Florida Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Means Test
The Florida bankruptcy means test is a complex formula to determine eligibility to file Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Debtors whose household income is under their states median income, and debtors whose debts are primarily business-related, are exempt from means test qualification. Bankruptcy debtors whose gross household income is above median income must pass the means test to file Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
Only Certain Expenses Are Considered
This is where things get very technical, as only some types of monthly expenses are taken into consideration, so hiring a bankruptcy lawyer can be useful. The purpose of these allowed deductions is to determine whether your income is enough to cover your living expenses and repayment of your debts. A bankruptcy lawyer can give you legal advice on whatâs an allowed monthly expense and what isnât.
Means Test Options: Median Income Vs Full Means Test
To be eligible to file for bankruptcy under Chapter 7, you must satisfy the Means Test. The easiest way to qualify for Chapter 7 is to have an income below the state median. Even debtors whose household income is above the state median may qualify for Chapter 7 by going through the more thorough, full Means Test.
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Alternatives To Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
Alternatives to bankruptcy may be able to help you get the fresh start you need. The one that’s right for you will depend on your financial situation and the types of debts you owe. Let’s go over each option.
Debt Settlement:You can negotiate with your creditors. If you’ve fallen behind on payments or are about to, you can contact your creditor to discuss the issue. You may be able to work out an affordable payment plan or negotiate a debt settlement for less than the full amount owed. This is especially true with credit card debt. Typically, a settlement needs to be paid in a lump sum.
Repayment Plan: Entering into a debt management plan with an agency is another option. Unlike in debt settlement, a debt management plan involves paying back your debt over time on more doable terms than you have now. Typically only unsecured debts can be included in a debt management plan.
Debt Consolidation: Taking out a debt consolidation loan to pay off your debts is another debt relief option. You would then have only one monthly payment to make to the new creditor. These loans often offer lower interest rates than what you’re already paying.
Another option is selling your valuable property to pay back creditors. But be careful. The money you get for your property may not be enough to pay off or settle all of your debts. You may end up having to file for bankruptcy anyway.
Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Means Test Calculator
The Chapter 7 Means Test Calculator below uses the bankruptcy means test data to estimate whether you qualify for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy using the US Bankruptcy Form .
Do you qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy? Estimate using the Chapter 7 means test below.
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How Do I Know If I Will Be Granted A Bankruptcy Filing Fee Waiver
There are three potential outcomes if you have applied for a Chapter 7 fee waiver. The first outcome is that the court may grant you the fee waiver. The second outcome is that the court may decide that you and your attorney should attend a hearing to prove that you require this waiver. The final outcome is that the court may deny the waiver and set up a payment schedule for you to pay off the filing fee.
When making a decision, the court will consider various factors regarding whether you qualify for a fee waiver. Throughout this process, it is important that you have the assistance of an experienced bankruptcy attorney. To get started today, reach out to our firm.
Before Doing Anything Else Decide If Filing Bankruptcy Is Right For You
Before jumping in, you need to determine whether filing bankruptcy will help you. Bankruptcy is a powerful debt relief tool that’s helped many people, but you’ll have to decide if it makes sense for your financial situation.
A bankruptcy discharge does not wipe out certain non-dischargeable debts like most student loans, child support obligations, alimony, and recent tax debts. If you have any cosigners, they will not be protected by your personal bankruptcy.
If you have great credit when your Chapter 7 bankruptcy is first filed, your . Most people are able to rebuild their credit and have a better score within a year of getting their bankruptcy discharge.
Anyone can file Chapter 7 bankruptcy without a lawyer. Here is an overview of the steps you’ll need to take to obtain your fresh start.
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How Does The Means Test Work
The means test was designed to limit the use of Chapter 7 bankruptcy to those who cannot repay their debts. It does this by deducting specific monthly expenses from your current monthly income to arrive at your monthly disposable income.
