For many people, Chapter 7 bankruptcy is the preferred option for dealing with debt. In this bankruptcy, unsecured debt is simply wiped away after any and all assets have been seized, liquidated, and the proceeds passed on to creditors. However, since many people in dire financial situations simply have little in the way of assets, this generally is not an issue. If a person is eligible for this type of bankruptcy, it can provide a completely fresh start. Unfortunately, not everyone is eligible for this type of bankruptcy, so it is important to speak to a qualified St. Louis bankruptcy attorney to determine if you meet the criteria for this type of bankruptcy.
A person may be ineligible to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy if one of they
- Have failed the Chapter 7 “means test”
- Have previously filed for Chapter 7 in the previous 8 years or Chapter 13 in the past 6 years
- Had a previous bankruptcy dismissed within the past 180 days
- You have attempted to defraud creditors or conceal assets
Means Test Explained by St. Louis Bankruptcy Attorney
While the last three are relatively straightforward, the means test will require a St. Louis bankruptcy attorney to determine eligibility. Under the bankruptcy reforms passed in 2005, a person must meet certain income eligibility requirements in order to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. This complicated formula involves being under the mean income for your household in a given state for the past 6 months (in Missouri, for instance, for a single earner with no children, the mean yearly income is $41,092). If a single earner makes more than this median income, it is still possible to file Chapter 7 depending on the exemptions that earner can claim. A St. Louis bankruptcy attorney will need to go over your financial information in depth to determine your eligibility.
If you have questions about your eligibility for Chapter 7, a St. Louis bankruptcy attorney can answer any questions you may have. If you are ready for a fresh start, contact us today.