Increased Michigan Median Income Numbers Make Chapter 7 Bankruptcy More Challenging
The Office of the US Trustee has released its new bankruptcy means test numbers for all case filed after November 15, 2013. The Office of the US Trustee is the division of the US Department of Justice that oversees that bankruptcy process in the US, and these regularly revised numbers can have an enormous impact on the determination of whether you are eligible to file Chapter 7 bankruptcy or must file a Chapter 13 bankruptcy instead.
What are the bankruptcy means test numbers?
They are the median household income numbers for each state derived from US Census Bureau data. These median numbers vary by state and by household size, and each state’s median income for a particular household’s size is the upper limit allowed for household incomes of individuals wishing to file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
For more on the particulars of the bankruptcy means test, the mathematical formula which utilizes these median numbers to make this determination, click here.
Michigan’s New Bankruptcy Means Test Numbers
For cases filed on or after November 15, 2013, the new means test median income numbers are:
- Household of 1: $44,072.00
- Household of 2: $52,540.00
- Household of 3: $61,110.00
- Household of 4: $74,863.00
- Households above 4: Add $7500.00 to the “Household of 4” median for each additional household member.
What Has Changed?
These numbers present a slight decrease from the prior year’s median income numbers. That means that it will be slightly more difficult to meet the means test eligibility standard for Chapter 7 bankruptcy going forward.
The Bankruptcy Means Test: The Bottom Line
The bottom line with regard to the means test is that you should not glance at these numbers and simply assume you do not qualify for bankruptcy if your household’s total income is higher than the appropriate median for your household size. Neither should you assume that you do qualify. If you are considering filing for bankruptcy, you should consult an experienced bankruptcy attorney to discuss your income, your household, and your Chapter 7 eligibility. Online “means test calculators” do not do just to the subtleties of applying various deductions, of the definition of what is and what is not a household, and other measures best analyzed by an experienced bankruptcy lawyer.
If you are a Michigan resident and would like to explore your options for a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy with an experienced Michigan bankruptcy attorney, please contact us at (866) 674-2317 or click the button below to schedule a free, initial consultation.
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