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Should I file for chapter 7 or chapter 13 bankruptcy protection

Pennsauken, NJ |

I need some good advice. Everyone has a different answer for me and I am really confused and unsure what to do. After my husband died I used my crdit cards to maintain my lifestyle, well we know where that got me. Should I file chapter 13/ I am 63 years old and have a good job, but not enough to make these payment. Please help me!!

Attorney Answers 2


Note that I am not licensed to practice in your state.

You are eligible to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy if you make less than the median income. If you're the sole income earner, then you cannot make more than $56,151. If you make more than that, then you must file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy if you need to file for bankruptcy at all.

Chapter 13 bankruptcy does not discharge or forgive any of your debts. What Chapter 13 bankruptcy does is structure a payment plan through the bankruptcy courts for your debts so that you can pay them off in 5 or 7 years, depending on what you and your creditors agree on.

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First, Gabriel's comment regarding median income is incorrect. Even if you are above the median income--in many cases, even if you are *substantially* above median income--you may still be eligible for Chapter 7. This is because you are entitled to take a number of deductions from your income, some based on your actual expenses and some based on a formula.

As far as whether Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 is best for you, it depends on the details of your situation. I strongly recommend speaking with a local bankruptcy attorney. He or she can review your specific circumstances and let you know what you can and can't do.

Brett Weiss

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