Bankruptcy Means Test Calculator for Chattanooga, Tennessee 37401

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Tennessee Bankruptcy InformationBankruptcy Means Test Calculator
for Chattanooga, Tennessee (Hamilton County)

public beta* - version 20141201

CloseMeans Test Calculator

Version 20141201 (December 1, 2014)

This is a public beta. "Public beta" means that, to my knowledge, this calculator is working correctly. When I am made aware of errors I fix them. As of this version, there are no errors I know of.

That said, I've developed enough software over the years to know that there are always cases that turn up that were not encountered in testing. Also, this revision features several under the hood rewrites to make the code more efficient and easier to maintain.

So, as always, please, if you encounter an error, let me know (click here) and I will investigate, and fix it. Thanks! Other users will thank you.

Use the calculator as you see fit. You can click the links to original sources to confirm that they are correct and up to date. You can also check its math. As far as I know, it's correct. Chances are, this will always be a beta because it is being constantly updated, tweaked, enhanced, etc.

I hope you find it useful as you decide how to deal with your financial affairs.

Albin J. Renauer, creator and developer of the Means Test Calculator ©2005-2014
RelationalVision, LLC / Berkeley, CA

For cases filed on or after December 1, 2014

Based on numbers published by the U.S. Trustee's office for Cases Filed On or After November 1, 2014.) You are user # 1,431,977 of the Means Test Calculator and user # 0 of the new version.

Welcome to the NEW Means Test Calculator
version 12/1/2014 Public Beta

Hello, and welcome to the December 1, 2014 version of the means test calculator, based on the new means test forms, effective 12/1/2014.

We've tested the calculator, and feel it's worthy of launching to the public. Please let us know if you find any flaws, and we will fix them.

Note: The calculator now saves your data whenever you press Enter (or Return) within a field or click Save. After saving your data, you must refresh the page to see your updated values integrated into the summaries and the table of contents, which appear outside the form itself.

So, if you notice stale data in the table of contents or the summary, make sure you save your data (by clicking Save or hitting Enter while in a field) and then refresh the page.

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if you think you're getting this message in error, try refreshing the page.

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[Top] | [ Intro ] | [ TOC ] | [ Form 22A-1 ] | [ Form 22A-1Supp] | [ Form 22A-2 ]

Introduction: Are You Eligible for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?

Despite what you may have heard about changes in bankruptcy law, most people who need bankruptcy protection are still eligible.

Are you?

This calculator will help you find out.

It applies the formulas, regional income and expense standards, and calculations of the new "means test" that was a cornerstone of BAPCPA, the 2005 bankruptcy law (11 U.S.C. 707(b)). It uses the language and formatting of the new, 2014 version of Official Form 22A-1, Official Form 22A-1Supp, and Official Form 22A-2 , just a few of several forms you will need to complete if you decide to file for bankruptcy.

Read the instructions carefully (for official instructions for PDF forms, click here). If you are unsure whether an item applies to your situation, make a note of your question. Ask a bankruptcy lawyer about it if you go for a free consultation.

Tennessee "Median Income" Test

If your monthly household income is less than the Tennessee median income for a household of your size, you are presumed to be eligible to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy under Section 707(b)(2).

Compare your household income over the past six calendar months to the state median.

Tennessee Bankruptcy Information

Median Household Income Test for Tennessee

Compare your household income to the Tennessee median income.

For Cases Filed on or after November 1, 2014.

Form 22A-1 requires you to total up your income for the last six calendar months, average it, then annualize it, and then compare it to the Tennessee median for your size household.

If your income is below this amount, you meet the requirements of the "means test" (section 707(b)(2) of the bankruptcy code) to qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

The chart below makes it a bit simpler to figure out. Compare your six-month total income over the last six calendar months to the "6 Mo. Total" in the chart below to get a rough idea of which side of the line you fall.

Pay attention to the rules about household size.



Tennessee Median Income Test
Form 22A-1 (Line 13)


You Pass!

Chapter 7 is an option.

Not legally required to complete Form 22A-2, but may want to anyway.*

HH Size Monthly Income 6 Mo. Total Annual Income
1 $3,415 $20,489 $40,977
2 $4,181 $25,085 $50,169
3 $4,674 $28,046 $56,091
4 $5,571 $33,423 $66,846
5 $6,246 $37,473 $74,946
6 $6,921 $41,523 $83,046
7 $7,596 $45,573 $91,146
8 $8,271 $49,623 $99,246
9 $8,946 $53,673 $107,346
10 $9,621 $57,723 $115,446

Keep Going!

