Are you in a really tough financial position? Do you lack funds coming in or have so much debt and no possible way to pay it back? If you do, you are not alone. Many California residents currently are or have been in your shoes. If you find yourself in such a position, you may be wondering: Is a Chapter 7 filing an option for me?

There are two types of personal bankruptcy available to California residents: Chapter 13 and Chapter 7. If you have a high enough income and some disposable income at the end of every month, you may be looking at a Chapter 13 filing if you choose to pursue bankruptcy. Chapter 7 is for those who truly lack any funds to pay down their debt.

How to determine eligibility?

In order to determine which type of bankruptcy for which you qualify, you need to take a means test. Do not let the word test stress you out. There are no wrong answers. This test is all about comparing your income level to the state median income level.

To take this test, all you need to do is obtain the proper forms and do a little bit of research. You can obtain your information by looking at your most recent tax statements, and you can locate state data online or by contacting a bankruptcy attorney. The means test forms you can get online or also at an attorney’s office.

Once you fill out the forms, reading them is much easier than you would think. In order to qualify for a Chapter 7 filing, your income level must be at or below the state median income level. If it is, Chapter 7 may be a good option for you. If you are over the state median, Chapter 7 may still be an option if you lack disposable income. Your attorney can provide more information about that topic.

File away

If you’ve determined that a Chapter 7 filing is an option for you and it is something you wish to pursue, file away. With a little legal assistance, you can get the paperwork filled out and submitted error free. After submitting your petition, it takes time for the court to review your request, and a court hearing may be necessary to present your case. With help, you can get through it as swiftly and smoothly as possible.