A chapter 7 bankruptcy is the most straightforward form of bankruptcy and allows you to get rid of most of your debts and start over with a fresh start. In order to qualify for a chapter 7 bankruptcy you have to fall below the New York State median income for a household of your size. Your median income is determined by averaging your income for the last six months.
Below is a chart for New York median income for household size:
1 Member Household – $47,414.00
2 Member Household – $59,631.00
3 Member Household – $70,151.00
4 Member Household – $83,614.00
5 Member Household – $91,714.00
6 Member Household – $99,814.00
7 Member Household – $107,914.00
8 Member Household – $116,014.00
9 Member Household – $124,114.00
10 Member Household – $132,214.00
Can I still file for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy if my income is higher than the median income guidelines?
If your income is higher than the median income limits for your household size you may still qualify to file for a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy by completing a means test which will calculate both your income and qualified expenses. The means test is similar to calculating deductions on your tax return, you can reduce your income with qualified expenses. After the means test is completed your attorney will be able to advise you as to whether you qualify for a chapter 7 bankruptcy or whether you will need to consider a chapter 13 bankruptcy.
Exemptions to the Means Test
If you are a disabled veteran and your debts were incurred during active duty or during a homeland defense activity then you are exempt from the means test and can file for chapter 7 bankruptcy. If your debts are primarily non consumer debts you are also exempt and may file chapter 7 bankruptcy.
If you don't qualify for a chapter 7 bankruptcy a chapter 13 bankruptcy can still be a great option.
Filing for bankruptcy is a big decision, an experienced bankruptcy attorney can help you decide if filing bankruptcy is right for you and will be able to use the means test to determine what type of bankruptcy protection you are eligible for. We find that once the decision is made to file bankruptcy that our clients are immediately relieved, and a large burden is lifted off of your shoulders.