City: , NY
Zip Population: 102,078
Persons per Household: 1.6
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
Based on numbers published by the U.S. Trustee's office for Cases Filed on or after March 15th, 2010.) You are user # 0 of the Means Test Calculator.
Despite what you may have heard about recent changes in bankruptcy law, most people who need bankruptcy protection are still eligible.
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 bankruptcy law (11 U.S.C. 707(b)). It uses the language and formatting of Official Form 22A -- one of several forms you would need to complete if you decide to file for bankruptcy.
Read the instructions carefully. 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.
If your monthly household income is less than the New York 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).
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 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:
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.
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.
Using this calculator takes about 20 minutes. For some, the answer may be obvious after only a few questions.
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.
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.
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.)
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."
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.
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.
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. 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 you're abusing the system based on other conduct that has been brought to the court's attention. See the examples below
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).
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).
Other courts have ruled just the opposite -- that the new law prevents them from looking at anything other than the income six months prior to filing. See. e.g., In re Rotunda, (Bkrtcy.N.D.N.Y.) (chapter 13 plan approved based on income for six months prior to filing).
The debate remains unresolved as of this writing (October 2006).
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.
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
The full list of the nine types of priority debt is found in section 507(a) of the bankruptcy code.
County: New York
Metro Area: New York
New York Median Income for a 1 person household: $3,796 per month
for 1 person in New York County, NY.
$711 monthly expense allowance for housing and utilities, non-mortgage expenses (Line 20A)
$3,310 monthly expense allowance
for mortgage/rent expenses (Line 20B)
(This is a minimum amount. if your mortgage payment is higher, you get the full amount of the mortgage.Not so for rent, unfortunately.)
$526 monthly allowance
for food, clothing, household supplies, personal care, miscellaneous (Source:
National Standards (for 1-person households, regardless of income.)
$0 monthly allowance for 'out-of-pocket healthcare costs' other than health insurance
$ monthly allowance for mass transit or vehicle operation expenses (i.e. gas, repairs, maintenance) for vehicle s in New York
$ 0 monthly allowance for vehicle ownership or lease expenses for vehicle s . (This is the standard amount. If your car loan payment is higher, you can deduct the full amount of the car loan. Not so for lease expenses, unfortunately.)
Location: New York County, New York (New York)
- that you pay expenses on:
- that you own or lease:
NY monthly median for a -person household: $3,796
Your monthly household income $0 (line 12)
Income is below state median.
You qualify for Chapter 7
(no need to compute expense deductions).
Monthly income for means test: $0 (line 18)
-4,547 per month
($-272,820 over 5 years)
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