How do I know if I qualify to file for chapter 7 bankruptcy?

Asked over 2 years ago - Seattle, WA

I have $55k in unsecured credit card and medical debt and my income is about $50k. Am I eligible to file bankruptcy?

Attorney answers (5)

  1. Patricia Beary

    Contributor Level 10


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Bankruptcy is complicated but here is a simplified explanation. If your annual income is less than the state median, you do not have to complete the means test calculation. Given that your income is about $50,000, it appears that you are under the Washington State median income. The means test determines whether you are eligible to file for chapter 7 relief. If you are under the state median, you have already met the eligibility hurdle. (There are some exceptions to this general rule, however.) A comparison of Schedules I (income) and J (expenses) of the Bankruptcy Petition shows how much monthly disposable income you have after paying necessary expenses. If you have too much disposable income, the United States Trustee could file a motion to have your case dismissed unless you convert to a chapter 13. There are also issues regarding non-exempt property which would have to be turned over to a chapter 7 trustee and liquidated for the benefit of creditors. Your safest bet is to consult with a bankruptcy attorney who is experienced in handling chapter 7 cases.

    Beary Law Offices PLC is not acting as your attorney in providing this response.
  2. James Portman Webster


    Contributor Level 15


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Eligibility is not based upon amount of debt. It is based upon a comparison of income and allowable expenses.

    If you have 12 children, i can almost guarantee you will qualify. If you are single, it depends on your bills.

    Meet with an attorney get a solid idea of where you are at.

    good luck.

    Please contact me directly with document for a free 30 minute consultation to get more concrete advice. This is... more
  3. Gregory J. Jalbert

    Contributor Level 14

    Answered . I'd be happy to review with you your situation if you would like to give me a call. 206 218 4957
    Greg Jalbert

  4. Michelle Carmody Kaplan


    Contributor Level 3

    Answered . There is no straight forward answer to your question. We should discuss your circumstances, including your income for the past 6-months. If you would like to go through the process and see if you are eligible, please feel free to call me. 425-818-4818.

    Michelle C. Kaplan

  5. Dorothy G Bunce


    Contributor Level 20

    Answered . At the end of the month, after you pay your necessary living expenses, how much money do you have left over to put towards paying your debts?

    In my practice, that is the crucial question few people are is able to answer without further work. To help find the answer to this question, I recommend pre-bankruptcy credit counseling at because besides fulfilling the requirement for the bankruptcy court, they also provide you with your credit report

    Hope this perspective helps!

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