The first step of the means test is to determine whether your income is more or less than your states median income attributable to the size of your household. If you earn less than the median income for a household of your size in your state, you pass. Youre done. You do not need to complete the rest of the means test. You can file for Chapter 7.
The Debtor Failed To Meet The Credit Counseling Requirement
Within 180 days before filing for Chapter 7, a debtor must participate in credit counseling with a nonprofit agency approved by the U.S. Trustee’s office. The purpose of credit counseling is to help the debtor determine whether other options besides bankruptcy are available. All debtors must participate in credit counseling unless an exception applies. Exceptions include physical disability, mental incapacity, or the debtor’s service on active duty in a military combat zone. When counseling has concluded, the debtor will receive a certificate of completion to submit to the bankruptcy court when filing.
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How Should I Complete The Forms
Include all of your income as you complete the document. Your income entails money that you deposit in your account regularly. If you dont have a bank account, note all cash or checks that you receive routinely.
The next step is to calculate your income in part two of Form 122A-1. Adhere to the following steps:
What If I Dont Pass The Means Test
If you dont pass the means test, youre limited to trying to work out settlements with your creditors outside of bankruptcy or you can file Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Chapter 13 requires you to propose a plan for repaying your creditors with monthly payments over a three- to five-year period. Most people who file for bankruptcy prefer Chapter 7, which typically requires no repayment of debt and is less expensive than Chapter 13.
However, Chapter 13 bankruptcy is still the best way to handle specific problems, like curing a default on a home mortgage and repaying debts that will not go away in bankruptcy, such as most taxes and child support arrearages. But before you settle on Chapter 13 bankruptcy, be sure to talk to a lawyer. You might find that you are able to pass the means test after all.
If you are struggling to pay your debts and concerned about the future welfare of you and your family, it is important that you seek the advice of a bankruptcy lawyer to ensure that your assets are protected and the debts you seek to eliminate are dischargeable. Our attorneys have been assisting consumers and business owners with bankruptcy matters for over 25 years. If you are considering filing for bankruptcy, please consider contacting the Nomberg Law Firm. Our office number is .
We are a Federal Debt Relief Agency. We help people file for bankruptcy relief under the U.S. Bankruptcy Code.
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Who Qualifies For Chapter 13 Bankruptcy
The requirements for Chapter 13 bankruptcy differ from the requirements for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Here are some of them.
- You must have sufficient income to make the monthly debt payments outlined in your bankruptcy plan.
- Your unsecured debts must be less than $419,275, and your secured debts must be less than $1,257,850. These dollar amounts are in effect until April 2022. Debt limits change every three years.
- If you attempted to file for Chapter 7 or 13 bankruptcy but your case was tossed out, you must wait 181 days or more before refiling.
- You must provide proof that you filed federal and state income tax returns for the past four years.
- You typically must finish an individual or group credit counseling course offered by an approved credit counseling agency within 180 days before you file for bankruptcy.
How To Start Rebuilding Your Credit After A Bankruptcy
One of the most important things to remember about a bankruptcy is that it won’t linger on your credit reports forever. More good news: You can do a lot to start rebuilding your credit before the bankruptcy disappears from your credit reports. Here are six steps to take.
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When You Might Consider Filing Bankruptcy Without An Attorney
When you file for consumer bankruptcy without legal representation, you file bankruptcy pro se. You may be able to go to your local bankruptcy court and seek legal aid provided by volunteer bankruptcy lawyers if they offer legal resources to the public. This is one way you can file bankruptcy without legal representation, but you will be on your own to navigate the legal system. A good bankruptcy attorney is generally worth the money, as they understand the local rules, which local bankruptcy forms you will need to fill out and, ultimately can save you a great deal of money especially in a more complex Chapter 13 case.
Chapter 7 Bankruptcy: What It Is And How To File
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Chapter 7 bankruptcy can wipe out many forms of overwhelming debt under the protection of a federal court. You may have to give up some assets, like an expensive car or jewelry, but the vast majority of filers do not. Chapter 7 bankruptcy is the fastest and most common form of bankruptcy.
