If you are worried that your debts aren’t big enough to file for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, or your income is too high, here is what you need to know.
1. What is the minimum debt needed to file?
There is no minimum amount you need to owe to file bankruptcy.
However, at our office we would begin to question the need to file bankruptcy if your debts are less than $5,000.
2. How much income is too much?
If your income is less than the median income for a household of your size in Minnesota, you automatically qualify for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy.
The median Minnesota incomes are:
3. What is the Means Test?
If your income is above the above median incomes for your household size, you may still qualify for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in Minnesota if you can pass the means test.
The means test is basically a budget. If your expenses are high, there is a good chance you will pass the test.
Unusually high car and mortgage debts are particularly likely to help you pass the means test.
4. What about Business Debts
You can automatically file Chapter 7 if your debts are not primarily consumer debts. Thus, if you have a lot of business debt, you can file Chapter 7 even though your household income is above the median.
5. Chapter 13
If you can’t qualify for a Chapter 7 because of your income, you can still file for Chapter 13 Bankruptcy.
You don’t usually have to pay your debts in full in Chapter 13. Most Chapter 13’s only pay a small share of what their debts total, but Chapter 13 ends with a discharge of your debts, even if you didn’t pay them in full.
A good example is that you might owe $50,000 in credit cards, but pay them only $500 in you Chapter 13 plan. You still get out of debt at the end of the Chapter 13.
Chapter 13 also works on some debts that Chapter 7 doesn’t work on. Sometimes you get out of debts in Chapter 13 while paying less than you would have paid if you had filed Chapter 7.
You don’t have to be poor to file Chapter 7. If you are thinking of filing, Contact Us at 612-824-4357 and we will be happy to discuss your case with you.