People call us all of the time to ask questions before they consider filing for bankruptcy. One of the questions they ask is: “How much money do I have to owe before it makes sense to file
And the answer is. . . it depends.
I am not avoiding the subject. It really does depend. It depends on a number of factors, including your income, your family situation, what type of debt that you owe, who is responsible for the debt, how old the debt might be, how aggressive the collector is, is there a judgment, and any number of factors. Let me offer some examples.
Let’s say you have $35,000 in credit card debt that you are having trouble paying. That is normally a lot of debt, and if you cannot comfortably make the payments, you need to call us. But maybe your debt is only $8,000. If you are making $75,000 per year, and this is your only debt, we would discuss whether it makes sense to file for a bankruptcy. In many cases, the answer might be, no, unless your bank account has been attached or there is some other problem.
But if you are only making $18,000 per year, gross income (before taxes are taken out of the check), you may only be bringing home less than $300.00 per week. That probably does not leave you enough money to pay this $8,000 under any circumstances, so a bankruptcy is something you should at least look at.
Sure, it is the same $8,000 amount as the debt of the person making $75,000, but to you, making $18,000, owing $8,000 may be like owing a million dollars. We will always be straight with you at Steidl and Steinberg.We will tell you if it makes sense to file, and we will tell you if it doesn’t make sense. If we lose you as a client because we were honest with you, we know we have gained a friend for the same reason.
So if you are having problems paying your bills, give us a call.