“Can I file bankruptcy?”
"Do I qualify for bankruptcy?"
"What is a means test?"
When money problems hit hard, these are the first questions people ask.
The answer to those questions depends on how much you earn and how much you pay out in loan payments and household expenses.
The government has designed an easy “bankruptcy means test” to determine whether you qualify for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy or if you'll have to go with a Chapter 13 bankruptcy.
Hate tests? Don't worry, we're not back in high school.
This test is easy, fast, and painless...
And remember, we're here to help.
If you're considering bankruptcy call us now so we can answer your questions totally free...
Or fill out the form below...
If you qualify for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy all your debts may be wiped out by the courts.
The two main questions the bankruptcy test asks are...
More on those questions in a second.
If you don't pass the Chapter 7 means test, you may decide to go with a Chapter 13...
A Chapter 13 bankruptcy won't clear your debt as effectively as a Chapter 7 but can still be a big help in getting debt relief.
“Can I File Bankruptcy If I Have A High Income?”
Those with higher incomes may not be eligible for Chapter 7.
But don't panic...
Even if you make a steady income you may still be eligible for Chapter 7. That's especially true if you have high expenses.
These expenses could be your home mortgage, income taxes, car loans, and others. So, if you're asking, “Do I qualify for bankruptcy?”, taking the quick test below will give you a pretty good answer.
However, if you have relatively high income and relatively low "necessary" expenses, you may want to first ask a different question, "SHOULD I file bankruptcy?"
Our government developed the means test to find out who is capable of paying their debts and who is not...
The means test measures your bankruptcy qualifications and starts out very simple...
Income Minus Expenses
Your total monthly income (during the last 6 months) minus your monthly expenses.
But not every expense will count. Sorry, your limo rental and your Merle Haggard concert expenses won't be counted. Darn it!
What's left after this simple mathematical equation is considered your Disposable Income.
Obviously, a high disposable income may mean you don't qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
Because you have enough disposable income to pay your debts...or at least most of them.
Next, your household income is compared to the median income of every other household in California.
This is actually good news for us Bakersfieldians because income is substantially lower here than in L.A., San Diego, or the Bay Area.
“So, can I file bankruptcy if my income is lower than the state median income?”
If your income is lower than the California median income, you pass the test. You get to file Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
You may be able to stop right here, give us a call at 661-230-7900 for your free consultation, and get your debt relief started.
However, what if your median income is HIGHER than the states median income?
More Tests For Higher Income Households
Things can get a little complex if your income is higher than median.
“So, can I file bankruptcy even with higher income?”
More tests are needed to find out if you can use your disposable income (income minus allowed expenses) to pay off some of your debts.
Do you have enough disposable income to pay for some of your credit cards, lines of credit, and other unsecured loans?
If so, you may not qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
But don't give up just yet.
The professional Bakersfield bankruptcy lawyers at Easier Bakersfield Bankruptcy know how to do the nitty-gritty calculations.
You very well may still qualify.
Each county and city has they're own allowable expenses. Your “luxuries” won't count no matter where you are but your necessary expenses such as food, shelter, clothing, transportation, and others will count.
Some websites provide means test calculators but they don't really give you the info you need...
These calculators just can't look into your personal situation and decipher all the details that a good bankruptcy lawyer can.
Computers are just not that good yet. Don't waste your time with them.
Call a professional instead to completely answer the question, “Can I file bankruptcy?” It's totally free and you'll know exactly where you stand and what you qualify for.
Even NOLO.com, a legal education company, agrees saying,
“Just because you qualify under the means test (calculator) does not necessarily mean you should file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy – merely that you can...before you settle on Chapter 13 bankruptcy, be sure to talk to a lawyer ”
In other words, don't trust the calculator. Talk to a pro first for expert direction.
Just give us a call, answer a few simple and easy questions, and we'll give you the direction you need.
NO COST and NO OBLIGATION for your first consultation.
Call us now at...
OR fill out the form on this page and we'll contact you right away.