Free Bankruptcy Means Test Calculator For Your State, County & Zip Code - Based on Bankruptcy Form 22A

See also: LegalConsumer.com/obamacare - ObamacareByZipCode.com

Bankruptcy Means Test Calculator for Your Zip Code

 

To Start Using the Calculator,
Enter Your Zip Code
 

*We do not ask any identifying information other than a zip code.

You will be assigned a random number that will track your means test by setting a cookie.

NOTE: You must allow cookies for the calculator to work.

NOTE: Some of our advertisers use Sponsored Forms to collect email addresses and from people interested in contacting them about their services. These forms lead directly to a server the advertiser has chosen. LegalConsumer does not collect this information.

 

New Median Income standards,
effective April 1, 2014

Median Income for

 

Median Income standards effective November 15, 2013 through March 31, 2014

Median Income standards effective April 1, 2014

Persons in Household Monthly Annual Monthly Annual % Change

Source: U.S. Trustee, U.S. Department of Justice (for cases filed Between Nov 15, 2013, and March 31, 2013, Inclusive)

Note. The means test is but one of several hoops you must jump through. Even if your income is low, a judge can prevent you from filing Chapter 7 if it appears that you have enough income to repay a substantial portion of your debts in a 3-year Chapter 13 plan.

ADVERTISEMENTS - LegalConsumer.com does not endorse or review advertised products or services.

Don't Know your Zip?...

Browse by City or State

Alabama Bankruptcy Means Test Calculator

Alabama Obamacare Info

Anniston | Anniston Obamacare Info Birmingham | Birmingham Obamacare Info Dothan | Dothan Obamacare Info Mobile | Mobile Obamacare Info Montgomery | Montgomery Obamacare Info Opelika | Opelika Obamacare Info Tuscaloosa | Tuscaloosa Obamacare Info

Alaska Bankruptcy Means Test Calculator

Alaska Obamacare Info

Anchorage | Anchorage Obamacare Info Fairbanks | Fairbanks Obamacare Info Juneau | Juneau Obamacare Info Ketchikan | Ketchikan Obamacare Info Nome | Nome Obamacare Info

Arizona Bankruptcy Means Test Calculator

Arizona Obamacare Info

Phoenix | Phoenix Obamacare Info Prescott Valley | Prescott Valley Obamacare Info Tucson | Tucson Obamacare Info Yuma | Yuma Obamacare Info

Arkansas Bankruptcy Means Test Calculator

Arkansas Obamacare Info

Batesville | Batesville Obamacare Info El Dorado | El Dorado Obamacare Info Fayetteville | Fayetteville Obamacare Info Fort Smith | Fort Smith Obamacare Info Harrison | Harrison Obamacare Info Helena | Helena Obamacare Info Hot Springs | Hot Springs Obamacare Info Jonesboro | Jonesboro Obamacare Info Little Rock | Little Rock Obamacare Info Pine Bluff | Pine Bluff Obamacare Info Texarkana | Texarkana Obamacare Info

California Bankruptcy Means Test Calculator

California Obamacare Info

Eureka | Eureka Obamacare Info Fresno | Fresno Obamacare Info Los Angeles | Los Angeles Obamacare Info Modesto | Modesto Obamacare Info Oakland | Oakland Obamacare Info Riverside | Riverside Obamacare Info Sacramento | Sacramento Obamacare Info Salinas | Salinas Obamacare Info San Diego | San Diego Obamacare Info San Francisco | San Francisco Obamacare Info San Jose | San Jose Obamacare Info Santa Ana | Santa Ana Obamacare Info Santa Barbara | Santa Barbara Obamacare Info Santa Rosa | Santa Rosa Obamacare Info Woodland Hills | Woodland Hills Obamacare Info

Colorado Bankruptcy Means Test Calculator

Colorado Obamacare Info

Denver | Denver Obamacare Info Grand Junction | Grand Junction Obamacare Info Pueblo | Pueblo Obamacare Info

Connecticut Bankruptcy Means Test Calculator

Connecticut Obamacare Info

Bridgeport | Bridgeport Obamacare Info Hartford | Hartford Obamacare Info New Haven | New Haven Obamacare Info

