How to Decide if Chapter 7 Bankruptcy is Best for You
Bankruptcy is a term that you hear frequently. While listening to the news, you hear stories of major companies going bankrupt and filing for bankruptcy and you wonder to yourself, “How did they go bankrupt? Shouldn’t these companies have money to pay their bills?” Sometimes that’s not the case for companies. But they are not the only ones who can file for bankruptcy. You may be able to file for bankruptcy as well, depending upon your unique situation.
Bankruptcy is a Federal Process
Bankruptcy is a legal process governed by the federal courts – either the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania or the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania. There are two types of bankruptcy that will allow you to discharge all or part of your debt:
- Chapter 7
- Chapter 13
For purposes of today, we will discuss Chapter 7 bankruptcy. The steps below will help you decide whether Chapter 7 bankruptcy is best for you.
Review Your Income, Expenses and Assets
Take a look at your monthly income, expenses and assets. Track them on a spreadsheet. Doing so will help you decide whether you should pursue Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Now ask yourself these questions:
- Does it make sense for me to file bankruptcy? Or can I handle the debt on my own?
- Are creditors constantly calling me because of missed payments?
- Will I have to give up my property if I don’t file?
- Can creditors garnish my wages?
- Will debt consolidation help me?
- If I file bankruptcy, will it get rid of enough debt?
Once you’ve reviewed and tracked your income, expenses and assets and have an exact number of what you make each month, how much you owe creditors, and whether you own any property of value, you will have a better idea of your situation.
If you feel you should proceed with filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy, contact a knowledgeable Lehighton and Carbon County Chapter 7 bankruptcy attorney to discuss making a new start with Chapter 7.
Determine Eligibility with the Pennsylvania Bankruptcy Means Test
The first step to deciding whether Chapter 7 bankruptcy is best for you is to take the Pennsylvania means test. This test helps determine whether your monthly income and expenses are within standards to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. The test is designed to prevent people from filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy if they make enough money to pay their debts.
The means test determines standards by household income and are subject to change each year. As of May 1, 2019, the monthly income levels in Pennsylvania is as follows:
- Single household: $4,593.08
- 2-person household: $5,554.08
- 3-person household: $6,876.50
If you make more than these income levels in one month, you may be able to pursue other bankruptcy options besides Chapter 7.
Advantages of Filing a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in Pennsylvania:
- Getting a fresh start
- Protection against creditors
- Keeping your income and property acquired after the bankruptcy
- Fast processing as most bankruptcy cases are discharged within 6 months
Considering Filing A Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in Pennsylvania? Contact a Bankruptcy Attorney Today.
If you’re looking to gain a fresh start, Chapter 7 may be the best option for you. Because bankruptcy laws are complex and confusing, Lehighton & Carbon county bankruptcy attorney Adam Weaver can help you explore Chapter 7 as well as other bankruptcy options. Attorney Weaver will thoroughly explain the bankruptcy process and identify your needs with a cost-effective approach. Call 570-818-4888 or contact our office online for a consultation.