Passing the Means Test is Essential for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Eligibility

  • Means Test

Passing the Means Test is Essential for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Eligibility

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Filing for bankruptcy is a decision that takes time. Earlier, until 2005, the bankruptcy chapter was decided by the bankruptcy judge. If they found that the debtor was unable to repay the debts, then they could file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy and get a discharge of all their debts. However, if there was scope to repay debts, they were required to file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy. With streamlining of the process, things have become much easier to understand, say Los Angeles based bankruptcy law firm Recovery Law Group lawyers. People can convert their bankruptcy chapter (Chapter 7 to Chapter 13 and vice versa) in case they do not qualify for their chosen one.

Chapter 7 bankruptcy is preferred because individuals can get all their unsecured debts discharged without losing much of their assets. However, with the change of rules, stringent measures have been included for qualifying for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. The income made by an individual over the past six months prior to a bankruptcy filing is compared with the state mean. This income includes wages, bonus, income from farm or business, monthly retirement, alimony or child support, rental income, disability or unemployment benefits, royalties, and interest earned. Except for SSA retirement funds and tax refunds, each and every earning source is considered. The income is then compared with the state median income. If your income is similar or below the state median, then you are eligible to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, however, if the income exceeds the state median, a means test will be performed.

What happens in means test?

In this test, you are expected to list your essential expenses. These include housing, food, and other necessary expenditures. Your disposable income, i.e. the income which remains after all essential expenditures are deducted from your total income, is calculated based on this. If the disposable income is high enough to work out a repayment plan, then your Chapter 7 bankruptcy Los Angeles case is dismissed, and you are expected to file for Chapter 13 in order to get rid of your debts.

Though it may seem too complicated, with an experienced bankruptcy lawyer by your side can make things better. Call 888-297-6023 to discuss your options regarding bankruptcy.