Of course! The court does not expect everyone who files bankruptcy to be down, out, and unemployed. That’s just not how life works; our clients are good hard working people who have simply fallen on hard times. You may have a job and file a bankruptcy and in most cases unless you have signed something stating that the employer must be notified if you file a bankruptcy, your employer wouldn’t have a clue you even filed.
In your petition you are required to report your income in several different areas. You will have to show your earnings for the past two years, where you work now and what your expected income going forward as well as what you have earned in the past 6 months prior to filing the bankruptcy. In bankruptcy, your income is calculated based upon a “Means Test”; although there are many other types of income besides employment that are also a factor in the means test. This tells the court whether or not you qualify for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy or if you will need to file a Chapter 13 bankruptcy based upon your income.
In the event that you file a Chapter 13 bankruptcy your debts are a factor, but your plan payments will be based also largely upon your past 6 months of income. For example, let’s say that based upon your arrears and debt in the plan, you’re looking at plan payments of $500 per month, BUT based upon your prior 6 months, your income shows that you have an extra $1,000 left over each month. You would make a payment closer to the $1,000 mark because your prior income states that you can afford it.
Also, in the occurrence that you file a bankruptcy and you have any secured items in which you may wish to keep (such as a house, car, jewelry, furniture, or electronics) you must be able to show that you can afford to make the contractual monthly payments. The court will not allow you to file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy unemployed and still keep your home unless you can show you are getting income from another source (like family support) to show you can afford the monthly payment. Bankruptcy court has been enacted to help consumers. Whether you have a job or not does have an impact on your bankruptcy options but you can certainly still file a bankruptcy even if you do not have a job.