Summary: New income figures are periodically released for the means test in Chapter 7 bankruptcies. If your gross income is over this amount, you may still be able to qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy based on your expenses or special circumstances. Certain individuals are not required to take a means test at all.
Qualifying to file chapter 7 bankruptcy under the means test in East Texas is initially based on income. The figures change every six months and are tied into average wages for your household size and location. The income figures below apply to cases filed November 1, 2015 or later. For more information on means testing, go the the Means Testing Section of the US Department of Justice web page. To determine if you qualify as an under median debtor to file chapter 7, find your household size and see if your current annual income is less than the totals below to give you an idea:
Household Size Total Gross Income (not including social security)
($8,100 for each additional household member over 4)
The means test is a formula based on the last 6 months of income that helps determine whether you qualify to file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
If you “fail” the means test, you may still qualify to file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy if you have:
- reasonable and necessary expenses so that you cannot afford to make a chapter 13 plan payment;
- change of circumstances, such as a job layoff or reduced income;
- serious, chronic medical illness that will impact your income or involve big medical expenses in the future;
Some people are not required to “pass” a means test. If you fall under one of these exceptions, you may be exempt from the means test if you meet certain criteria:
- Majority of debts are non-consumer debts, such as taxes or business debt;
- Disabled veterans meeting specific criteria;
- Individuals on or after performing homeland defense under specific circumstances;
- National Guard members and reservists under certain circumstances;
- Regular, full-time active duty military.