Updated March 8, 2019
A Chapter 13 bankruptcy helps people with regular income fix debt problems by paying their disposable income into a Chapter 13 repayment plan for three to five years. A filer who meets all qualifications will be able to wipe out (discharge) some types of debt—such as credit card balances, utility bills, personal loans, and medical accounts—at the end of the repayment plan. (Find out more in Debts Discharged at the End of a Chapter 13 Case.)
However, filers can have only so much debt. As of April 2019, the current debt limitations are:
A filer whose debt exceeds the limitation amounts must file an individual Chapter 11 case instead. Debt limitations can change every three years. These figures are accurate through April 2022. (The limits for cases filed before April 2019 are $1,184,200 and $394,725, respectively.)
Most people avoid filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy because it is far costlier. If your obligations exceed the Chapter 13 debt limitations, there are things you can do. For instance, the tips in Strategies to Meet the Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Debt Limits might help.