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How much debt do you need to file bankruptcy?

Question: I really have too much debt, although I think many people might not think it’s that much. I’m married and my wife doesn’t work, although she sometimes says she wants to go back to school and become a teacher. We have three kids, but one is autistic and that costs a lot of money, believe me. I have my own business in Dunwoody and we live in Johns Creek.

So now we have debts that are about $15,000. And they’re increasing because of the high interest rates and late fees. I stopped paying my credit cards last month because I can’t afford them. It’s mostly credit card debt that I put on my Amex and my Visa cards. I sometimes use them to pay for business expenses, meals and travel. I’ve been using them a lot to pay for the doctor for my daughter, and my wife is getting therapy for her depression and bipolar condition. And I used the credit cards to pay for her lawyer when she got arrested for marijuana charges.

Believe me, I’m not using the credit cards for luxury goods, like some of our neighbors do. They buy all sorts of stuff on those credit cards, things like jewelry and watches and clothes. Some people we know buy cars, boats and motorcycles using credit cards.

I need to know how much debt you need to file bankruptcy. I mean can you file bankruptcy for any amount that you owe, or is there a minimum amount of debt that’s necessary?

I was told that I’m going to get sued and I need a game plan to make sure that I’m protected and that I don’t get my salary garnished or my bank accounts levied. I need to go bankrupt as soon as possible.

D.S. in Johns Creek, GA

Answer: As a bankruptcy lawyer, I get this question a lot. There is no exact requirement of debt load to file bankruptcy. Under the law, you can file bankruptcy for any amount of debt.

Of course, different people have different conceptions of debt. To some people, $5,000.00 is a lot of debt, to others $100,000.00 of debt is not a large amount. It is a very individualized and personal calculation, because people have varying amounts of money, income and assets.

No matter how much debt you have, it is vital that you do not get a wage garnishment, a bank account levy or a lien on your property. The good news is that a bankruptcy filing, either a Chapter 7 or a Chapter 13, should prevent that from happening.

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Let’s talk about filing bankruptcy. Call us at 678-929-8921.

Our experience can get you debt-free. Our experience includes serving as a Magistrate Judge, an Assistant Attorney General and as a Senior Assistant County Attorney. Attorneys Valerie Sherman and Bill Sherman are ready to fight and win for you!

We have bankruptcy clients throughout the Atlanta metro area and North Georgia.

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