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How Self-Employment Affects Filing for BankruptcyWith the recent changes in the economy and business hiring practices, an increasing number of workers are self-employed, either by choice or out of necessity. Self-employment can be working as an independent contractor for a business or being the sole proprietor of your own business. When faced with overwhelming debt, self-employed workers have the right to file for bankruptcy like anyone else. However, steps such as verifying their income can be more complicated.

Income Verification

Calculating your monthly income is an important step when filing for bankruptcy because it can determine whether you file under Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy. The Chapter 7 bankruptcy means test uses your current monthly income over the past six months prior to the filing of your case to decide whether you qualify for Chapter 7. In Chapter 13 bankruptcy, your income will determine how much you will repay your unsecured creditors (i.e. credit cards, medical bills, signature loans). Verifying your monthly income is more complicated if you are self-employed because your income may come from various sources and may be inconsistent depending on how regularly you receive work. Self-employed workers can verify their monthly income by presenting:

  • Check stubs;
  • Invoices;
  • Contracts;
  • Bank statements;
  • Tax returns; and
  • Signed statements from the party that paid them.

Many self-employed workers are able to qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy because they have less disposable income.

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National Association of Consumer Bancruptcy Attorneys State Bar of Texas
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