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Who Can File a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?

Almost any individual, partnership, LLC, or corporation may file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

To obtain a Chapter 7 discharge, you must meet certain qualifying conditions.

Note: Only individuals obtain a Chapter 7 "discharge."  Therefore, in the opinion of many attorneys, only in certain limited situations should a partnership, LLC or corporation file Chapter 7 bankruptcy. 

You cannot file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy if:

You obtained a discharge of debts in a prior Chapter 7 bankruptcy case within the last 8 years; or

You obtained a discharge of debts in a prior Chapter 13 bankruptcy case within the last 6 years (there are exceptions to this rule); or

Note: that these eight and six year periods run from the date you filed for the earlier bankruptcy, not the date you received your discharge.

A prior filed Chapter 7 bankruptcy case was dismissed within the past 180 days because: (1) The Court ruled that you violated a court order, your filing was fraudulent, or your case filing was a substantial abuse of the bankruptcy system; or you requested a dismissal after a creditor asked for relief from the automatic stay.

Who Can File a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy?

Individuals may file chapter 13 bankruptcy petitions if they:

        Have a source of regular income; and

On the date the petition is filed owe less than $290,525 in (non-contingent, liquidated) unsecured debts and less than $871,550 in (non-contingent, liquidated) secured debts.

        Corporations and partnerships may not file a chapter 13 bankruptcy petition.

To obtain Chapter 13 discharge, you must meet certain qualifying conditions.  

You cannot file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy if:

You obtained a discharge of debts in a prior Chapter 7 bankruptcy case within the last 4 years; or

You obtained a discharge of debts in a prior Chapter 13 bankruptcy case within the last 2 years ; or

Note: that these four and two year periods run from the date you received your discharge.

Other 180 day time limitation restrictions related to prior bankruptcy filings may apply as well.

Who Can File a Chapter 11 Bankruptcy?

Chapter 11 reorganization bankruptcy is available, subject to qualification, to any business, whether organized as a corporation, partnership or sole proprietorship, and to individuals; however, it is primarily utilized by by corporations.

A Chapter 11 bankruptcy is typically far more expensive than a Chapter 7 or 13 bankruptcy.

Certain time limitation restrictions related to prior bankruptcy filings (not discussed in this article) may apply.

Note: Chapter 9 (municipalities) and Chapter 12 (family farmer) bankruptcies are not discussed in this article.

For more information, contact Christian lawyer, Matthew B. Tozer for a free, private and confidential telephone or office consultation.

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