Odds are that you qualify for at least one of the bankruptcy chapters. Very few things will actually disqualify you from filing bankruptcy:
- If you have been in a bankruptcy in the past six months and your case was dismissed under limited circumstances
- If you failed to take an approved pre-bankruptcy credit counseling course within six months before filing your bankruptcy case and you do not meet any of exceptions that would excuse you from taking the course.
The bigger question is what type of bankruptcy you qualify for. Below is a general overview for 99% of bankruptcy filers:
- Is your household income below the average for North Carolina? Is your monthly take home pay about the same, or less than, your monthly expenses? (When making this calculation include payments you make on your car or home, but exclude all other unsecured debts like medical bills, credit cards, and personal loans.)
If so, you may qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
- Is your household income above the median? Are your unsecured debts less than $394,725 and your secured debts less than $1,184,200? Do you have regular income that exceeds the expenses of your bare necessities?
If so, you may qualify for Chapter 13 bankruptcy.
- Do your debts exceed the dollar limits allowed in Chapter 13?
If so, you may qualify for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
- Are you a family farmer or family fisherman?
If so, you may qualify for Chapter 12 bankruptcy instead of Chapter 13 bankruptcy. You may also qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
However, qualifying for bankruptcy is one thing, but whether or not you will be able to obtain a discharge and keep your property gets a little more complicated. Look for part 2 of this article for an overview why you may not want to file bankruptcy even though you qualify.