If you are among the many Americans facing overwhelming debt, you may be considering filing for bankruptcy. Most people filing for personal bankruptcy do so through either Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, depending on their level of income, and there are some important distinctions between the two. In a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, for example, you may be able to hang on to certain assets, such as your home or your car, if you are currently earning income. However, you must meet certain criteria to be eligible for filing.
More specifically, to qualify for a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you must:
Not have other recent bankruptcy filings
If you already had debt discharged through a Chapter 13 bankruptcy within the last two years or through a Chapter 7 bankruptcy within the last four years, you may not file again until that two- or four-year period passes. Furthermore, if you filed a bankruptcy petition within the past 180 days and it was dismissed at your request, or because you failed to show up in court or violated a court order, this, too, may prevent you from filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy.
Not have too much debt
Another eligibility requirement for filing for a Chapter 13 bankruptcy is not having too much debt. You may not file for this type of bankruptcy if you exceed the debt limits placed on secured and unsecured debts, but it is important to note these limits change every three years to compensate for inflation.
Have filed your tax returns
To meet the criteria necessary for a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you must have proof you filed state and federal tax returns for the last four years. Additionally, you must have a copy of your most recent federal tax return on hand at least seven days prior to the first meeting of your trustee.
These are just some of the qualifications you must meet to file for a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, but this is not an exhaustive list.
Disclaimer - Attorney Advertising. Under Federal Law, we have been designated a Debt Relief Agency and we help people file for bankruptcy relief under the Bankruptcy Code. This information is not intended as legal advice and no attorney-client relationship is created. Results may vary. Results not guaranteed. Dramatization - not actual clients in pictures and videos. Thomas C. McBride, attorney in Alexandria, LA.