Can I File for Bankruptcy If I Lose My Job?

Unemployed People and BankruptcyMany individuals in Florida found themselves unemployed once the epidemic hit. About 13.5% of the entire nation’s workforce, which equals out to be approximately 22 million people, were forced to file for unemployment benefits once the Coronavirus took its toll, according to the United States Department of Labor.

With new strains of the virus popping up, many individuals have used bankruptcy as a means to erase their debts. Debts continue to rise for many people, yet they are uncertain about filing for bankruptcy as they are unsure if they are able to do so if they are not employed. But one does not need to have a job to file.

One may be often entitled to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy if they aren’t holding down a job at the moment. It could also help them pay less if they opt to go the Chapter 13 way. However, do note that if a person does not have a way to repay the payment plan, they will not be able to file for Chapter 13.

While you are working, and you wish to file for insolvency, you will need to pass the means test for Chapter 7. This test looks at the average monthly income of the person, then compares it to income from 6 months prior against Florida’s median income. Right now, this is set at $49,172. If one’s paycheck for the year is less than this, they will immediately be entitled to file for Chapter 7.

If you do not pass the means test, don’t worry. While you can not appeal the outcome of the test, one can always take the means test again in a few months to see if you’re eligible to file. If you’re positive that you can not wait any longer to start the process, you can always file for Chapter 13.

As long as you have paychecks coming in, you may be able to decide if you’re allowed to file for Chapter 13. If you have a house or a vehicle you don’t want to lose, this option may be a better one for you as a repayment plan will be provided. Monthly payments will be given to a trustee that is appointed to you. If you’re unemployed and are receiving unemployment benefits, you might be entitled to this. The total amount you will repay each month will be based on your priority obligations as well as any other secured debts you may have. Or you could also qualify if you receive Social Security or have some other income, such as a rental property.

Lots of uncertainty is occurring in the world right now. With a huge pandemic where it appears there is no sight of it ending, lots of Americans are scared to discuss bankruptcy. However, there are many options available for you. A respected attorney can help. If you would like to discuss bankruptcy or your other options, feel free to contact Weller Legal Group in Tampa, FL.

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