Did you know that there are debt limits in Chapter 13 bankruptcy cases? There’s only a certain amount of debt that you can have to qualify for a bankruptcy discharge (debt forgiveness) under Chapter 13. In a Chapter 7 or Chapter 11 bankruptcy there are no debt limits.

Every three years Chapter 13 debt limits are adjusted based on changes in the Consumer Price Index. The debt limits were most recently updated April 1, 2022. The Federal Register will generally publish notices when dollar amounts are revised in compliance with the Bankruptcy Code.

For example, the debt limits for Chapter 13 cases filed on or after April 1, 2022 (source), are:

  • $465,275 for liquidated, non-contingent unsecured debts
  • $1,395,875 for liquidated, non-contingent secured debts

These debt limits are scheduled to be revised again on April 1, 2025

Unsecured Debts vs. Secured Debts

Unsecured debts are amounts owed to creditors that aren’t backed by collateral. For example, unsecured debts include:

  • Credit card debts
  • Personal loans
  • Tax debts
  • Judgments
  • Student loans
  • Medical debts
  • Utility payments
  • Back rent
  • Back alimony or child support payments
  • Restitution and/or other government debts

Secured debts are amounts owed to a creditor who holds a valid lien on collateral. Secured debts include:

  •  Mortgages
  •  Car loans
  •  Title loans 
  • Mechanic’s liens 
  • UCC statements

It is important to differentiate between unsecured debts and secured debts when calculating debt limits for Chapter 13.

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