Delaware Bankruptcy Means Test Calculator

Delaware Obamacare Info

Wilmington | Wilmington Obamacare Info

District of Columbia Bankruptcy Means Test Calculator

District of Columbia Obamacare Info

Washington | Washington Obamacare Info

Florida Bankruptcy Means Test Calculator

Florida Obamacare Info

Fort Lauderdale | Fort Lauderdale Obamacare Info Fort Myers | Fort Myers Obamacare Info Gainesville | Gainesville Obamacare Info Jacksonville | Jacksonville Obamacare Info Miami | Miami Obamacare Info Orlando | Orlando Obamacare Info Panama City | Panama City Obamacare Info Pensacola | Pensacola Obamacare Info Tallahassee | Tallahassee Obamacare Info Tampa | Tampa Obamacare Info Viera | Viera Obamacare Info West Palm Beach | West Palm Beach Obamacare Info

Georgia Bankruptcy Means Test Calculator

Georgia Obamacare Info

Atlanta | Atlanta Obamacare Info Augusta | Augusta Obamacare Info Brunswick | Brunswick Obamacare Info Columbus | Columbus Obamacare Info Dublin | Dublin Obamacare Info Gainesville | Gainesville Obamacare Info Macon | Macon Obamacare Info Newnan | Newnan Obamacare Info Rome | Rome Obamacare Info Savannah | Savannah Obamacare Info Statesboro | Statesboro Obamacare Info Waycross | Waycross Obamacare Info

Hawaii Bankruptcy Means Test Calculator

Hawaii Obamacare Info

Honolulu | Honolulu Obamacare Info

Idaho Bankruptcy Means Test Calculator

Idaho Obamacare Info

Boise | Boise Obamacare Info Coeur d Alene | Coeur d Alene Obamacare Info Moscow | Moscow Obamacare Info Pocatello | Pocatello Obamacare Info

Illinois Bankruptcy Means Test Calculator

Illinois Obamacare Info

Benton | Benton Obamacare Info Chicago | Chicago Obamacare Info Danville | Danville Obamacare Info East Saint Louis | East Saint Louis Obamacare Info Peoria | Peoria Obamacare Info Rockford | Rockford Obamacare Info Springfield | Springfield Obamacare Info

Indiana Bankruptcy Means Test Calculator

Indiana Obamacare Info

Evansville | Evansville Obamacare Info Fort Wayne | Fort Wayne Obamacare Info Hammond | Hammond Obamacare Info Indianapolis | Indianapolis Obamacare Info Lafayette | Lafayette Obamacare Info New Albany | New Albany Obamacare Info South Bend | South Bend Obamacare Info Terre Haute | Terre Haute Obamacare Info

Iowa Bankruptcy Means Test Calculator

Iowa Obamacare Info

Cedar Rapids | Cedar Rapids Obamacare Info Des Moines | Des Moines Obamacare Info Dubuque | Dubuque Obamacare Info Fort Dodge | Fort Dodge Obamacare Info Independence | Independence Obamacare Info Mason City | Mason City Obamacare Info Sioux City | Sioux City Obamacare Info

Kansas Bankruptcy Means Test Calculator

Kansas Obamacare Info

Kansas City | Kansas City Obamacare Info Topeka | Topeka Obamacare Info Wichita | Wichita Obamacare Info

Kentucky Bankruptcy Means Test Calculator

Kentucky Obamacare Info

Ashland | Ashland Obamacare Info Bowling Green | Bowling Green Obamacare Info Covington | Covington Obamacare Info Frankfort | Frankfort Obamacare Info Lexington | Lexington Obamacare Info London | London Obamacare Info Louisville | Louisville Obamacare Info Owensboro | Owensboro Obamacare Info Paducah | Paducah Obamacare Info Pikeville | Pikeville Obamacare Info

Louisiana Bankruptcy Means Test Calculator

Louisiana Obamacare Info

Alexandria | Alexandria Obamacare Info Baton Rouge | Baton Rouge Obamacare Info Lafayette | Lafayette Obamacare Info New Orleans | New Orleans Obamacare Info Shreveport | Shreveport Obamacare Info

Maine Bankruptcy Means Test Calculator

Maine Obamacare Info

Bangor | Bangor Obamacare Info Portland | Portland Obamacare Info

Maryland Bankruptcy Means Test Calculator

Maryland Obamacare Info

Baltimore | Baltimore Obamacare Info Greenbelt | Greenbelt Obamacare Info Salisbury | Salisbury Obamacare Info

Massachusetts Bankruptcy Means Test Calculator

Massachusetts Obamacare Info

Boston | Boston Obamacare Info Hyannis | Hyannis Obamacare Info Springfield | Springfield Obamacare Info Worcester | Worcester Obamacare Info

