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Qualification factors for Chapter 7 bankruptcy

If you're currently facing a financial crisis, you are definitely not alone in your struggle. In fact, if you were to survey the first 50 people you pass on a New York street, the majority would likely say they have experienced serious money problems at one time or other in their lives. Restoring financial stability is often possible, if you know how to determine a best course of action.

Regardless of what the exact issues were that led to your financial problems, perhaps you faced a medical emergency or lost your job, Chapter 7 bankruptcy might be an option for debt relief you want to consider. As with most debt relief programs, there are eligibility requirements you must meet before submitting an application.

The checklist

To avoid complications and delays, it is wise to speak to someone who is well-versed in bankruptcy regulations ahead of time. The following list includes basic qualifications that make you eligible to apply:

  • Your income needs to pass a means test. If you earn more than the median income for the average household in New York, it disqualifies you for Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
  • You cannot have filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy or Chapter 13 bankruptcy within the past 180 days.
  • If you have successfully applied for and obtained Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy in your past, it cannot have been within eight or six years, respectively, from the time you plan to file in your current circumstances.

If you look into the eligibility requirements for Chapter 7 and learn that you do not qualify, it is not necessarily a hopeless situation because you may qualify for Chapter 13 or may be able to implement another debt relief option.

Take one step at a time

Serious financial problems can be overwhelming and stressful. If you try to bite off more than you can chew, meaning you try to resolve your entire problem with a single effort, not only might that fail to rectify your current problem, there's a good chance it could end up making matters worse.

If you talk to others who have successfully overcome serious financial problems to ask them what worked for them and you tap into available legal resources to learn more about the bankruptcy process, you may be able to find a solution to your problem and lay the groundwork for restored financial stability down the line.

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