You must complete Form 22A-2 to determine if Chapter 7 is available.

U.S. Trustee Program, Department of Justice,
11 U.S.C. Sec. 707(b)(7) exclusion.
Official Form 22A-1, Line 13

Source: U.S. Trustee, U.S. Department of Justice (for bankruptcy cases filed on or after November 1, 2014)

(*The applicable household size is the number that would currently be allowed as exemptions on your federal income tax return, plus the number of any additional dependents whom you support.)

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Median Income Test Explained

The bankruptcy law determines your income by looking at your household income during the six full calendar months before you file for bankruptcy.

Effect of the six-month income rule

If your income declined suddenly within the past six months and has not yet increased, waiting until after the first of the month to file will lower your monthly income figure used for the means test. That is, even if you don't qualify this month, you may qualify after the first of next month, or the month after that, if your income remains below the average monthly income for your state.

Effect of the number of people in your household

You may have noticed already that changing the number of persons in the household dramatically affects the median income figure. You can't include a roommate who is not your dependent in your household size, yet you may have to include the portion of their income that contributes to the overall income of the household. See the help topic on that subject.

If your six-month household income was more than Tennessee's median income for a household of your size, don't fret. Fill out Form 22A-2 (Expense Deductions).

You probably still qualify for Chapter 7, but you'll need to answer more questions to find out. Most people qualify once all factors are taken into account.

Info is not advice

This site points to numerous books, articles and services that can help you figure out whether it makes sense for you to file for bankruptcy.

However, this website cannot answer whether you, specifically, should or should not file for bankruptcy.

If you're still not sure whether bankruptcy is right for you, you may want to seek credit counseling from a reputable agency or consult a lawyer.


* If your six-month household income was less than the median for your state, consider this:

Complete Form 22A-1 of the calculator to make sure that you've properly computed your income. Although you are not legally required to complete Form 22A-2, the "expenses" part of the means test, it will give you a sense of how a judge or trustee might view your ability to pay.

Some judges look to your ability to pay as part of the "totality of the circumstances" test (Section 707(b)(3)), and will bar you from Chapter 7 bankruptcy, whether your income is above or below the median.

Bottom line: Whatever your income, if the calculator indicates that you have money left over after expenses, study the list of allowed expenses in the means test form and fill in any that apply.

Another thing to worry about: Some judges may rely on different required forms as guides in looking at the "totality of the circumstances" under 707(b)(3): Specifically Form 6, Schedules I and J. These forms also deal with income and expenses but can yield a different "disposable income" result than the means test form (Form 22A) because different things are allowed and excluded on each form. Most notably, the means test income formula (and this calculator) excludes income from Social Security benefits, while Schedule I does not. Whether your Social Security income can render you ineligible for Chapter 7 is an unsettled area of law. At least one court has ruled that, by enacting the means test as it did, Congress intended that Social Security income be excluded when determining Chapter 7 eligibility; however, it still must be reported on Schedule I.

If you have significant income from Social Security benefits, be aware of this issue.

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Welcome, Tennessee users of Nolo's
How to File for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

How to File for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy helps you find local Tennessee information and services to help you file for bankruptcy.

If you don't own the book, you can still use this site and the free Hamilton County means test calculator.

Learn more...

Albin Renauer, the operator of and the Means Test Calculator, is also a coauthor of Nolo's How to File for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy.

How to File for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy provides clear, user-friendly information and all the forms you need to get through the entire bankruptcy process. The book works perfectly with the local resources,'s means test calculator, and lists of Tennessee exemption laws (which determine which assets you can keep in bankruptcy) you'll find on

The book covers the entire process, and gives you the line-by-line instructions you need to fill out the required Chapter 7 bankruptcy forms. Meanwhile, this website gives you access to the latest local court information and county standards for the means test calculations that need to file a sucessful bankruptcy petition.

But first, use the book to find out whether or not Chapter 7 is the best way to deal with your debts. It's important to learn what bankruptcy cannot do. You don't want to go to all the trouble of filing bankruptcy only to find out that the it won't help solve your particular problem or kind of debt.

If you do decide Chapter 7 bankruptcy is the right option, you'll learn how you can use it to:

  • cancel as much debt as possible
  • stop wage garnishments and attachments
  • keep the maximum amount of property using Tennessee exemption laws
  • deal with secured debts and liens on your property
  • keep your home and car, if possible.

