If you’re in over your head with debt or financial stress, you may be considering the option of bankruptcy. Chapter 13 bankruptcy is a particular kind that allows you to reorganize your debts into a reasonable payment plan based on your economic situation. It’s a great option for people who want to keep their assets – for example, it’s often a preferred method for stopping foreclosure and keeping one’s house.
In general it’s not difficult to qualify for Chapter 13, but here are a few rules to keep in mind:
- Only individuals (not businesses) can file Chapter 13, but business owners can still be eligible.
- You also have to have enough income to be able to enter a payment plan. This doesn’t usually have to be very much money, and it can include income ranging from normal wages to Social Security benefits to alimony.
- It’s possible to have too much debt to file Chapter 13; however, those numbers are set relatively high: $1,081,400 in secured debt and $360,475 in unsecured debt (adjusted periodically for inflation). It’s helpful to talk with an attorney who can look into both your secured and unsecured debts before determining whether that could be a problem for you.
- You need to be up-to-date on your income tax filings.
- If you’ve filed bankruptcy already within the last 2-4 years, that filing may affect a Chapter 13 case.
All of these requirements come with certain complications; and even if you don’t qualify for Chapter 13 it doesn’t necessarily mean you’re out of options. Because bankruptcy laws can be so complex, it’s usually wise to talk with an attorney if you have questions about whether you qualify.
Our Memphis Chapter 13 bankruptcy lawyers can discuss your situation with you for free and help you figure out your options. Contact us today or call us at (901) 327-2100 to get started.