Michigan Bankruptcy Means Test Calculator

Michigan Obamacare Info

Bay City | Bay City Obamacare Info Detroit | Detroit Obamacare Info Flint | Flint Obamacare Info Grand Rapids | Grand Rapids Obamacare Info Kalamazoo | Kalamazoo Obamacare Info Lansing | Lansing Obamacare Info Marquette | Marquette Obamacare Info Traverse City | Traverse City Obamacare Info

Minnesota Bankruptcy Means Test Calculator

Minnesota Obamacare Info

Duluth | Duluth Obamacare Info Fergus Falls | Fergus Falls Obamacare Info Minneapolis | Minneapolis Obamacare Info Saint Paul | Saint Paul Obamacare Info

Mississippi Bankruptcy Means Test Calculator

Mississippi Obamacare Info

Aberdeen | Aberdeen Obamacare Info Greenville | Greenville Obamacare Info Gulfport | Gulfport Obamacare Info Hattiesburg | Hattiesburg Obamacare Info Jackson | Jackson Obamacare Info Oxford | Oxford Obamacare Info

Missouri Bankruptcy Means Test Calculator

Missouri Obamacare Info

Cape Girardeau | Cape Girardeau Obamacare Info Hannibal | Hannibal Obamacare Info Kansas City | Kansas City Obamacare Info Saint Louis | Saint Louis Obamacare Info

Montana Bankruptcy Means Test Calculator

Montana Obamacare Info

Billings | Billings Obamacare Info Butte | Butte Obamacare Info Great Falls | Great Falls Obamacare Info Kalispell | Kalispell Obamacare Info Missoula | Missoula Obamacare Info

Nebraska Bankruptcy Means Test Calculator

Nebraska Obamacare Info

Lincoln | Lincoln Obamacare Info Omaha | Omaha Obamacare Info

Nevada Bankruptcy Means Test Calculator

Nevada Obamacare Info

Las Vegas | Las Vegas Obamacare Info Reno | Reno Obamacare Info

New Hampshire Bankruptcy Means Test Calculator

New Hampshire Obamacare Info

Manchester | Manchester Obamacare Info

New Jersey Bankruptcy Means Test Calculator

New Jersey Obamacare Info

Camden | Camden Obamacare Info Newark | Newark Obamacare Info Trenton | Trenton Obamacare Info

New Mexico Bankruptcy Means Test Calculator

New Mexico Obamacare Info

Albuquerque | Albuquerque Obamacare Info Las Cruces | Las Cruces Obamacare Info Roswell | Roswell Obamacare Info

New York Bankruptcy Means Test Calculator

New York Obamacare Info

Albany | Albany Obamacare Info Brooklyn | Brooklyn Obamacare Info Buffalo | Buffalo Obamacare Info Islip | Islip Obamacare Info New York | New York Obamacare Info Poughkeepsie | Poughkeepsie Obamacare Info Rochester | Rochester Obamacare Info Syracuse | Syracuse Obamacare Info Utica | Utica Obamacare Info White Plains | White Plains Obamacare Info

North Carolina Bankruptcy Means Test Calculator

North Carolina Obamacare Info

Asheville | Asheville Obamacare Info Charlotte | Charlotte Obamacare Info Greensboro | Greensboro Obamacare Info Raleigh | Raleigh Obamacare Info Wilson | Wilson Obamacare Info Winston Salem | Winston Salem Obamacare Info

North Dakota Bankruptcy Means Test Calculator

North Dakota Obamacare Info

Bismarck | Bismarck Obamacare Info Fargo | Fargo Obamacare Info Grand Forks | Grand Forks Obamacare Info Minot | Minot Obamacare Info

Ohio Bankruptcy Means Test Calculator

Ohio Obamacare Info

Akron | Akron Obamacare Info Canton | Canton Obamacare Info Cincinnati | Cincinnati Obamacare Info Cleveland | Cleveland Obamacare Info Columbus | Columbus Obamacare Info Dayton | Dayton Obamacare Info Toledo | Toledo Obamacare Info Youngstown | Youngstown Obamacare Info

Oklahoma Bankruptcy Means Test Calculator

Oklahoma Obamacare Info

Oklahoma City | Oklahoma City Obamacare Info Okmulgee | Okmulgee Obamacare Info Tulsa | Tulsa Obamacare Info

