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Means Test

Boca Raton Means Test Lawyer

Understanding the Means Test

When filing for bankruptcy in Florida, the means test is used to determine whether your income is low enough to file for bankruptcy under Chapter 7. The purpose of this test is to ensure that the filer is not using bankruptcy to simply extinguish debts that he or she wishes not to pay. High wage earners are prevented from wiping away their debts with bankruptcy because they have the ability most of the time to pay back what they owe. For those who have failed the means test, they can file for Chapter 13 instead. Under this chapter, you may file for bankruptcy and be protected from creditors and their law suits. For more information and legal assistance moving forward in the bankruptcy process, talk to a Boca Raton bankruptcy lawyer at Alan J. Fisher, PA today.

How does the means test evaluate your eligibility?

The means test evaluates your average monthly income and compares it with the average median income for the state of Florida. If your income is below the average, then you may be given approval to file Chapter 7 bankruptcy. If, however, your income is higher than the average median income, more calculations will have to be made to be approved for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Your monthly expenses will have to be placed into a formula in order to determine your disposable monthly income (DMI). The standard amount for every expense will have to be inputted as opposed to the actual amount. Your monthly expenses will be deducted from your current monthly income (CMI) to assess the DMI. After this information has been inputted, you will know whether your disposable income is low enough to pass the means test.

As you take the means test, you may realize that it is a complicated process. At Alan J. Fisher, PA, we can help you through the test to make certain that your calculations and determinations are correct. That includes ensuring that all allowable expenses are properly deducted from your current monthly income. This includes debts from spousal support, child support, child care, medical bills, rental and housing, educational expenses, and car payments. It is important to have knowledgeable and experience legal assistance by your side throughout the entire process.

Assessing Your Alternatives

Another option if you do not pass the means test is to file for bankruptcy under Chapter 13. A bankruptcy attorney from our firm can assist you through the process and help you discover your best options. As your Boca Raton bankruptcy lawyer, our firm is pleased to help you understand the means test and how it can affect your financial status. This is a confusing process that can cause anxiety to many people. The means test is not designed to automatically force you into a Chapter 13 repayment plan but to point you in the best direction for your specific situation.

Filing for bankruptcy is a very important decision that should be made with the assistance of a knowledgeable lawyer by your side. We can discuss all aspects of the bankruptcy process with you, including helping you determine what chapter to file under. Chapter 7 bankruptcy will require you to liquidate all non-exempt assets that will then be used to pay your creditors back, in full or in part. All other debts will then be discharged. Chapter 13 bankruptcy will set you up with a repayment plan that has lower monthly payments so that it is simpler to pay off your debt.

Our firm offers a free bankruptcy case evaluation that you can take advantage of today by contacting our Boca Raton bankruptcy attorney!