Chapter 13 bankruptcy is a fairly common form of filing for bankruptcy, but there are a few general guidelines to follow to ensure you are eligible and that everything goes smoothly. If you are considering whether filing Chapter 13 bankruptcy is the right move for you, be sure to retain the services of a qualified bankruptcy lawyer, and review these qualifications to ensure you are eligible.
Chapter 13 Requirements
To file Chapter 13 bankruptcy, first of all, you cannot be a business entity. That means that even if you own a tiny mom-and-pop eBay store that’s run out of your kitchen, you will not qualify for Chapter 13; instead you would have to file Chapter 11 business bankruptcy. Not a business? Moving on. You cannot have discharged debt in a previous Chapter 13 within the last two years, or a Chapter 7 within the last 4 years; if you have done so, you will not be eligible to file Texas bankruptcy until the specified time period has elapsed.
If you have had a previous bankruptcy case dismissed within the past 180 days, whether that case was a Chapter 13 or a Chapter 7, you cannot file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy until the 180 days have elapsed.
If your debts are too high, you will be ineligible to file Chapter 13. You must have less than the federally mandated amount of unsecured debt ($336,900 as of this writing) in order to qualify; more, and you do not qualify. These numbers automatically rise every three years to take inflation into account.