BankruptWhen your debt has gotten so high that you’re consistently struggling to pay your bills, and you don’t know how you’re going to get out from under, the idea of filing for bankruptcy can provide a real lifeline and cause for hope. If you’re giving filing for bankruptcy serious consideration, and especially a Chapter 7 bankruptcy which would allow you to erase almost all of your debts, there are a few things you need to be aware of — especially if you’ve been trying to pay off your bills by supplementing your income with part-time jobs or seasonal employment. Anybody filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy needs to pass a means test that determines whether your income is low enough to qualify, and that means test uses your previous six months’ average income as a determining factor.

 

The means test for Chapter 7 bankruptcy does not require you to be completely without funds, but it does measure a combination of monthly income and expenses in order to determine how much disposable income you have. It uses your average income over the six calendar months immediately prior to the date that you file for bankruptcy as a measure of your disposable income, and it is disposable income that ends up making the difference. That is where seasonal employment can have a big impact, and can be both a blessing and a curse. If you have taken on a summer job waiting tables, or working at a golf course, or anything else that would temporarily boost the amount of cash you have in hand, that small boost could be enough to keep you from qualifying: if it is enough to put you over the median state income in your state, the bankruptcy court will expect you to use that money to pay off your debts.

 

Filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy can be a complicated process, and though there are some who feel that they can handle it on their own, without the use of an attorney, an unanticipated element like having earned a few hundred extra dollars a week over the period covered by the means test can make all the difference in your ability to achieve your debt-relief goals. For help with understanding the steps you need to take to qualify, contact our office today to discuss our bankruptcy services.

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