Oregon Bankruptcy Means Test Calculator

Oregon Obamacare Info

Eugene | Eugene Obamacare Info Portland | Portland Obamacare Info

Pennsylvania Bankruptcy Means Test Calculator

Pennsylvania Obamacare Info

Erie | Erie Obamacare Info Harrisburg | Harrisburg Obamacare Info Johnstown | Johnstown Obamacare Info Philadelphia | Philadelphia Obamacare Info Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh Obamacare Info Reading | Reading Obamacare Info Wilkes Barre | Wilkes Barre Obamacare Info

Rhode Island Bankruptcy Means Test Calculator

Rhode Island Obamacare Info

Providence | Providence Obamacare Info

South Carolina Bankruptcy Means Test Calculator

South Carolina Obamacare Info

Charleston | Charleston Obamacare Info Columbia | Columbia Obamacare Info Spartanburg | Spartanburg Obamacare Info

South Dakota Bankruptcy Means Test Calculator

South Dakota Obamacare Info

Aberdeen | Aberdeen Obamacare Info Pierre | Pierre Obamacare Info Rapid City | Rapid City Obamacare Info Sioux Falls | Sioux Falls Obamacare Info

Tennessee Bankruptcy Means Test Calculator

Tennessee Obamacare Info

Chattanooga | Chattanooga Obamacare Info Greeneville | Greeneville Obamacare Info Jackson | Jackson Obamacare Info Knoxville | Knoxville Obamacare Info Memphis | Memphis Obamacare Info Nashville | Nashville Obamacare Info Winchester | Winchester Obamacare Info

Texas Bankruptcy Means Test Calculator

Texas Obamacare Info

Albilene | Albilene Obamacare Info Amarillo | Amarillo Obamacare Info Austin | Austin Obamacare Info Beaumont | Beaumont Obamacare Info Corpus Christi | Corpus Christi Obamacare Info Dallas | Dallas Obamacare Info El Paso | El Paso Obamacare Info Fort Worth | Fort Worth Obamacare Info Galveston | Galveston Obamacare Info Houston | Houston Obamacare Info Laredo | Laredo Obamacare Info Lubbock | Lubbock Obamacare Info Midland | Midland Obamacare Info Plano | Plano Obamacare Info San Angelo | San Angelo Obamacare Info San Antonio | San Antonio Obamacare Info Tyler | Tyler Obamacare Info Waco | Waco Obamacare Info Wichita Falls | Wichita Falls Obamacare Info

Utah Bankruptcy Means Test Calculator

Utah Obamacare Info

Ogden | Ogden Obamacare Info Saint George | Saint George Obamacare Info Salt Lake City | Salt Lake City Obamacare Info

Vermont Bankruptcy Means Test Calculator

Vermont Obamacare Info

Rutland | Rutland Obamacare Info

Virginia Bankruptcy Means Test Calculator

Virginia Obamacare Info

Alexandria | Alexandria Obamacare Info Newport News | Newport News Obamacare Info Norfolk | Norfolk Obamacare Info Richmond | Richmond Obamacare Info Roanoke | Roanoke Obamacare Info

Washington Bankruptcy Means Test Calculator

Washington Obamacare Info

Seattle | Seattle Obamacare Info Spokane | Spokane Obamacare Info Tacoma | Tacoma Obamacare Info Yakima | Yakima Obamacare Info

West Virginia Bankruptcy Means Test Calculator

West Virginia Obamacare Info

Beckley | Beckley Obamacare Info Bluefield | Bluefield Obamacare Info Charleston | Charleston Obamacare Info Clarksburg | Clarksburg Obamacare Info Huntington | Huntington Obamacare Info Parkersburg | Parkersburg Obamacare Info Wheeling | Wheeling Obamacare Info

Wisconsin Bankruptcy Means Test Calculator

Wisconsin Obamacare Info

Eau Claire | Eau Claire Obamacare Info Madison | Madison Obamacare Info Milwaukee | Milwaukee Obamacare Info

Wyoming Bankruptcy Means Test Calculator

Wyoming Obamacare Info

Casper | Casper Obamacare Info Cheyenne | Cheyenne Obamacare Info

CloseWhat is the means test?

You may have read that the new bankruptcy law imposes a "means test" on who can file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

You might think this new test will prevent you from filing. But, chances are, you're wrong. Most people considering bankruptcy have no trouble passing the means test. Indeed, some lawyers think more people will qualify for Chapter 7 under this test than under the old law, where judges had no fixed formula.

