The plaintiff has the burden of proving that bankruptcy is the only possible solution for his financial problem. In order to do this, he has to meet certain requirements by the government, subject to extensive review and finally – a discharge from debts if all instances are favorable to the plaintiff.


In this article, you’ll find out exactly what is required of the plaintiff to obtain approval from the courts.

What kind of bankruptcy should be filed?

The type of Bankruptcy Chapter must first be determined. Personal bankruptcy often falls in two categories: Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. The plaintiff must determine exactly which of the two is applicable for their situation.

Chapter 7 – a Chapter 7 is typically undertaken by those who have no visible means of income and unlikely to have any in the succeeding months. The Chapter 7 bankruptcy promotes the sale of all the assets of the plaintiff and using the proceeds to pay off the debts. In the event that the proceeds are not enough, the rest of the debts are discharged.

Chapter 13 – a Chapter 13 bankruptcy is often reserved for those who have a solid means of income but have merely fallen behind on their payments in a significant degree. Chapter 13 therefore is a repayment system that takes into account the disposable income of an individual per month. Note though that a Chapter 13 still promotes the sale of some of your assets for initial debt payment.

Both Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 Bankruptcy types have exceptions when it comes to what can be sold and what can be discharged. For example, the family home up to a certain amount is typically exempted from being sold for proceeds. On the other hand, alimony and child support are debts not discharged by bankruptcy proceedings.

What is required of the plaintiff?

The plaintiff is required to meet multiple regulations as set by the law. Some of the most common ones include:

Credit Counseling

No bankruptcy petition can move forward without some credit counseling on the part of the plaintiff. Said counseling must be done within a certain amount of time prior to the filing of the bankruptcy. This ensures that only those who have no other means of solving their financial problem can proceed with a bankruptcy petition.

Means Test

A Means Test is a system designed to find out whether a person is eligible for bankruptcy. It contains multiple forms which require information such as current assets, current liabilities, monthly income, monthly expenses, and other financial information. A Means Test is often required of plaintiffs that earn more than the median income in their area.

Obviously, a plaintiff must be completely honest when answering the questionnaire. Note that the petition may be denied if there are any irregularities found in the case as prescribed by law.

Of course, those are just few of the requirements needed for a plaintiff to obtain a favorable judgment from the court. Ideally, a plaintiff must seek the help of a good bankruptcy lawyer to make it easier for them to go through the laborious road of bankruptcy petitions.