BANKRUPTCY : CHAPTER 13 DEBT ELIGIBILITY LIMITS
As of April 2019, in order to be eligible to file for a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy (for individuals only), you must owe less than $1,257,850 in liquidated, noncontingent secured debts, and less than $419,275 in liquidated, noncontingent unsecured debts. 11 U.S.C. §109(e). The debt limitations are adjusted every 3 years, with the next adjustment set to occur in 2022. 11 U.S.C. §104(b).
Secured debts include home mortgages, judgment liens, and car loans. Unsecured debts include credit card bills, medical bills, and personal loans (if a personal loan is secured by property, it will count towards the secured debt limitations).
It is important to keep in mind that a Chapter 13 debtor (the party filing, including a spouse in a joint petition) must meet these debt eligibility limits as of the petition filing date. If the debts are lowered after the filing date, this will not apply retroactively to make a debtor qualify if they did not qualify at the time of filing. See, In re Smith, 419 B.R. 826, 829 (Bankr. C.D. Cal. 2009). See also, Scovis v. Henrichsen, 249 F.3d 975, 981 (9th Cir. 2001) (Eligibility to be a Chapter 13 debtor is determined as of the petition date).
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