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Qualifications for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

Chapter 7 bankruptcy is a special filing status that allows a successful applicant to discharge much, if not all, of their unsecured debt. Chapter 7 is not for everyone, and the courts are leery of would-be abusers of the bankruptcy system, so there are some qualifications that those hoping to file for Chapter 7 have to meet.

In order to ensure that those individuals filing in bankruptcy court are in true and irreconcilable financial distress, applicants are required to clear an examination known as the ‘means test’, which assesses whether or not they have sufficient income to pay their debts given time. If you fail this test, the court will deny an application for Chapter 7 and may suggest that you explore the option of Chapter 13 bankruptcy as an alternative.

Grounds for Denial

The court will block your attempt to file for Chapter 7 if any of the following criteria apply to you:

  • Your income is above the mean for a household of your size, and is sufficient to pay a portion of your debt as determined by the means test.
  • Your debt has previously been discharged via bankruptcy proceedings. This rule applies for Chapter 7 filings in the last eight years and Chapter 13 filings in the last 6.
  • You created the debt you are attempting to have discharged through fraudulent methods.
  • You have unsuccessfully attempted to file for bankruptcy in the last 180 days.

If you have questions about your eligibility for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, contact an experienced bankruptcy attorney.

Contact Us

If your debt has become unmanageable, bankruptcy may hold the answer for you. Call the experienced and skilled Houston bankruptcy attorneys at the Russell Van Beustring P.C., today at 713-973-6650 to learn more about your options.

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