Use this calculator find out where you stand.

The Formula

The law now uses a standard mathematical formula to determine whether you can file for Chapter 7 -- or, to put it in legal terms, whether filing for Chapter 7 would be an 'abuse' of the bankruptcy system. (Those who fail the means test, are left with a Chapter 13 repayment plan as their only bankruptcy option.)

The means test is actually a two-part test and you only need to pass one of them to qualify for Chapter 7.

Test 1. "Median Income"
This is a very simple test that compares your average household income for the past six calendar months to the median income for your state, If your income is below the median, you qualify for Chapter 7. If it is above the median, you must pass Test 2.

Test 2. "Disposable Income"
This test deducts expenses from your income to determine how much you can pay your unsecured creditors over the next five years:

  • If you can pay at least $11,725 ($195.42 per month), you can't file for Chapter 7.
  • If you can pay at least $7,025 ( about $117 per month) and that is at least 25% of what you currently owe your unsecured creditors, you can't file for Chapter 7.
  • If your disposable income is less than $117 per month, you can file for Chapter 7.

Certain deductions are standard allowances based on the number of vehicles you operate, the number of people in your household, and the cost of living in New York County.

In addition, to these standard deductions, you can also deduct the full amount of certain actual expenses such as mortgage and vehicle loan payments.

Close

Close Do I need to complete the means test?

If you are filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you do not need to complete the means test. However, you do need to complete a form almost identical to it — and that will determine how much you must pay in a Chapter 13 plan.

If you want to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you must at least complete the first part of the form to figure your "current monthly income" (CMI), which is based on your average income over the past six calendar months. That number will determine whether you must complete the rest of the form.

If your CMI is below the median income for New York for a household your size, then you do not need to complete the means test.

If your CMI is higher than the median for New York for a household your size, you must complete the means test to compute your monthly "disposable" income (that is, income minus expenses). The result of that computation will determine whether you are eligible for Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

Close

Close How long does this take?

Using this calculator takes about 20 minutes. For some, the answer may be obvious after only a few questions.

Is it private?

This calculator is completely anonymous. We do not ask -- and no not want -- any personally identifying information linking you to these numbers, other than a zip code. We do keep statistical data on amounts that user have entered, so that the site may monitor the needs of its users and adjust services accordingly. However, To us, this is data for statistical analysis only. For more information. See the privacy notice.

Garbage in, garbage out

If you don't put in the correct numbers in the correct blanks, this calculator won't give you an accurate result. It only does the math. It is your responsibility to put the right numbers in the right blanks. Helpful resources are available throughout the test to help you figure out what the form is asking for and what to put where.

Be sure to account for all the different kinds of income you receive. If you're not sure what to put in an 'expense' blank, skip it. You may find that it doesn't' matter -- that is, you may qualify regardless of what number you put in that blank.

If you need assistance, this website has listing of books and local services that offer bankruptcy help.

Where to find the Official Means Test form

If you end up actually filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy you need to fill out official form (22A). which you can find here. This calculator is based on that form. Close

CloseHousehold Size: When is a family of 3 not a family of 3?

The issue of household size can be tricky in cases of shared custody, children who live at college part of the year, or non-custodial children living in the household.

There will undoubtedly be litigation on this subject. The official form seems to suggest that the issue is whether the person is part of the household and is a dependent. (That is, 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. This can be an issue for same-sex couples who cannot legally marry.)

RELATED INFO:

In April 2010, the United States Trustee's office issued a PDF of their official position on legal issues surrounding each line of the Chapter 7 means test form 22A. Keep in mind that the Trustee tends to protect creditor interests, so a debtor's bankruptcy attorney may not agree with every one of these positions. That said, if you can easily pass the means test under the trustee's relatively stingy interpretation of the rules, all the better.

The U.S. Trustee's Office's official statement (released April 2010) on how to fill out form 22A takes the the following position on how to fill out the means test:

Line 14, Applicable median family income.

  • "Applicable state" is state of residence at filing.
  • If married and two different households, residence is where most family members reside.
  • If no plurality of family members are in any one state, use state of spouse with highest income.
  • "Household size" is the debtor, debtor's spouse, and any dependents that the debtor could claim under IRS dependency tests. The USTP uses the same IRS test for the definition of both"household" and "family." IRS Publication 501 explains the IRS tests for "dependent."
  • The USTP departs from the IRS dependent test (as does the IRS when it determines family size for collection purposes) in cases justifying "reasonable exceptions" (e.g. a long standing economic unit of unmarried individuals and their children). However, if an individual is counted as a family member for median income purposes, that individual's income should be included as income on Part II of Form 22A .

