Chapter 7 is open to most individuals and businesses that haven’t filed a previous bankruptcy in the past 6 – 8 years. Unless you fall under one of a few exemptions (current or recent active military service, for example) you must qualify to file under chapter 7 based on your income. The primary test to determine whether or not you qualify for a chapter 7 bankruptcy is to compare your “current monthly income” to the median income for your state. If you make less than the state median you’ll almost always qualify for a chapter 7, but don’t be discouraged if you make more. If so, you have a second opportunity to qualify under the “means test”. An experienced bankruptcy attorney knows the means test inside and out and will help you to get the best result possible. If you still don’t qualify, you can consider filing a chapter 13 bankruptcy which has some benefits not available under chapter 7.
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