“Will I qualify for bankruptcy?”

“Will I qualify for bankruptcy?” This common question can usually be answered “yes,” although it is not always possible to determine what Chapter of the bankruptcy code should be used until consulting with a bankruptcy attorney.

Horror stories, rumours, and just plain wrong information abounds out there. It is rare that someone wouldn’t qualify for bankruptcy at all, and if that does happen it is usually reflective of a past history of telling lies or half-truths to the court.

What does it take? If you file, you should be doing it for some strategic reason — usually that you can’t pay all of your bills. Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t own any property after you file, it simply isn’t true. The allowances are fairly generous — for example a Massachusetts homeowner can have up to $500,000 in home equity after filing. New Hampshire homeowners can have up to $100,000 in equity after a filing, and $200,000 for married homeowners filing jointly.

On the other hand, there is no minimum amount of debt required to file. Senior citizens, in particular, often benefit from a bankruptcy case even if the total amount of their debts would seem small to others.

You may be behind in some payments and struggling to make ends meet. There are some pretty significant rules as to what kind of bankruptcy you can file and which type will be best for you. I would be glad to review your circumstances and advice you as to whether you should file and if so, under which chapter.


By Doug Beaton

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