Eligibility

This law firm is very warm and welcoming in a difficult situation. Mr. Schwilm and his staff are very friendly and happy to answer questions and calm fears. The paralegal, Abby, even lent a sympathetic ear as I broke down in tears in her office. She was also willing to work with me and my crazy schedule between a full time job and children. I would highly recommend this law firm for any of the ...

Bankruptcy Eligibility in Charlotte

Charlotte Bankruptcy Attorney

At Schwilm Law Firm, PLLC, we examine your individual situation and explain your legal options to you. We help you understand which type of bankruptcy you are eligible to file and how it affects your debt. Our goal is to help you make sense of the bankruptcy laws and to make the complicated bankruptcy process simple for you.

Determining Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Eligibility

Per bankruptcy law, eligibility to file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy is determined by the “means test.” The means test is a formula applied by the court to debtors with personal debt who make more income than the applicable state’s median income. The debtor is allowed to deduct numerous expenses (including basic living costs) from their income. When all of the deductions have been made, the remaining amount is multiplied by 60. If the total amount left is under $10,000 or over $6,000, and it also amounts to 25 percent or more of the debtor's nonpriority, unsecured debt, the court presumes the filing is an abuse of the system. Your best option is to seek the advice of our seasoned bankruptcy attorney at Schwilm Law Firm, PLLC to help you apply the means test to your individual situation.

Determining Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Eligibility

To be eligible to file a Chapter 13 case, you must have sufficient income to propose a repayment plan that the bankruptcy court confirms. Only individuals can seek relief under Chapter 13, but business owners are allowed to include personal debts associated with their businesses. The court looks at the 180 days leading up to your petition date to determine if you had a prior bankruptcy petition dismissed and the circumstances surrounding the dismissal. In addition, Chapter 13 places limits on the total amount of unsecured and secured debts you can have. Therefore, you should seek the advice of an experienced bankruptcy attorney to determine if you are eligible for a Chapter 13 filing.

Determining Bankruptcy Exemptions

The law includes numerous exemptions to protect certain assets owned by the debtor. A homestead exemption is designed to protect the equity up to a certain amount in your principal place of residence. Note that you cannot use the homestead exemption on your investment or rental properties. Personal property includes all property you have other than real estate. The following are some of the most important personal property exemptions that apply up to a certain amount:

  • Motor vehicles
  • Qualified retirement accounts
  • Jewelry
  • Household goods, furnishings and appliances, clothes, books and animals
  • Tools of a trade, including implements and books
  • Health aids
  • Certain life insurance policies

To learn more about exemptions and the amounts they cover, seek the counsel of our attorney at our established Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy law firm.

Contact Schwilm Law Firm, PLLC today!

If you are considering filing a bankruptcy case and you want to know if your assets are protected by exemptions, contact Schwilm Law Firm, PLLC at 704.567.5252 or online to schedule a free initial consultation. Serving the Charlotte metropolitan area, our office offers convenient parking.