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Can you use Chapter 13 if you're self-employed?

You work for yourself, and you have for five years. You have a stable income, but you overestimated how much debt you could afford. You're thinking of using Chapter 13 bankruptcy.

You know about some of the advantages. You can set up a repayment plan, for instance, that fits your current income. You fully plan to take care of your debt in time, but you just need to restructure things to make it possible.

What you're worried about is whether or not you'll qualify. You don't have standard paychecks. You're not on salary. While you can prove that you make money, it's not always as stable as someone who gets the exact same paycheck every two weeks. Can you still use Chapter 13?

You can. Those who are self-employed are eligible, just like those who hold more traditional jobs or own their own companies.

That's not to say that it won't make your situation complicated. Chapter 13 involves looking at your income and setting up a budget and repayment plan that you can afford. Without standard payments, this may be slightly harder to determine.

But it is possible, just like it's possible to apply for a mortgage or a car loan if you're self-employed. Bankruptcy is a legal option for you and it may be able to help solve your debt issues moving forward.

If you're considering it, be sure you take the time to really look into all of your options and what bankruptcy means for your future. The more you know, the easier it is to make the right decision and create a bright financial future for yourself.

Source: US Courts, "Chapter 13 - Bankruptcy Basics," accessed June 15, 2017

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