Line 8 of the means test:

  • Includes payments made monthly, quarterly, or annually.
  • Includes payments regardless of written agreement with contributor.
  • Includes payments from roommate, partner, parent, or relative, regardless of whether living with debtor.
  • Includes payments made directly to creditors on behalf of debtor, e.g., rent, car, or insurance.
  • Does not include payments from non-filing spouse (which are already included as income in Column B).
Close

CloseContributions of roommates or domestic partners to household income

At least one site on the web has addressed this issue. King's Bankruptcy Media (a lawyer's website) states what appears to be the correct rule: that, if a roommate or domestic partner is contributing income to the household, then that portion of the roommate's income must be included in the overall amount of 'household income' on line 8 of the official form, where it asks for "contributions to household income."

RELATED INFO:

The U.S. Trustee's Office's official statement (released April 2010) on how to fill out form 22A takes the the following position on how to fill out the means test:

Line 14, Applicable median family income.

  • "Applicable state" is state of residence at filing.
  • If married and two different households, residence is where most family members reside.
  • If no plurality of family members are in any one state, use state of spouse with highest income.
  • "Household size" is the debtor, debtor's spouse, and any dependents that the debtor could claim under IRS dependency tests. The USTP uses the same IRS test for the definition of both"household" and "family." IRS Publication 501 explains the IRS tests for "dependent."
  • The USTP departs from the IRS dependent test (as does the IRS when it determines family size for collection purposes) in cases justifying "reasonable exceptions" (e.g. a long standing economic unit of unmarried individuals and their children). However, if an individual is counted as a family member for median income purposes, that individual's income should be included as income on Part II of Form 22A .

Line 8, Any amounts paid by another person or entity, on a regular basis, for the household expenses of the debtor or the debtor's dependents, including child or spousal support.

  • Includes payments made monthly, quarterly, or annually.
  • Includes payments regardless of written agreement with contributor.
  • Includes payments from roommate, partner, parent, or relative, regardless of whether living with debtor.
  • Includes payments made directly to creditors on behalf of debtor, e.g., rent, car, or insurance.
  • Does not include payments from non-filing spouse (which are already included as income in Column B).
Close

CloseOther Noteworthy Calculators on the Web

CNN/Money Magazine's Budget Calculator compares your monthly expenses to national averages for people with your income and home situation. It's not localized by location.

The bankruptcy court for the Middle District of Florida provides an Excel worksheet of a means test calculator, but it only has figures for counties in that Florida district, and the numbers have not been updated since 2007.

ChooseToSave.org offers an extensive list of calculators for all types of financial decisions including car loans, credit cards, college savings, to retirement savings options.

Close

CloseIf I Pass the Means Test, Can I still be barred from filing bankruptcy?

Yes, you can still be barred from filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

Passing the means test removes one barrier: it means that you are not "presumed" to be "abusing" the bankruptcy system under 707(b)(2). It is an essential first step, and for most people, that is that. They are clear to file.

However, in some cases, a bankruptcy judge may rule that case should be dismissed becuase to the "totality of the circumstances" under 707(b)(3).

Example 1: In Iowa, a judge ruled that a debtor was abusing the system because in the year preceding his bankruptcy, he received substantial sums of money from various sources and spent it all on unnecessary indulgences, rather than pay down his debt. In re James, 345 B.R. 664 (Bkrtcy.N.D.Iowa 2006).

And, while the means test income analysis looks backward, a court can use 707(b)(3) to look forward.

Example 2: In another example, a Northern California court denied a debtor the right to file Chapter 7 because the debtor was about to have a substantial increase in income. In re Pak, 343 B.R. 239 (Bkrtcy.N.D.Cal. 2006).

 

Close

CloseIf I fail the Means Test, can a judge allow me to file anyway?

Yes, a judge can allow you to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy even if you fail the means test, but only you are able able to show "special circumstances."

Some examples of possible "special circumstances" are job loss or pay cut, a serious medical condition, or unusually high child care expenses.  You must be able to produce proof of your expenses and that your expenses are reasonable -- and that you have no reasonable alternative.

Close

CloseWhat are "priority claims"?

