 7 bankruptcy, you are asserting that you can't pay the money you owe by the time it is due. However, the negative effects of bankruptcy and the eight-year prohibition against filing again if you received a discharge in the first case, most who do not have substantial debt try to use other alternatives to resolve their debt usually makes looking at alternatives advisable if the amounts owed are not that large. Try to work out settlements with your creditors. Many will substantially discount what you owe them and allow payment to be made in installments. If possible, seek to do this before the creditor has obtained a court judgment against you as generally creditors with judgments require a higher percentage of the de.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 10/18/2013
    Portland Bankruptcy Law Group
    Portland Bankruptcy Law Group | Christopher J. Kane
    There is no minimum amount of debt required for you to file bankruptcy.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 10/18/2013
    Idaho Bankruptcy Law | Paul Ross
    No minimum amount exists to file for bankruptcy. However, you have to weight the costs of paying for a bankruptcy as opposed to paying off the debts. Do not forget the somewhat lasting effect of filing bankruptcy on your credit.
    Answer Applies to: Idaho
    Replied: 10/18/2013
    Elkington Law
    Elkington Law | Sally Elkington
    There is no actual minimum debt to file a bankruptcy. In a Chapter 7, you can discharge any amount of dischargeable debt. In a Chapter 13, you actually don't have to discharge any debt, but can reorganize non-dischargeable debt or dischargeable debt.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 10/18/2013
    Mark S Cherry, Attorney at Law, PC
    Mark S Cherry, Attorney at Law, PC | Mark Cherry
    Each case is based on whether the individual is insolvent. There is no actual minimum but requires analysis.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 10/18/2013
    Charles R. Chesnutt, P.C.
    Charles R. Chesnutt, P.C. | Charles R. Chesnutt
    None, other than common sense.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 10/18/2013
    Law Offices of David A. Tilem | Michael Avanesian
    No minimum but obviously if filing for bk is going to cost more than you owe, it's not a good idea.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 10/18/2013
    Law Office of Shawn N. Wright | Shawn N. Wright
    There is no minimum amount of debt required to file a bankruptcy case. On the other hand, the filing fee for a Chapter 7 is $306 and there are legal fees and a fee for the Pre Filing Counseling to consider as well. It all depends on the amount of debt you have versus your monthly income. If you're a senior citizen on a fixed income, then $6,000 or $7,000 of debt can seem insurmountable. But if you've got a good job with the ability to work extra hours or make extra money, then credit card debts of $25,000 will be manageable. The other situation I see if that some people don't need to wipe out debts. They simply need to reorganize their debts. I have a client who had gotten severely sick and was without income. He fell behind significantly on his mortgage and was facing foreclosure. He had no debts whatsoever, except for his mortgage. So, his strategy was to file a Chapter 13 bankruptcy to repay his mortgage arrears and to catch up on his house loan. He's not wiping out any debt at all. I actually see a lot of people like that. The reason is that if this particular client did not ultimately file a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, then he would have definitely lost his house. His lender simply would not work with him.
    Answer Applies to: Pennsylvania
    Replied: 10/18/2013
    Law Offices of Peter De Bruyn
    Law Offices of Peter De Bruyn | Peter De Bruyn
    There is no minimum debt required to fill bankruptcy.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 10/18/2013
    Rhymer Law Firm
    Rhymer Law Firm | William Rhymer
    Legally there is no minimum. The decision should be made on good business judgement. Most people that file a Chapter 7 have at least $10,000.00 or more that would be discharged in a case. However, if you have a job where you make more than it takes you to live, then you might consider just trying to pay off the debt. I and most bankruptcy attorneys offer a free consultation to discuss your facts and options.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 10/18/2013
    Michael B. McFarland, P.A. | Michael B. McFarland
    There is no minimum debt required to file bankruptcy. However, since bankruptcy is a serious decision, with long-term effects, it should not be used to avoid debts that could be paid (or settled) over a short term. Also bankruptcy is not free; so you would need to owe more than a bankruptcy would cost.
    Answer Applies to: Idaho
    Replied: 10/18/2013
    Stuart P Gelberg
    Stuart P Gelberg | Stuart P Gelberg
    There is no minimum?
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 10/18/2013
    The Law Offices of Deborah Ann Stencel | Deborah A. Stencel
    There is no minimum under the law for either Chapter 7 or Chapter 13. The question you should be asking is whether the amount of debt you have can be re-paid in a reasonable time without impacting your health and well-being or if there is some factor (like needing to get your license back, stop a garnishment) that means you need to file ASAP.
    Answer Applies to: Wisconsin
    Replied: 10/18/2013
    Law Offices of Joseph A. Mannis
    Law Offices of Joseph A. Mannis | Todd Mannis
    There is none.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 10/18/2013
    Steele, George, Schofield & Ramos, LLP
    Steele, George, Schofield & Ramos, LLP | Alan E. Ramos
    There is no minimum amount of debt required to file a bankruptcy petition. However, it is important to make sure that bankruptcy is the appropriate thing to do. I have been situations in which people had very little debt and filed bankruptcy. There were other, more practical options those folks could have used to resolve their debt problems. You should at least contact your local bar association to see an attorney. Most bar associations have programs in which you can see an attorney for very little cost ($30-$35) to find the most appropriate strategy for dealing with your issues. This answer was provided as a public service to a question posed on the Law Q & A website. The answer is based on the information provided and is limited to those facts. Furthermore, the answer is based on California law and their application to bankruptcy law in California. Additional information could change the context of the question and materially change the answer.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 10/18/2013
    Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney
    Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney | Janet Lawson
    There is no minimum. I have done one for $3,900.00 because the client wanted peace of mind.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 10/18/2013
    Law Office of Erik Severino | Erik Severino
    There is no minimum amount of debt that one is required to have in order to file bankruptcy, but a good rule of thumb is $10,000 of unsecured debt.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 10/18/2013
    A Fresh Start
    A Fresh Start | Dorothy G Bunce
    Bankruptcy law does not provide a minimum debt you owe, but a bankruptcy must be filed "in good faith." You can't file bankuptcy just because you don't want to pay a particular debt. You must be able to show that you are not financially able to pay even 25% of the debt over a 5 year period of time. The costs associated with filing bankruptcy as well as the fact that bankruptcy is a lifeline, available to use to obtain a discharge only once every eight years, also influences whether or not filing bankruptcy for a small amount of debt is the right choice.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 10/18/2013
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