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Chapter 7 Harder to File in Michigan After November 1, 2010
The United States Trustee released “means test” numbers as of November 1, 2010. The “means test” began in 2005 when bankruptcy law changed. It starts with median income levels for family sizes. It uses Census Bureau information and IRS data. This is an attempt to create a mathematical formula to determine whether a bankrupt filer is either a candidate for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13. Based on these numbers, the means test just got meaner.
Family size Median income until October 31 Median income after November 1 Change
Household of 1: $41,875
Household of 2 people: $49,919
Household of 3 people: $59,190
Household of 4 people: $70,600
For families of 5 or more, add $7,500 for each additional person.
I suspect the lower income levels are due to the recession and reduced family incomes here in Michigan. Those most affected would likely be a married couple with no children. If a husband and wife both earn $12.50 an hour and work full time, they would exceed the median income.
All is not lost however, filers who fail to fall below the median income level must complete the second part of the means test which examines the debtors’ budget using a formula developed by the Congress. As you can guess, it is most often detached from reality and does not always take into account your particular situation. We are very familiar with the resource test and, assuming you want to file a Chapter 7, we can ensure that it is completed correctly to maximize your chances of filing a 7.
If you are considering filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy and you are close to reaching your median household income, you should consider filing before October 31, 2010. That doesn’t give you much time. . You need to gather lots of financial documents, complete your credit counseling, and give your lawyer plenty of time to prepare a well-drafted petition.
To learn more about bankruptcy, please take the time to visit my website at: Downline Bankruptcy.
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