Last updated: October 23rd, 2020
People are often curious about if they can file bankruptcy, and for most people the answer is “yes” they are eligible to seek bankruptcy protection. However bankruptcy is not always the best choice of action for everyone.
Your eligibility for bankruptcy depends on a number of factors, including what type of bankruptcy you want to file, your income, your personal status, and whether you have filed another bankruptcy case recently.
This table provides an overview of the eligibility requirements for the main types of bankruptcy. As used in this table, the term “Individual” includes married couples.
Even if you are eligible for bankruptcy protection, you still have to decide whether a bankruptcy filing is a good idea for you. For example, you should consider whether or not you are eligible for a discharge (elimination) of your debts. For most people, a discharge of debts in bankruptcy is one of the main reasons for filing bankruptcy. Many factors affect your eligibility for a discharge, including whether you have already filed for bankruptcy before (see our article about repeat bankruptcy filings).
Other considerations include negative factors that outweigh the benefits of a bankruptcy filing, such as damage to credit, loss of professional licenses or reputation, potential liquidation of assets in Chapter 7, or your ability to successfully reorganize in Chapters 11, 12 or 13. To address those issues, you should discuss your case with an experienced bankruptcy attorney.