I am always surprised when a client of mine asks if they are “far enough” into debt to file bankruptcy. There is no minimum amount of debt required to file bankruptcy. There are, in fact, maximum amounts of debt that can prevent you from filing Chapter 13, but as far as bankruptcy goes, while there might be a ceiling, there is no floor.
It is important to note that while you might be able to file bankruptcy with a very small amount of debt, that does not necessarily mean that you should file with such a small amount of debt. Still, every case is different, and whereas a debt of $5,000 can be perfectly manageable for a family with a six-figure income, the same debt could be devastating for a household that might be dealing with a long period of unemployment or health care needs.
Bankruptcy was designed to help Americans get a fresh start after accumulating too much debt, so to enforce a minimum in order to file would be like asking consumers to make their problems even worse before trying to correct them. Instead, if you are facing foreclosure or have maxed out your credit cards, you should contact a Washington DC bankruptcy lawyer to discuss whether filing Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy makes sense for you.
Rest assured, even if you are only a few dollars in debt, you are certainly eligible to file. If you contact my office for a free consultation, I can tell you whether you really need to do so or not.
Law Firm of Kevin D. Judd – Washington DC bankruptcy attorney