Filing Means Test Exemptions Courts Forms
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Special Circumstances may allow you to file Chapter 7 Even If You Fail the Means Test

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

If you fail the means test you can still claim "special circumstances." 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.
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If I Pass the Means Test, Can I still be barred from filing bankruptcy?
 
What are "priority claims"?

Updated: 2020-08-26 by

If 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.

 

If I Pass the Means Test, Can I still be barred from filing bankruptcy?
 
What are "priority claims"?

You may also be interested in:

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

    A judge can still bar you from filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy if the "totality of the circumstances" under707(b)(3) make it appear you are "abusing" the process.

  • What are "priority claims"?

    Priority claims are debts that must be paid before all other debts. They include alimony, child support, wages you owe to workers, and unpaid taxes.

  • What Is the Means Test?

    The 2005 Bankruptcy Law (BAPCPA) created the means test, ostensibly to prevent people from abusing bankruptcy. The means test mans you can't file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy if your income is above the median income for California, or your allowed expenses leave enough disposable income to fund pay some of your debts over 5 years. In fact, most people who file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy have no trouble passing the means test.

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