Fall is not just a time for changing of the seasons, with the leaves falling off of the trees. It’s also a time that the figures for the State Median incomes change. When you file for Bankruptcy, you are required to have your attorney fill out a “Means Test”. The Means Test is used to determine whether you are eligible to file Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, or, if you are not able to file Chapter 7, how much you will have to pay on your debts in a Chapter 13 (repayment plan) bankruptcy. The idea is that if you make enough money to pay back a certain amount of your bills, the bankruptcy law will require you to that.
After November 1, 2011, the state median income levels are:
In Illinois, the median incomes actually decrease to:
Household size/income level: 1: $45,545. 2: 57,964. 3: 66,758. 4: 79,074.
In Wisconsin, they decrease for all household sizes except for 1 person:
Household size/income level: 1: 41, 880. 2: 55,671. 3: 64,724. 4: 76,117.
In both states: Add $7500.00 for each person over 4 people.
Even if you are over a median figure, that doesn’t mean you automatically cannot file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. If you are over the median income level, your attorney completes a more detailed analysis based on the IRS’ allowed expenses, and other specific expenses based on your situation to figure out whether you qualify.
The falling incomes do make it harder for people to qualify for bankruptcy, and could increase the amounts that people in Chapter 13 bankruptcy will have to pay on their bills.
Be sure to contact an experienced consumer bankruptcy attorney so that you can get the right advice in your case.
Daniel J Winter
LAW OFFICES OF DANIEL J WINTER
53W. Jackson Boulevard