Am I Eligible to File for Bankruptcy?

Am I Eligible to File Bankruptcy?

There are many misunderstandings about who is eligible to file bankruptcy. Credit card companies have contributed to the misunderstandings by deliberately misleading customers about changes that were made to bankruptcy laws in October of 2005.
While the new bankruptcy laws have imposed some new requirements, most people with significant debt problems are eligible to file Chapter 7 bankruptcy. If you aren’t eligible to fileChapter 7 bankruptcy, you can still obtain debt relief by filing Chapter 13 bankruptcy.At the bankruptcy law firm of Gross & Patterson, LLC, in Pittsburgh, our lawyers offer a free initial consultation to determine which forms of bankruptcy protection are available to you.

Chapter 7 Eligibility and the Means Test

Before you can file Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you must pass what is known as a means test. As long as you earn less than the Pennsylvania median income for your household size for the past six months, you can file Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

In Pennsylvania, median incomes are the following:

  •  $47,809 for a single person
  •  $56,690 for a family of two
  •  $71,119 for a family of three
  •  $83,162 for a family of four
  •  $91,162 for a family of five

Even if you earn more than the median income, you may be eligible to file Chapter 7 bankruptcy based on your disposable income under certain circumstances. Child support payments, as well as other certain factors may affect your situation.

If you have enough disposable income to pay off certain debts, you may not be eligible to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. When you do earn more than the media income amounts listed above, filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy become much more difficult.

If you earn too much money to file Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you may be eligible for Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Even if you are eligible for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, Chapter 13 may would be a better option if you have significant assets that wouldn’t be protected in a Chapter 7 filing or if you are behind on your mortgage and want to save your house.

Use the bankruptcy means calculator to gauge your eligibility to file for bankruptcy in Pennsylvania.


To schedule a free initial attorney consultation to find out if you are eligible to file bankruptcy, call 412-553-0140 or contact us for a free bankruptcy consultation.