Filing bankruptcy in San Diego, CA often means the difference between continuing to endure creditor harassment and waging the unwinnable war with your debt, and achieving financial freedom and getting your finances back in order. However, before rushing to meet a Chapter 7 bankruptcy lawyer, you have to know if you qualify for Chapter 7 and how often you can file this bankruptcy. Here are the most important steps in the process of determining your own eligibility.
Do I qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy?
When you start thinking about filing for bankruptcy under Chapter 7, it’s vital to first understand the requirements you have to meet in order to qualify for it. This involves three aspects – the means test, credit counseling, and additional criteria.
Passing the means test
Bankruptcy means a test is in place to determine if you are eligible for Chapter 7 or not. This test compares the median income in your state for a family of your approximate size with your current monthly income.
If your income is overly high, you may not be able to qualify for Chapter 7, as this would indicate you might have enough money to repay a portion of your debts. If so, you might want to look at other options available besides bankruptcy.
You fit the certain criteria
You are only eligible for filing Chapter 7 if you meet the following criteria:
- You’re an individual
- You’re married and you’re filing a joint bankruptcy alongside your spouse
- You’re in a business partnership with a person other than your spouse
- You are a proprietor and you have personal liability on certain business debts
You complete credit counseling
Finally, if you meet the above criteria, you have to successfully undergo credit counseling held by a counseling agency approved by the government. You are required to do this within 180 days of your discharge. Failing to do so will result in the immediate termination of your Chapter 7 case.
How often can you file Chapter 7?
The frequency of successfully and unsuccessfully filing Chapter 7 can also affect your eligibility to try again. Depending on whether or not you’ve received bankruptcy discharges or you’ve been rejected for Chapter 7, you will have to wait a certain amount of time before attempting to file again.
- Bankruptcy discharge: Bankruptcy law also serves to prevent individuals from constantly running up their debt and discharging them through bankruptcy. If you’ve had a successful Chapter 7 claim within the last 8 years, you will not be eligible to file.
- Bankruptcy dismissal: If you’ve had the bankruptcy court dismiss your bankruptcy claim in the last 180 days, you will have to wait for some more time to pass before trying to file again. The reasons for dismissal are varied, and the most common ones are:
- Violating your court orders
- Abusing the bankruptcy system
- Making a fraudulent filing
Who are San Diego’s leading Chapter 7 bankruptcy lawyers to help me with my case?
The first thing you should know about Chapter 7 bankruptcy is whether or not you are eligible for it. Only then should you start thinking about the other aspects, such as how long the process of Chapter 7 can take, or what you should never do before filing Chapter 7. However, if you’re having trouble understanding the details of this type of bankruptcy, you should hire a respectable bankruptcy attorney, schedule a meeting, and do all you can to prepare for that meeting in order to get the most out of it.
But, which bankruptcy law firm from San Diego do you contact? There’s only one answer – Bankruptcy Law Offices of Mark L. Miller. We are qualified and educated attorneys who know all the vital details of bankruptcy law in California. You can count on our assistance with your Chapter 7 claim. We will do all we can to make it a success. Contact our offices and schedule a free consultation. You’ll easily find us, as we are very near the San Diego International Airport. Give us a call today!