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What is a Means Test?

Qualifying for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

If you are confronted with overwhelming debt, there are solutions for you. You may be considering filing for bankruptcy or the many other alternatives to bankruptcy. If you choose to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you will need to pass a means test - which is a process of examining your income and expenses to determine whether or not you are eligible for Chapter 7 or if Chapter 13 bankruptcy would be more suitable for your specific situation. This process involves a formula to compare your income to expenses to find out if you are able to pay back your creditors on a payment plan.

If the means test evaluation shows that you have a certain amount of 'excess' or 'disposable' income, you may not be eligible for filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy - and a Chapter 13 may be more appropriate. It is advised to discuss the bankruptcy process with an experienced Michigan bankruptcy attorney to discover what your best options are. The means test can be very complicated. The first step is analyzing your income. You will need to collect financial records such as pay stubs and bank statements from the last 6 months. If you are self-employed you will need more detailed paperwork.

If you are below the median income level for Michigan, you would "pass" a means test and can file Chapter 7. The means test also allows for certain reductions to your gross income such as payroll taxes, allowed budget credits set by government guidelines, secured debt on your home, a vehicle, and other necessary expenses which can affect your gross income. So, even if you are above the median level, you may still qualify for a Chapter 7 filing.

Talk to a Bankruptcy Lawyer in Michigan

At Hensel Law Office, PLLC, I will work with you one on one personally throughout every aspect of your bankruptcy case, and help you work out the details and collect what you need for your means test should you need to complete one. I began my firm with the belief that my clients should not have to deal with several different attorneys and paralegals with regards to their circumstances but rather have a compassionate, understanding ally to help them through this difficult time. By applying my knowledge and experience, I have been able to help many clients achieve a brighter financial future. My firm provides legal guidance to those living in Warren, Sterling Heights and many other areas within the state of Michigan.

I look forward to assisting you, but first, you must take the initiative to call the firm today.

Client Testimonials

  • His knowledge and expertise made a very difficult time in our lives much easier.

    “From start to finish our experience with Mr. Hensel was great. He carefully and thoroughly explained the entire process to us and was always available for any questions or concerns we had. His knowledge and expertise made a very difficult time in our lives much easier. We are very thankful for his help in our situation.”

    Christine and John

  • Tom was the most professional.

    “I researched 3 attorneys before signing with the Hensel Law Office for my bankruptcy proceedings. Tom was the most professional and he explained all of my questions without trying to make a quick buck on me. I would recommend Hensel Law Office to my friends or family going through a similar difficult situation.”

    Jerry

  • He always responded quickly and intelligently.

    “Mr. Hensel made a difficult and uncomfortable situation as easy as possible for me. He always responded quickly and intelligently to my questions and never made me feel as if I were bothering him. He explained the unknown aspects of bankruptcy, the court system, and my options in clearly understandable terms. I felt confident that he was handling my case in the best possible manner and in my best possible interests. I feel lucky to have found the Hensel Law Office and I never hesitate to refer others who could use assistance - because I know they will get superior service and help.”

    Kelly

  • You made a difficult experience so much easier.

    “Back a few years ago, you helped me through a bankruptcy. I still tell people how you made a difficult experience so much easier, with your clarity, support, and friendly approach to the law. I'm still very appreciative for all your help – it really helped to pull me out of a difficult place and put my life back on track.”

    Eric

  • Tom Hensel is definitely the right attorney to call!

    “I was referred to Tom Hensel by a friend. My first impression was not only was Tom professional but he's so kind and caring too. He helped my husband and I through an embarrassing, scary situation and definitely made it more positive one. He guided us through our options and helped us make the right decision for us which ended up being a chapter 7 bankruptcy. Tom was so knowledgeable and helped us throughout the whole process. He never once made us feel uncomfortable or dumb when we had questions. He was also very easy to get a hold of when questions would come up and would always return our calls and emails promptly. I strongly recommend Tom to anyone going through this kind of financial nightmare. Do yourselves a favor and call him right away. He will help you get on the right path again. Our only mistake was waiting so long to call him!! When we in court waiting our turn all the other attorneys referred to their clients as "The debtors" Tom on the other hand acknowledged us by our names. Little things mean a lot and that left a lasting impression with us. Tom Thank You again for all your help!!”

    Stacy S.