If you think you want to file for bankruptcy but aren't sure you can afford to hire an attorney, How to File for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy will help you learn what it takes to complete your bankruptcy petition on your own and complete the bankruptcy process.

You'll also learn how to rebuild your credit rating after bankruptcy.

Note: How to File for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy doe s not cover individual repayment plans (Chapter 13 bankruptcy). See Nolo's  Chapter 13 Bankruptcy: Keep Your Property & Repay Debts Over Time.

"Clear instructions on when and how to fill out the necessary forms."

"Exceptionally clear…"
-The New York Times

"A do-it-yourself bankruptcy book for people who can’t afford expensive lawyers."


Forms included:

  • Current Monthly Income Worksheet
  • Personal Property Checklist
  • Property Exemption Worksheet
  • Homeowners’ Worksheet
  • Bankruptcy Forms Checklist
  • Bankruptcy Documents Checklist
  • Median Family Income Chart
  • Judicial Lien Worksheet
  • Amendment Cover Sheet
  • Notice of Change of Address
  • Supplemental Schedule for Property Acquired After Bankruptcy Discharge
  • Proof of Service by Mail
  • Pleading Paper 

How to File for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

Press Reviews

"Exceptionally clear."
The New York Times
"How to File for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy advises on everything from how to file court papers to how to respond to threats from creditors.... A do-it-yourself bankruptcy book for people who can’t afford expensive lawyers."
"An in-depth guide to filing under Chapter 7, including state-by-state and federal exemptions as well as forms for do-it-yourself filers."
Kiplinger’s Personal Finance Magazine
"Can help you decide if bankruptcy is the right option for you."
Detroit News
"A valuable, easy-to-understand workbook."
Los Angeles Times
"Includes clear instructions on when and how to fill out all the necessary forms, which assets you may legally keep, even advice on whether your case is complicated enough to make it worth your while to hire a lawyer."
"The best [bankruptcy books] I know are published by Nolo."
Harry S. Gross, host of
“Speaking of Your Money”
"Covers all the recent changes to the bankruptcy law, and shows you how to get through the entire process with the least damage."
Accounting Today

Customer Review

"I bit the bullet, and purchased Nolo's How to File Chapter 7 Bankruptcy. I represented myself in court and I was granted a discharge of all debts five months later."
Danielle A.,
Richmond, VA

Buy & Download now: Nolo (publisher)

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy:
Keep Your Property & Repay Your Debts Over Time
(12th edition, 2014)

Chapter 13 Bakruptcy Book
Are you behind on your mortgage, taxes or other bills? Are creditors threatening foreclosure or repossession? Consider Chapter 13 bankruptcy, which can give you an affordable repayment plan -- and let you keep your house, car and other property. Use this plain-English guide to decide whether or not it's right for you.

Nolo's Chapter 13 Bankruptcy breaks down the Chapter 13 process and provides clear explanations of the law. First, you can:

  • consider nonbankruptcy alternatives for solving your debt problems
  • decide which is better for you -- Chapter 7 or Chapter 13
  • determine whether you qualify for Chapter 13 bankruptcy

Then, delve deeper into Chapter 13 and find out:

  • how filing bankruptcy stops creditors instantly (the "automatic stay")
  • how Chapter 13 can help you avoid foreclosure
  • whether you can reduce your car loan balance, or the balance on other secured debts
  • whether you can get rid of second mortgages or home equity debt

If you think Chapter 13 bankruptcy could work for you, you'll be ready to:

  • determine (with the book's forms and step-by-step instructions) whether you have enough income to come up with a repayment plan that the court will approve
  • calculate the amount of your monthly plan payment
  • find and work effectively with an excellent lawyer, and
  • rebuild your credit after bankruptcy.

This newest edition includes information on hiring and working with a lawyer, recent court rulings that interpret the federal bankruptcy laws. You'll also find the latest bankruptcy exemption laws in your state, which determine which assets you can keep, and recent IRS standard expense amounts, which affect Chapter 13 plan payments.