This is a technical term used in bankruptcy law. A list of the most common priority claims can be found on Form 10 (Proof of Claim). These include

  • past due debts for child and spousal support,
  • most unpaid taxes, and wages,
  • salaries or commissions you owe to employees and
  • contributions you owe to an employee benefit fund.

The full list of the nine types of priority debt is found in section 507(a) of the bankruptcy code. Close

Share/Bookmark

ADVERTISEMENTS - Services listed in advertisements are not endorsed or reviewed by LegalConsumer.com



Welcome, New York users of Nolo's

How to File for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

How to File for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
LegalConsumer.com helps you find local 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 means test calculator.

Don't own a copy?

Learn more...

Albin Renauer, the operator of LegalConsumer.com 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 and the local resources you'll find on LegalConsumer.com are a perfect combination. The book is designed to work with LegalConsumer.com's means test calculator and lists of New York exemption laws, which determine what property you'd get to keep in bankruptcy.

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 you must do to file a sucessful bankruptcy petition.

But first, use the book to find out whether you qualify for Chapter 7 -- and whether or not it's 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. The book clearly explains what doesn't bankruptc yan and cannot do.

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 New York 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.

How to File for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy doe s not cover business bankruptcies, farm reorganizations (Chapter 12) or individual repayment plans (Chapter 13). For 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."
-Forbes

"Exceptionally clear…"
-The New York Times

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


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."
Newsweek
"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."
Forbes
"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
Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

Filing Chapter 13 bankruptcy lets you cut down debts and keep valuable assets.

If you're considering Chapter 13 bankruptcy, which lets you wipe out some of your debt and pay back the rest over time, 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 new information on hiring and working with a lawyer, recent court rulings that interpret the federal bankruptcy laws. You'll also find the atest bankruptcy exemption laws in your state, which determine what copy you can keep, and recent IRS standard expense amounts, which affect Chapter 13 plan payments.

For Chapter 7 bankruptcy, see Nolo's How to File for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy. If you own your own business and are considering Chapter 7 bankruptcy, see Nolo's Bankruptcy for Small Business Owners.

"An excellent book that can guide you through the process."
-Forbes

"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, Coauthor of Consumer Bankruptcy Law and Practice

"An excellent resource …"
-Consumers Digest


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

 

The New Bankruptcy

The New Bankruptcy

If you're feeling overwhelmed by debt, you may be considering bankruptcy. But is filing bankruptcy the right solution for you and your family? Find out with this plain-English book.

The New Bankruptcy provides the strategies, clear-cut answers, and information and you need to figure out whether bankruptcy can help solve your debt problems. Find out:

  • the differences between Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy
  • whether or not you qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy
  • how Chapter 13 repayment plans work
  • which debts are wiped out
  • how bankruptcy affects homeowners
  • whether you'll be able to keep cars and other assets
  • how bankruptcy affects your credit score
  • other ways to handle your debt problems

The latest edition of The New Bankruptcy includes updated lists of assets you can keep (exemptions) when you file bankruptcy, plus the latest rules handed down by the Supreme Court as it interprets the federal bankruptcy law. You'll also get worksheets to help you determine whether you can file for bankruptcy, helpful checklists, and easy-to-understand information for all 50 states.

"Authoritative, comprehensive and packed with helpful advice and useful information, including state-specific details."
-Eric Tyson, Author of Personal Finance For Dummies

"…it's important to know whether [bankruptcy] remains a viable option, and this book will offer both explanations and reassurances…"
-Accounting Today


LegalConsumerLogoLegal Consumer - Bankruptcy Means Test
Bankruptcy Info For Your Zip Code

BANKRUPTCY COURTS: Website :: Maps to Courthouse

BANRKRUPTCY MEANS TEST CACLULATOR: Calculator :: State & Local Standards

BANKRUPTCY FORMS: Federal Forms :: Local Forms :: PDF Forms & Tools

BANKRUPTCY EXEMPTION LAWS: Homestead :: Insurance :: Pensions & IRAs :: etc.

LOCAL BANKRUPTCY LAWYERS: Google Maps, Lawyer Listings for your town.

Better Business Bureau -- A+ Rating

Home :: Privacy Policy :: Disclaimer :: Contact :: About :: Sitemap
Website and calculator content by Albin Renauer, co-author of How to File For Chapter 7 Bankruptcy (Nolo 1989 - 2014)
LegalConsumer.com website & means test calculator © 2014 -- RelationalVision, LLC. All rights reserved.