Chapter 7 bankruptcy erases most unsecured debts, that is, debts without collateral, like medical bills, credit card debt and personal loans. However, some forms of debt, such as back taxes, court judgments, alimony and child support, and student loans generally arent eligible. Chapter 7 bankruptcy will leave a serious mark on your credit reports for 10 years. During this time youll likely find it harder to get credit. Even so, youll probably see your credit scores start to recover in the months after you file.
Read on to learn about how you can qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, how to file, whether this debt relief option is right for you, and how to rebuild after bankruptcy.
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How To File Bankruptcy For Free: A 10
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In a Nutshell
Chapter 7 bankruptcy is a powerful debt relief tool for American consumers and businesses alike. If your case is simple, you may not need a lawyer to file. Here’s a 10-Step Guide on how to prepare for and get a fresh start in the form of a bankruptcy discharge.
Written byAttorney Andrea Wimmer.
Filing any type of bankruptcy provides immediate debt relief through the automatic stay. Thatâs the law that prohibits creditors from contacting you as soon as your bankruptcy case has been filed. It also stops a wage garnishment right away.
So How Do You Qualify For A Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
The vast majority of debtors in Texas qualify for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy. But, whether you are able to file a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy as compared to a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy depends on your income, your necessary living expenses, and of course your debts. These basic requirements to file a personal or consumer Chapter 7 Bankruptcy requires taking the bankruptcy means test. If you havent heard about the most recent changes to the Bankruptcy Code, the bankruptcy law now has a means test in order to determine your eligibility to file for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy. The Bankruptcy means test is applied to all Chapter 7 debtors to make certain that they arent abusing the system.
The bankruptcy means test is based on the Texas median household income in your specific area. The test looks at all of your income for the preceding 6 months before the date of filing. It determines your average monthly income, and multiplies that amount by twelve. The median income is actually broken down to your specific Texas area zip code. That amount is then compared to the median income in the state of Texas for a household of similar size. This specific median income is based on the findings of the latest US Census Bureau report. If you are over the median income, then a second set of tests are conducted to determine what disposable income you have, if any, at the end of the month. The bankruptcy means test is the primary factor which determines eligibility to file for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy.
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Your Income Is Too High
Eligibility for Chapter 7 requires a determination of whether a filer’s income is too high. The “means test” determines whether a debtor qualifies for Chapter 7. The first part of the test requires the debtor to compare their current monthly income — the average income in the six months preceding the application for bankruptcy — with their state’s median income.
Eligible monthly income includes the following:
- Wages, salary, tips, bonuses, overtime, and commissions
- Gross income from a business, profession, or a farm
- Interest, dividends, and royalties
- Annuity payments
- State disability insurance
A filer does not have to include income tax refunds and payments from Social Security retirement benefits.
If the filer’s current monthly income is equal to or below the state’s median, then the debtor can file for Chapter 7. If, on the other hand, the filer’s income exceeds their state’s median family income, the filer must pass the second part of the means test to qualify for Chapter 7.
Review Your Means Test Figures Again
The means test is probably the most complicated form debtors must complete when filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. This means that mistakes are common. If you failed the means test the first time you completed the form, review it again to make sure you did not make a mistake.
Some of the most common errors that can lead to failing the means test include:
- overestimating your income
- underestimating or missing deductions you are allowed to take, and
- using the wrong household size.
Consider consulting with a local bankruptcy attorney. In some cases, an experienced attorney can point out legal ways of increasing expenses or decreasing income so that you can pass the means test.
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Why Do People File For Bankruptcy
No one’s financial circumstances are exactly the same when it comes to bankruptcy. But many bankruptcy filers head to court for similar reasons. Here are the three most common reasons for bankruptcy filings, according to the American Bankruptcy Institute: