When you’re seemingly drowning in debt, you may not know the options you have. If you fail to pay back your debts, you risk losing your property, facing wage garnishments, and being sued for unpaid debts. However, you may be hesitant to file for bankruptcy due to the negative connotations surrounding bankruptcy. There are additional benefits that should be considered before you file for bankruptcy. You may also wonder whether or not you’re even eligible to file. Keep reading to learn who can initiate the process and how a Memphis, TN consumer bankruptcy lawyer can help you navigate this process.
Are There Restrictions on Who Can File for Bankruptcy?
Generally, anyone in the United States can file for bankruptcy, regardless of whether or not they can file for bankruptcy. This includes non-citizens and though rare, those under 18. There is no law that prohibits children from filing for bankruptcy, but it doesn’t happen often, as many creditors do not lend to children.
What Other Requirements Must Be Met?
However, this does not mean anyone with little debt can file for bankruptcy. There are additional requirements debtors must meet before they can pursue this financial avenue.
If someone wants to pursue Chapter 7 bankruptcy, they must meet the following requirements:
- Your average income for the previous six months must be lower than your state’s median income for similar-sized households
- If your income is higher, you must pass a means test, which determines whether or not your income is high enough to make payments to creditors
- You haven’t filed Chapter 7 bankruptcy in eight years or Chapter 13 in seven years
- If you filed and your case was dismissed, you must wait, at minimum, 181 days before you can try to refile
The guidelines for qualifying for Chapter 13 bankruptcy are as follows:
- You must have the income to make the payments
- You must provide proof that you’ve filed federal income tax over the past four years
- You must attend and complete a credit counseling course
- Your unsecured debts must be lower than the debt limit as of April 2022 – this limit changes every three years
What Should I Do if I Want to File for Bankruptcy?
If you want to file for bankruptcy, ensuring that you take the necessary steps is vital. However, you cannot complete this process without the assistance of a qualified and competent attorney. Though you may try, it is certainly not in your best interest. Bankruptcy is a complex, nuanced process that, if done incorrectly, can drag the process out for much longer.
Instead, contacting the Arnold Law Firm to connect with a competent attorney is essential to making the process as simple as possible. We understand how to navigate this process with ease, ensuring that you can make the most informed decisions along the way. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you through this process.