How old do you have to be to file bankruptcy?
Technically, the Bankruptcy Code does not require you to be of a certain age to file bankruptcy. However, different states may have age requirements for how old you have to be to begin building credit or sign contractual agreements. In many states, this means you must be at least 18 years of age to file bankruptcy.
If you have never filed bankruptcy before, it can be an intimidating process to go through—especially since the consequences of having your case dismissed can be severe. Our law firm handles bankruptcy cases for both individuals and businesses. If you are interested in working with one of our bankruptcy lawyers, your first consultation is free.
It Is Important to Hire a Bankruptcy Lawyer Who Has Handled Your Type of Case
When people think of who would normally file for bankruptcy, they might picture middle-aged individuals who have had years to rack up severe financial debt from buying a house or maxing out multiple credit cards. However, a new wave of younger people is facing financial struggles: recent graduates who now have tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars in student loan debt and no job to pay for it.
Anyone can find themselves in a position to file bankruptcy, whether young or old. So do you need a lawyer to file bankruptcy, or can you do it yourself to save some money? If you’ve never filed bankruptcy before, it is crucial to work with a lawyer who knows how to handle your type of case—because any mistake in the bankruptcy process can set you back or even lead to a case dismissal.
Knowing Which Bankruptcy Chapter to File
According to the US Courts, there are six different types of bankruptcy you can file, but most individuals file for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy. If you own a business, you may prefer to file Chapter 11 bankruptcy to reorganize your debts. Our law firm also handles Chapter 12 bankruptcy cases, which are specific to family farmers and fishermen.
During your free consultation, a representative of our team can review your situation to determine which bankruptcy chapter you should file under. Bankruptcy chapters for individuals and businesses offer different debt-relief options, as follows:
- Chapter 7: This is an option for individuals who make equal or below their state’s median income for a family of similar size. This process allows you to liquidate nonexempt assets to pay off creditors and relieve any remaining debts (referred to as a “discharge”). That said, many people can still retain all of their assets.
- Chapter 13: If you make regular income and more than the state’s median, you can petition the bankruptcy courts to allow you to reorganize your debts. You do not have to liquidate any of your assets but instead, agree to a court-approved repayment plan for the next three to five years. A portion of debts will be discharged while you continue making payments to pay the rest back.
- Chapter 11: If you own a business, you can file bankruptcy separate from your personal finances. This chapter allows you to reorganize your debts and negotiate loans with creditors. Many people are still able to keep their businesses alive.
Mistakes People Make When Filing for Bankruptcy
If you are young or new to bankruptcy, try to avoid any of the following mistakes when filing:
- Going for the first or cheapest bankruptcy lawyer you find, especially if they have never handled your type of case before
- Attempting to hide some of your assets from the bankruptcy courts (this is fraud)
- Not having a financial plan ready before filing for bankruptcy
- Filing for bankruptcy when other legal options are available to help with your finances
Our law firm is transparent with all of our clients. We can review whether filing bankruptcy is necessary for you or if there are other legal options available.
Our Law Firm Can Handle Your Case for You and Guide You Through the Process
The bankruptcy process can be intimidating, but we can shoulder the burden of handling legal tasks. If you decide to work with us, we offer to:
- Fill out paperwork for you, as provided by the US Courts
- Present your case for you in meetings and court hearings
- Handle obstacles that might come up in your case
- Keep you informed throughout the bankruptcy process
Call Farmer & Morris Law, PLLC, when you need legal advice on bankruptcy
While there is technically no age requirement listed in the Bankruptcy Code, some states do require you to be of a certain age to file bankruptcy. If you are at least 18 years of age, you may be eligible to file for bankruptcy, in which case our team at Farmer & Morris Law, PLLC, can help with your case.
Call (828) 286-3866 for a free case evaluation. We can review your financial circumstances and provide guidance on what actions to take, especially if you have never filed for bankruptcy before.