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When Should You File For Bankruptcy?

There is no set formula for determining when an individual should file for bankruptcy. The decision to file for bankruptcy largely depends on the types of debts and assets an individual has. For example, bankruptcy is typically right for someone with a large amount of credit card debt who rents. But bankruptcy may not be right for someone with a modest mortgage and large student loan debts as student loans are typically not dischargeable in bankruptcy.

Not All Debt is Created Equal

Whether you file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, some types of debt will remain with you even after the proceedings. Alimony and child support are never dischargeable in bankruptcy, nor are recent tax debts accrued within three years of filing. Many types of court judgments can be discharged in bankruptcy, but a court will never discharge a judgment for a DUI accident involving serious injury or death.

Often, individuals will seek bankruptcy because of consumer debts like credit cards, which are usually dischargeable in bankruptcy. If you believe you may have too much credit card debt and bankruptcy is the best way to deal with it, there are several ways to analyze your situation and determine if the time is right to call a bankruptcy attorney. Ask yourself these questions:

  •    Am I only making the minimum payments on my credit cards?
  •    Are you using credit cards to pay necessary expenses like food and utilities?
  •    Are you avoiding calls from creditors?
  •    Have you considered consolidating your credit card debt?

The more of those questions you answered in the alternative, the more likely it is that you want to consider contacting an experienced bankruptcy attorney who can help you make an informed decision.

Are You Eligible to File For Bankruptcy?

Of course one other consideration is whether you meet the eligibility requirements to file for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy. To be eligible to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, your current monthly income must be below the average monthly income for a household of your size in your state. If you don’t automatically meet that requirement, a bankruptcy court will analyze whether you have enough monthly income to pay your expenses and a portion of your debt before determining whether you are eligible.

For Chapter 13 filers, the requirements are almost the opposite. You must have a certain amount of disposable income to pay for your expenses and certain secured debts such as a primary mortgage, as well as the monthly repayment plan approved by the court.

Thinking About Filing for Bankruptcy?

If you believe it’s time to file for bankruptcy, then an experienced bankruptcy attorney can help you through the process. The Law Offices of Melanie Tavare of Hayward and Oakland can assist you in reducing or eliminating debt through Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Contact the Law Offices of Melanie Tavare at 510-255-4636 or online.

The Law Offices of Melanie Tavare is a debt relief agency. We help people file for bankruptcy relief under the Bankruptcy Code.


"Melanie is the best she very responsive and helpful throughout the process everything was taken care of smoothly. If you are thinking of going through bankruptcy she is the best attorney for you. I will forever be grateful having the chance to work with her. She is very honest too."


"I can't thank Melanie enough for helping me through a challenging process and doing so with incredible knowledge, professionalism and tenacity! She went to great lengths to keep me informed, she responded quickly to my questions, and communicated in terms that I could understand. I highly recommend getting in touch with Melanie should you have the need."


"Choosing to work with Atty. Melanie has been one of the best decisions I've ever made. She was a very patient professional to work with and attentive while providing valuable solutions to all of my concerns. If you are searching for of an Attorney who is knowledgeable, transparent, and diligent - well that's Atty. Melanie."


"What I liked about working with Melanie was how prompt and easy to work with she was. She made the process clear and understandable with as little stress as possible. I would work with her again and recommend her to others."