No one plans to end up in a significantly difficult financial situation. However, a number of unexpected circumstances could contribute to anyone facing money problems. Even if you have a steady income, you may have substantially more debt than you can handle and wonder what your options are.

For individuals like you who have a regular income, Chapter 13 bankruptcy may be the debt relief option to consider. Though you may hesitate at the idea of having to file for bankruptcy, it may be the step you need to take in order to secure a more stable financial future.

Do you automatically qualify?

No one automatically qualifies for bankruptcy. Even though you have significant debt and a steady income, Chapter 13 bankruptcy has other requirements, including the following:

  • Your unsecured debts cannot go over $394,725. 
  • Your secured debts cannot be more than $1,184,200.
  • You need to provide your most recent tax returns and payments.
  • You cannot have had a dismissed bankruptcy within the last 180 days that resulted due to failure to comply with the bankruptcy court or failure to appear.
  • If you hope to have your debts discharged at the end of your Chapter 13 case, you cannot have had a Chapter 13 bankruptcy discharge in the last two years or from a Chapter 7 case within the last four years.

If you feel that you can meet these requirements, you may have a chance for qualifying.

What does Chapter 13 involve?

Chapter 13 works best for individuals with a steady income because it requires that you repay debts over time. You will likely have to repay your priority debts completely and pay back your secured debts through a repayment plan. Your unsecured debts may see a reduction, or the court could discharge them after you complete your case. You may think that repaying your debts through bankruptcy does not help your situation, but it allows you to have more time to repay those debts without harsh consequences.

Whether you are on the fence about taking this step or feel ready to move forward, it may benefit you to discuss your personal situation with an Oregon bankruptcy attorney. This legal professional could provide you with information specific to your case and help you better understand whether Chapter 13 could suit your circumstances.