The Dreaded Bankruptcy Means Test

Bankruptcy Means Test

How does a bankruptcy means test work?

Of all the myriad aspects of Bankruptcy, the most feared and misunderstood is the means test.

Bankruptcy Means Test
  1. You collect the information about your income for the last 6 months.
  2. If you are below the median income for your size household, then you pass the test.
  3. If you are above the median, the further examination needs to be done. The median is rather high. For a single person, it is over $50000. For a married couple with two dependents, it is $95000.
  4. If you must go through the means test, the test looks for what expenses you have that are essential. Unless a person is considerably over the median, the means test can be passed. You get generous allowances for food, utilities, housing, and household expenses. In addition, your house and car payments are taken into account.
  5. Reviewing the means test with your attorney is part of the Bankruptcy preplanning. If you fail the means test, you must file a chapter 13 or not file a bankruptcy.
  6. There are exceptions to the means test. Business bankruptcy is not subject to the test. Also, extraordinary circumstances can result in the means test being waived.

How do you pass a bankruptcy means test?

The means test seems rather intimidating. It is not.

Most people pass it without any problem. If your household income is over $100,000, you may be subject to failing the means test. The only way to know is to run the calculations before filing. If your annual income is below the median for your state, for a household the size of yours, you are free to file the chapter of the bankruptcy of your choosing.

I usually complete the Bankruptcy Means Test in the first work session we have on the bankruptcy petition.

The Bankruptcy means test helps in deciding who can apply for bankruptcy erasure via chapter 7 bankruptcy. To decide if you have enough surplus income to repay your loans, it takes your income, expenditures, and family size into account.

What is the income cut off for Chapter 7?

If your annual income is less than $84,952, as stated on line 12b, you can qualify to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. If it’s greater than $84,952, you’re going to have to move on to Form 122A-2.

How is Chapter 7 means test calculated?

You must first compare your monthly income in the six months before you file for bankruptcy to the average earnings in your state in order to carry the means test. You have passed the means test and are eligible to use Chapter 7 if your revenue is less than the median.

What is the income limit for Chapter 13?

Any person is eligible for Chapter 13 relief, even if they are self-employed or run an unincorporated corporation, as long as the unsecured debts of the individual remain less than $394,725 and secured debts are less than $1,184,200.

What is the income limit for filing Chapter 7 in Iowa?

If your gross monthly income is less than $7,475 for the next 60 months, you will pass the means test and you will be eligible to file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. If it’s over $12,475, you fail the means test and have no choice for Chapter 7 to be filed.

How much in debt should you be to file bankruptcy?

If you want to apply for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you can’t have more than $1,257,850 in secured debt or $419,275 in unsecured debt. These amounts will be adjusted every three years. At the time of writing this article, the above-mentioned amounts are valid through April 2021

Will my employer know if I file for bankruptcy?

When their employee files for bankruptcy, employers will not be formally informed. However, there is a public record that is generated when you file for a bankruptcy case. Because of this any party can check court records and see that you have filed for bankruptcy.

Iowa Bankruptcy Attorney

Questions? Don’t hesitate to contact me by phone or email.


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