What's the minimum amount of debt you must owe before filing for bankruptcy?

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Question:

I lost my job over two years ago, and have not been able to find stable employment since. I do not have a great deal of debt, but it is too much for me to pay, and creditors are beginning to call me frequently. Is there a certain amount of debt that I must have to file for bankruptcy?

Answer:

There are different limitations for filing for the different forms of bankruptcy. Chapter 7 bankruptcy holds no maximum or minimum limitations to debt. Chapter 13 bankruptcy requires secured debts of no more than $1,010,650 and unsecured debts of no more than $336,900.

Though there are no minimums to Chapter 7 bankruptcy, it is best utilized by individuals who have absorbent debt. All possessions, other than those exempt by federal and state law, are left to the bankruptcy trustee to liquidate and repay creditors with. In addition, there are no minimums to Chapter 13 bankruptcy. However in contrast to Chapter 7, this method can be used effectively by those with only minimal debt. Chapter 13 bankruptcy involves the reorganization of one’s debts and the arrangement of a repayment plan to all creditors.

In both methods an “automatic stay” will be immediately granted and the negative effect on one’s credit score will last up to ten years, but the following process is very different. And although Chapter 13 can be appealing to those with minimal debts, it requires a consistent and continued income to fulfill the repayment plan. Overall, it is best to avoid bankruptcy if possible.

Talk to a Bankruptcy Lawyer to find out if bankruptcy is right for you, or if other options would be a better solution.

Good luck.

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