When you are not interested in liquidating your assets, but your income does not cover your expenses, it may make sense for you to look at your legal options to get you out from under the financial strain. According to the Oregon State Bar, you may be eligible to file a Chapter 13 bankruptcy if you meet certain qualifications.
As the sole proprietor of a business, you may file for debt reorganization. However, you will not qualify if you have a different type of business, such as a C or S Corporation, or a partnership. If a business is not involved, you and your spouse may file as a couple, or you may file individually.
If you received a discharge for a Chapter 13 bankruptcy in the previous two years, or a Chapter 7 in the previous four years, you are not yet eligible to file again. You may not be able to file if a consumer credit counseling agency would be able to help you organize your finances and pay your debts without altering your current payment plans.
To qualify, there is a cap on how much debt you may have. This amount changes, so you should check the law for the current limit. At this time, your secured debt, which involves collateral such as a home or car, must not exceed $1,184,200, and your unsecured debt, such as credit cards or medical bills, may not exceed $394,725.
Above all, you must have an income to qualify for a Chapter 13 bankruptcy so that you may make the monthly payments once these have been set for you by the court. However, this income does not necessarily involve job earnings, as child support, government benefits and pensions are included. This information may help you understand some of the eligibility requirements, but it should not be interpreted as legal advice.