Everybody can file bankruptcy. There are two kinds of bankruptcies that are typically used by individuals: Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. And so, yes, there are requirements that have to be met in order to file Chapter 7 bankruptcy, and they have to do primarily with your income. But, even if you can’t file Chapter 7 because you make too much money, Chapter 13 is eligible to everybody. And both in Chapter 7 and Chapter 13, you will receive a discharge. That’s really the reason you’re going to file bankruptcy is to obtain a discharge. It’s the discharge that protects you from your unsecured creditors. Your unsecured creditors are companies like credit card companies, medical debts, broken leases, repossessed cars, all of those debts will go away either in Chapter 7 or in Chapter 13. Yes, it’s true in Chapter 13 you may have to pay back a portion of those debts, but for most of our clients, even in Chapter 13, they’re paying back a very small percentage of those debts. So, yes, you’re eligible to file bankruptcy.
Look, all the things that you heard about in 2005 where they changed the bankruptcy laws, they made it more difficult to file bankruptcy, there was a lot of hype in that that’s really not true. The laws in 2005 were targeted at a very small group of people to force them into Chapter 13 because Congress believed they could pay back a portion of the debt. But, even if that were the case in your situation, most of the time the portion of the debt that you have to repay is small.
Look, if you take advantage of my free consultation and I know what your income is and I know what your household size is, I will be able to tell you with a relative high certainty right at the initial consultation if you have to file Chapter 13, here’s what you would have to repay to your unsecured creditors, it’s usually not very much and you will get a discharge order, meaning that you won’t have to repay the remainder of that debt. So we urge you to come in, take advantage of that consultation. We’ll show you exactly what your options are. We’ll let you know if you qualify for Chapter 7. If you don’t qualify for Chapter 7 and you have to file Chapter 13, we’ll let you know what the Chapter 13 payment is so you’ll be able to make an informed decision.