What are the eligibility requirements for filing bankruptcy in California?

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order to file for bankruptcy in California, individuals must meet certain eligibility requirements. These requirements are outlined under the United States Bankruptcy Code and are applicable to all bankruptcy filers, regardless of the state they reside in.

Residency

To file for bankruptcy in California, you must have been a resident of the state for at least 91 days prior to filing your bankruptcy petition. If you have not lived in California for the required duration, you may need to file in the state where you previously resided.

Credit Counseling

Before filing for bankruptcy, individuals are required to complete a credit counseling course from an approved agency within 180 days. This course aims to provide debtors with information and guidance on alternatives to bankruptcy, budgeting, and managing finances.

Means Test

The means test is a crucial step in determining eligibility for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. It assesses your income and expenses to determine if you have enough disposable income to repay your debts. If your income is below the state median income, you automatically qualify for Chapter

If your income exceeds the median, further calculations are performed to determine if you have enough disposable income to repay your debts under a Chapter 13 repayment plan.

Previous Bankruptcy Discharge

If you have previously filed for bankruptcy and received a discharge, there are certain time limits before you can file again. If you previously filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy and received a discharge, you must wait eight years before filing for Chapter 7 again. If you previously filed for Chapter 13 bankruptcy and received a discharge, you must wait six years before filing for Chapter 7, or four years before filing for Chapter 13 again.

Fraudulent Behavior

If you have engaged in fraudulent activities, such as hiding assets, providing false information, or attempting to defraud creditors, you may be ineligible for bankruptcy relief. Bankruptcy courts take fraudulent behavior seriously and may dismiss your case or deny your discharge if such actions are discovered.

It is important to note that bankruptcy laws can be complex, and it is advisable to consult with a qualified bankruptcy attorney to ensure you meet all the eligibility requirements and understand the implications of filing for bankruptcy.

  • July 6, 2023