Hi, I’m Darrell Castle and I’m an attorney licensed to practice law in the state of Tennessee. And the answer to that question is, almost anyone can file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Citizens and non-citizens alike qualify.
But there are some things you have to do to qualify for Chapter 13. You have to meet certain requirements. It’s open to anyone who meets these requirements.
First of all, you have to file your income taxes. You have to be able to present proof that you’ve been filing your income tax and so forth.
Second, you can only file if your secured debt — and that means debt that has property that if you did not pay the debt could be taken from you, like your home for example – cannot exceed $1,149,000 and some change. By that, I just mean it’s less than $1,150,000, but it’s more than $1,149,000. And that’s secured debt.
Unsecured debt — it can’t exceed $383,000 and change. So less than $384,000 but more than $383,000. That’s a lot of unsecured debt, folks. It’s a lot of credit card debt. It’s a lot of medical debt. But if you do exceed that, then you could be channeled into either a Chapter 7 or a Chapter 11, which is for people who have huge outstanding debt, which most people don’t have to worry about.
So, just about anybody can file for Chapter 13. The biggest requirement and the thing to keep in mind is that you have to have disposable income. Because in Chapter 13, you’re going to be repaying at least some of your debt with an affordable payment. So in order to do that, you have to have income, like a balance sheet. There has to be enough difference with your income and expense to make payments that are set up for you in the Chapter 13 system. You have to be able to pay your basic necessities — food, clothing, utilities and things of that nature and still make that Chapter 13 payment.
It’s easy for most people because it’s very affordable. But the long-short of it folks is that just about anybody can qualify for Chapter 13. Just go see a qualified Chapter 13 practitioner and he’ll explain it all to you.
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