The Means Test
Qualifying for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
Most people who seek bankruptcy in Nashville today intend to file Chapter 7 bankruptcy. It is the quickest, simplest and most far-reaching form of bankruptcy and can be the way out of a crushing load of debt. While it is a common myth that a person can simply decide that they can’t handle their debt any longer and declare bankruptcy, the courts in Tennessee will not allow you to file Chapter 7 unless you can pass a means test. Because Chapter 7 is such a powerful way to handle the burdens of debt, Title 11 of the United States Code has been modified in recent years to protect creditors against dishonest debtors trying to escape a debt that can actually be repaid. In other words, the means test exists to make sure that anyone who seeks the shelter of Chapter 7 bankruptcy really does need that protection.
There are two stages in the test. The first stage compares your income to the median income in Tennessee, and if you are below that level you can file Chapter 7. If you make more money than the median income, you may still qualify, but at this point the work gets complicated. A bankruptcy attorney from our Nashville office can help you with the filing and presentation of your numbers to make sure that you don’t accidentally disqualify yourself and lose your opportunity to liquidate your debt. (If you don’t qualify for Chapter 7, you will probably be able to declare Chapter 13, which can still help you get significant relief from your debt. See our comparison of these two types of bankruptcy.)
Helping You Rebuild Your Financial Foundation
At Cain & Associates, PLLC you will benefit from the knowledge and experience of our bankruptcy attorneys. We know that this is a difficult time for you and your family and we are here to help. You will meet with attorney Cain to learn about the do’s and don’ts of filing for bankruptcy as well as how you can move forward into a life after bankruptcy. Filing Chapter 7 can make all the difference for your financial future and you owe it to yourself to get the assistance of a bankruptcy lawyer to make sure you will qualify. Contact C & A to receive guidance on passing the means test and qualifying for Chapter 7 bankruptcy.