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The Means Test

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Before filing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, debtors must have their financial snapshot examined under the “Means Test” as proscribed in the Bankruptcy Code.  Those who pass the Means Test may consider Chapter 7 as an available option.  However, those who do not pass the Means Test, must look to other options such as Chapter 13.

Means test in bankruptcyThe Means test is a hypothetical formula created by congress to gauge your theoretical ability to repay all or a portion of your debts, while providing for life essentials for you and your family.  Income the debtor has received in the six months prior to filing is compared to the median income for the debtor’s household size in the same state.  Debtors are entitled to certain deductions such as vehicle and mortgage payments, taxes, health insurance and transportation expenses.  Some categories, such as transportation expenses, are limited to amounts allowed by Internal Revenue Service standards. Secured debts, such as mortgaged real estate and financed cars, the actual amounts paid can be used in the means test.  At the end of the means test, a figure is generated from the information provided which indicates whether Chapter 7 is an option.

The Means Test calculations are often complex due to the numerous steps involved, and because it requires a detailed comprehension of the rules.  Before attempting to fully understand the complexities of the Means Test you should contact an experienced bankruptcy attorney to assist you.

At the Law Offices of James Wingfield we have the experience to help you to crunch the numbers and properly determine the right type of bankruptcy for your particular situation.  Call the Law Offices of James Wingfield at  508-797-0200 or visit the contact page on this website to schedule a no-cost initial consultation.


United States Trustee Program

United States Bankruptcy Court, District of Massachusetts

Median Income Under the Means Test

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The Law Offices of James Wingfield is proud to be a debt relief agency. We help the individuals, families and small businesses of the Worcester area file for bankruptcy relief under the United States Bankruptcy Code. The Law Offices of James Wingfield serves Central and Western Massachusetts clients in Worcester County, Hampden County, Hampshire County and Middlesex County including Worcester, Shrewsbury, Springfield, Westborough, Southborough, Framingham, Northampton, Natick, Amherst, Fitchburg, Leomister, Douglas, Uxbridge, Gardner, Belchertown, Holyoke, Wilbraham and Chicopee. The information contained and obtained in this website does not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. Contacting us, be it through this website, via email of by telephone does not create an attorney-client relationship. An attorney-client relationship is only created upon execution of an engagement agreement or fee agreement.