Jump to Navigation

Do I Qualify for Chapter 7?

There is a lot of misinformation out there about who is eligible to file Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Credit card companies and even some inexperienced bankruptcy lawyers may tell you that you do not qualify. The truth is that most people with serious debt problems
are eligible.


At the Orantes Law Firm, in Los Angeles, attorney Giovanni Orantes is dedicated to helping individuals throughout Southern California obtain debt relief by filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy. We offer a free initial consultation to determine if you are eligible.


The Chapter 7 Means Test


If your average monthly income over the past six months is below the California adjusted median income, then you are automatically eligible to file Chapter 7 bankruptcy. In 2011, the California median income was $48,009 for a single wage earner, $62,970 for a family of two, $68,670 for a family of three and $78,869 for a family of four.  These amounts change periodically; so, do not be discouraged if you need relief.  Contact us for us to determine whether you are eligible.


If your income is above the California median income, we can perform a secondary means test that considers your disposable income. This secondary means test allows you to deduct certain expenses such as mortgage payments, car payments and retirement plan contributions from your income. In some cases, simple changes such as contributing more to your 401(k) or IRA account can make you eligible to file Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Only an experienced bankruptcy attorney can give you proper guidance in how to become eligible under the secondary means test.


To be eligible to file Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you must not have filed bankruptcy and received a discharge within the past eight years. If you are not eligible to file Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you may still be able to obtain debt relief by filing Chapter 13 bankruptcy.


Some People May Qualify Even If They Fail The Means Test


If your debts are mostly “non-consumer” debts, you may still be able to qualify for Chapter 7 relief even if you would otherwise fail the means test.  For example, if your debts are related to a business endeavor of most types (such as trying to start a restaurant, rental property, etc.), are mostly tax debts or student debt used for tuition and books, you may still be eligible to file for bankruptcy protection under Chapter 7 even if your income is above the State’s median.  Let us help you determine if you qualify.


For More Information About Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Eligibility


To find out if you are eligible to file Chapter 7 bankruptcy, call 213-389-4362 or contact us by e-mail to schedule a free attorney consultation and learn more. Se habla español.

How Can We Help You?

Bold labels are required.
Contact Information


The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Privacy Policy

Our Latest Blog Posts

Need help? Email Us Here! Live Chat

← Prev Step

Thanks for contacting us. We'll get back to you as soon as we can.

Please provide a valid name, email, and question.

Powered by LivelyChat
Powered by LivelyChat Delete History