What is the Means Test? How can I save my home if there is equity on it?

Asked over 1 year ago - Hercules, CA

I have filed Chapter 13 but trustee is requesting conversion to Chapter 7 due to about $20,000 equity on my primary property. Also because of "unsubstantiated deductions on the Means Test". I am not clear what that is and how can I avoid having to sell my home.

Attorney answers (4)

  1. Brian Crozier Whitaker

    Contributor Level 17

    2

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . The means test is what you must pass if you want to qualify for Ch7 and your average Current Monthly Income exceeds the median income in CA for your family size. It sounds like you have switched your chapters in your question. I suspect you filed Ch7 but the Trustee is requesting conversion to Ch13 because he does not think you pass the means test. You won't have to sell your home in a Ch13 because in a Ch13 you get to keep all your property.

  2. Malcolm Wallace Ruthven

    Contributor Level 15

    1

    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . I assume that what Brian Whitaker is correct, that you switched chapters in your question, that you filed a Chapter 7 and the trustee is requesting conversion to Chapter 13, a payment-plan type of bankruptcy. That way your question makes sense. "Unsubstantiated deductions on the Means Test" would cause your allowed deductions on the Means Test to be less, leaving you with more disposable income and therefore "failing" the Means Test and providing the trustee (or U.S. Trustee) to request conversion to a 13. In a 13, you would get to keep your home. But you would also have to show the court that you could afford to make necessary monthly payments to the trustee for the benefit of your creditors. How much per month would those payments be? That depends on many factors.

    A Chapter 13 is involved and complex. It's also possible that you could still achieve your intended goal of a 7 and not lose your home, but that would take careful analysis. You definitely should consult with a qualified bankruptcy attorney in your area who is experienced in both Chapter 7 and 13 cases.

    This reply does not constitute legal advice or establish an attorney-client relationship.
  3. Dorothy G Bunce

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

    2

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . The Means Test is also known as Form 22C. There are several pages to this complex form & it is sort of hard to miss. Did you claim your equity in your home as exempt on Schedule C? If not, a Chapter 7 trustee will have the right to sell your house and put the proceeds towards paying your creditors. What you are saying doesn't make sense about converting to a Chapter 7. If you want an accurate answer to a legal question from a lawyer, it only makes sense to post accurate information. Hope this perspective helps!

  4. Kathryn Ursula Tokarska

    Contributor Level 16

    Answered . I highly recommend hiring an attorney to help you with your case.

    I am not YOUR lawyer. Don't rely on answers to questions as legal advice. For legal advice contact a Bankruptcy... more

Related Topics

Chapter 7 bankruptcy means test

A bankruptcy means test is required for chapter 7 bankruptcy. A means test considers factors such as your income and size of your debt to determine eligibility.

Chapter 13 bankruptcy

Chapter 13 bankruptcy is called a wage earner's plan because it lets people who earn an income repay their debt (all or some) over time and keep their property.

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