In Paperback and eBook
Pub. Date: 2014
Edition: 12th

List Price: $39.99
Buy now:
Nolo (publisher)


Chapter 13 Bankruptcy: Repay Your Debts

Press Reviews

"In Nolo’s usual thorough fashion, here is a guide to an alternative to the typical Chapter 7 Bankruptcy."
Orange County Register
"An excellent book that can guide you through the [Chapter 13] process."
Forbes Magazine
"Chapter 13 Bankruptcy will save you a fortune in attorney fees and confusion."
The Midwest Book Review
"This is the best book going if you choose to file alone or if you want background on the Chapter 13 process."
Attorney Gary Klein,
co-author of Consumer Bankruptcy Law and Practice
"An excellent resource..."
Consumers Digest
"Contains many tear-out forms, federal and state exemptions charts, and the most recent legal documents and instructions on how to fill them out. "
Reference & Research Book News

Buy now: Nolo (publisher)

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The New Bankruptcy: Will It Work For You? (New Bankruptcy)

The new bankruptcy by Attorneys Leon Bayer & Stephen Elias

Is bankruptcy the right solution for your overwhelming debts? Pick the best strategies for your situation with the information and practical suggestions in The New Bankruptcy. Find out:

  • if you qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy
  • how Chapter 13 repayment plans work
  • how bankruptcy affects credit

File for bankruptcy with confidence!

In Paperback and eBook
Pub. Date: 2013
Edition: 5th
Forms: 27 forms

Buy this Book: Nolo (publisher's site)

The New Bankruptcy
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Welcome, users of Nolo's
Credit Repair

Credit Repair

An astounding 80% of credit reports contain errors. If yours is one of them, it can have serious consequences: a bad credit score can make you ineligible for a good rate on a credit card or loan, keep you from renting a place to live, and even sabotage your chances of getting hired for a new job.

Credit Repair shows you how to find mistakes or outdated items in your credit report and get them fixed -- and limit the damage caused by blemishes in your credit history.

In sharp contrast to "fix bad credit" scams, Credit Repair shows how you can effectively rebuild your credit record, step by step. Learn how to:

  • read and understand your credit report
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  • get positive information added to your credit report

To avoid future problems,use this bestselling book to create a budget and avoid overspending. Learn how to:

  • get out of debt now
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Includes all the legal forms you need!

In Paperback and eBook
Pub. Date: 2013
Edition: 11th
Forms: 39 forms

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Credit Repair

Press Reviews

"With last year's change in the bankruptcy laws creating unprecedented confusion in the field, it's important to know whether it remains a viable option, and this book will offer both explanations and reassurances..."
Accounting Today

The Foreclosure Survival Guide

The Foreclosure Survival GuideKeep Your House or Walk Away With Money In Your Pocket
(4th edition, 2013)

by Attorney Stephen R. Elias

Facing foreclosure? Know your options!

If you're having trouble making your mortgage payments or are already in jeopardy of foreclosure, The Foreclosure Survival Guide compassionately gives you the practical information you need, step by step.

An essential tool for anyone at risk of foreclosure, The Foreclosure Survival Guide provides key information about:

  • mortgages, including adjustable rate mortgages (ARMs)
  • short sales
  • deeds in lieu of foreclosure
  • judicial and non-judicial foreclosure
  • credit counseling
  • liens, and
  • using bankruptcy to deal with foreclosure.

The Foreclosure Survival Guide gathers all the information Attorney Stephen R. Elias used to help hundreds of clients in over 30 years and shows you how to deal with foreclosure.

Like many hardworking people facing foreclosure in this rough economy, you deserve answers to your pressing questions. Thorough and easy to understand, The Foreclosure Survival Guide can help you stay in your home or walk away with money in your pocket.

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Solve Your Money Troubles:
Debt, Credit & Bankruptcy
(14th edition, 2013)

How to File For Bakruptcy

Feeling overwhelmed by debts? If you're ready to regain your financial freedom and get smarter about managing your money, you'll find everything you need in this complete guide. Solve Your Money Troubles shows you how to:


  • prioritize debts
  • create a budget
  • negotiate with creditors
  • stop collector harassment
  • challenge wage attachments
  • contend with repossessions
  • respond to creditor lawsuits
  • qualify for a mortgage
  • rebuild credit
  • decide if bankruptcy is the right option for you

To make the process easier, the 14th edition of Solve Your Money Troubles includes sample letters to creditors that reflect changing financial times, as well as worksheets and charts to calculate your debts and expenses and help you create a repayment plan. You'll also get fully updated state laws and information on dealing with foreclosure.

In Paperback and eBook (Adobe Reader)
Forms: 7 forms

Buy & download now @
Nolo (publisher)

Money Troubles
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