Why Does Household Size Matter When Taking the Means Test for Bankruptcy?

November 19th, 2012 by Reed Allmand

The Means Test helps determine if a debtor qualifies for Chapter 7 bankruptcy.  While it is used to review household income and expenses, it may also determine if a debtor can make payments in Chapter 13 bankruptcy depending on how much they earn. Along with determining how much a debtor earns, the test reviews household size and members of the debtor’s household.

When a debtor is asked about their household on the Means Test, there are 2 factors that present a higher level of importance: household income and size.  While the state has income requirements that need to be met in order to qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, the size of your household may affect the outcome of your Means Test.  The state determines the median income requirements based on family size; the more members you have the higher the amount would be. In some cases, it could affect the outcome of the test if other members are earning income.

The household may actually be defined as more than just the wife, husband and children.  The household includes anyone who lives at the residence, the type of dwelling you live in (house, apartment, etc.), who pays monthly expenses and who contributes monthly income. The test will also review who your dependents are.

Debtors may want to review household details with their attorney to understand how they may qualify for bankruptcy.  To help you complete the Means Test, compile a list of expenses, monthly costs and income to help you view your finances.

Reference: http://www.duncanlawonline.com/household-size-determined-for-the-means-test/

 

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About Reed Allmand

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Allmand's vision is rooted in his own financially precarious childhood in Abilene "My father always had difficulty holding a job and supporting our family, so after my parents divorced when I was 12, my sister and I got jobs to help make ends meet," he recalls. "I remember what it felt like as a child to worry that our car would be repossessed or home foreclosed on."

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