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Completing The Means Test

The means test is mandatory if your currently monthly income (CMI) is greater than your state’s median income for a similar size household. The means test assesses your deductions and expenses against your CMI to determine whether any income can be gleaned for a Chapter 13 bankruptcy plan to be sought, as opposed to a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. The purpose of the means test is to resolve whether a “presumption of abuse” of bankruptcy law exists, in which a Chapter 7 bankruptcy is unnecessary. The filer carries the burden of rebutting the presumption by convincing the court that, despite the results of the means test, unique circumstances exist in which a Chapter 7 bankruptcy is appropriate. A well-practiced consumer bankruptcy lawyer can guide you through the maze of filing for bankruptcy. 

Applying the test

Official Form 22A provides the means test in which the expenses are calculated by the IRS and based on your state’s and region’s predetermined expenses. The calculations are based upon the official formula provided in 11 U.S.C. 707(b), and local expense standards. For Queens County in New York, the following expenses apply:

  • The median income for a one-person household is $3,983 per month
  • $608 per month for non-mortgage expenses
  • $1644 per month for mortgage/rent expenses
  • $583 monthly allowance for food, clothing, supplies and personal care 

If you take the means test and the U.S. Trustee rejects your Chapter 7 filing due to presumed abuse, you may provide specific special circumstances, which decrease your income or increase your expenses. A New York bankruptcy attorney can delineate such circumstances in an effective manner.

Retain representation from a highly skilled New York attorney

By contacting Mark E. Cohen, Esq., you can obtain assistance from a diligent attorney committed to helping clients achieve peace of mind. The office in Forest Hills represents clients throughout Bronx County, Kings County, Nassau County, New York County, Queens County and the surrounding areas. 

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