Qualifying for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

Who is eligible for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Michigan?

As you may know, not all debtors are eligible to file under Chapter 7 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code. Rather, this form of bankruptcy has been reserved for those who are in dire need of financial relief. Unlike Chapter 13 bankruptcy—which would allow you to restructure your debt and repay creditors over three to five years—Chapter 7 bankruptcy would allow you to liquidate non-exempt assets and repay creditors over a very short period of time.

At the end of your case, the court would then discharge any remaining debts, effectively freeing you of the legal obligation to repay them. It is for this reason that the federal government has taken measures to limit the amount of people who would qualify. Now, you would be required to take and pass a "means test" in order to prove that your financial situation is serious enough to warrant an immediate discharge of debt.

What factors will the means test take into consideration?

The means test was designed to limit the amount of people filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in the U.S. In order to do so, it takes several different factors into consideration when determining whether or not the debtor has enough monthly "disposable income" to repay creditors. First, the formula was factor in the individual's current monthly income—which would be one's average income over the six months leading up to their bankruptcy filing.

If their income is above the state's median income, it will subsequently be determined how much money is being spent on necessary expenses each month (i.e. mortgage, car payments and basic necessities) and subtracted from the total amount. If, at this point, their disposable income exceeds a certain amount, they would be barred from filing under Chapter 7. They could still choose to file under Chapter 13, however, as everyone is eligible to file under this chapter.

Wondering if you qualify for Chapter 7? Call our firm today!

If you are interested in filing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, it is important for you to retain the help of a Michigan bankruptcy attorney early on in the process. Since you would be barred from filling under this chapter if you were to fail the means test, we encourage you to speak with our firm before taking the test. In doing so, you may have a much better chance of successfully filing under Chapter 7 and obtaining immediate relief from your overwhelming debt. Call today at (888) 258-0651 to take advantage of a free consultation or schedule your first appointment – we are available on the weekends and in the evening, in addition to normal business hours.