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What Are The Requirements For Using Chapter 13 Bankruptcy?

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Using bankruptcy is one way out of debt, but there are several branches you can use. One option is Chapter 13, and this branch works well for some situations. If you are interested in finding relief from debt through this branch, you will need to know several things before using it. First, you should learn about the requirements for Chapter 13. Next, you should determine if this branch is right for you. Here is some information that can help you discover the answers to these things.

Debt Limits

People with too much debt cannot use Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Each year, the bankruptcy courts update the debt limits, and these are the current ones:

  • You cannot owe more than $394,725 in unsecured debts.
  • You cannot owe more than $1,184,200 in secured debts.

Most people have no trouble meeting this requirement, but some do. You can look at your debts and add them up if you think you might be close to the limits. If you are under the limits, you might be able to use Chapter 13.

Previous Filings

The second thing to know is that you must wait for a specific timeframe to file a Chapter 13 case if you filed for bankruptcy in the past. If you used Chapter 7 in the past, you must wait at least four years to file for Chapter 13. If you used Chapter 13, you will need to wait at least two years. If you are not sure how to determine these dates, talk to a bankruptcy lawyer.


Next, you will need to prove that you have enough income to use Chapter 13. Courts call this branch the wage-earners plan, as it requires you to repay the debt. Therefore, you need enough income to repay your debt through a Chapter 13 plan. If you do not have enough income, you will not qualify.

Discuss Your Case with a Bankruptcy Lawyer

Knowing these requirements can help you determine if you are eligible for this branch. If you think you meet these requirements and want to find out if Chapter 13 will help you, meet with a bankruptcy attorney. Meeting with an attorney offers a chance to learn more about your options, which will help you choose the right path to financial freedom. If you have more questions about Chapter 13 bankruptcy, check out sites like or get in touch with a local lawyer.