Im 100% disabled veteran with rapid cycling bipolar disorder. I went on a period of thinking i did not need my meds and did damage to my credit and life in this time spending money on "sure things" buying things we didnt need, even having a car repossesed now and owing $13000 after car was sold!. I would like a fresh start and also avoid having items from my report being put on my spouse. My question is in regards to the means test. My bipolar illness was linked to my military service. My diagnosis was changed by the VA to bipolar while i was discharged in 2009. If I file chapter 7 now are my disibility benefits subject to the means test. Most of the charges were not until after I was out of the military. I was not recieving the benefits for this disibility until I was out of the military
Bankruptcy law is clear. You don't take the means test if 51% of you debt is related to operating a business or if all your income is from social security. But passing the means test is not required and I have represented many people who fail the means test. Passing the means test also does not guarantee you are eligible for bankruptcy. Bankruptcy is not a solution to every financial problem and once you use up your right to a discharge, what happens next time your condition relapses? I appreciate that you need help, but bankruptcy is unlikely to give you the right kind of solution. Hope this perspective helps.
To answer the question I think you are asking:
If your debts are incurred due to an illness relating from previous active military service, are you exempt from the means test? In general, no.
The exemption you may be referring to is If you are a disabled veteran and your debts were incurred primarily while you were on active duty or engaged in homeland defense activities.
You should sit down with a local bankruptcy lawyer to have your entire situation analyzed and have your bankruptcy and non-bankruptcy options explained to you.
My answer to this question is for general purposes only and does not establish an attorney-client relationship and is not legal advice. You should contact an attorney directly for legal advice. We are a debt relief agency and we help people file for relief under the Bankruptcy Code as well as resolve other debt issues.
only if 38 USC 3741(1) disabled veterans can be exempted and then only if the debts are mostly incurred when you were on active duty or performing a homeland defense activity. See part 2 of the means test as it is called. But the fact is not know of whether you income exceeds the test , or if so, if the expenses allowed cause you to "beat" the test too. Thus, sit down with an experienced bankruptcy attorney.
But filing bankruptcy has other issues and facts that can affect your case which you need to watch out for of which I will point out several for you now.,
You need and want to enjoy your fresh start also. But the most important thing is to meet with an attorney as you asking this question means you have not. You care about 2 goals: keeping everything you have equity in and discharging all your debts. If you don't have any of the exceptions to discharge you will obtain that goal; most exceptions are set forth in 11 USC. 523 (Google it) like child support, some income taxes, traffic (in a ch 7) and criminal fines , and presumption of student loans. But some debts are dischargeable in a ch 13 but NOT in a ch 7 so you want to make sure and your attorney will discuss any such types with you also!
Your exemptions depend on what state you have lived in in the last 2 years and thus if in your state, then your states exemptions will apply. Most persons filing keep everything they own but your attorney will confirm that with you when they learn everything you own and the equity thereof!
Some secured debts like homes, vehicles, other secured debts an attorney will discuss your options on also as you must list any debts; but that does not mean you will lose them unless you have too much equity or are in default on paying for them! Discuss those options if they apply with your attorney too.
But other issues can arise that can greatly harm your case. Just one example: If you paid back a relative $3,000 11 months ago and now file bankruptcy next week, the trustee can SUE that relative to retrieve that $3,000 (under what is called a preference) for the benefit of the bankruptcy estate. As a result, most attorneys don't charge to meet with them the first meeting so meet with one no matter what.
Many great attorneys can be found right here on AVVO in your state so look, call, and meet one as soon as you can.
You should also want to know when to file: is there an advantage of waiting versus filing now and who should you pay between now and then! Good luck and enjoy your later fresh start.
You may be exempt for the test if you are a disabled vet and the debts were incurred while performing homeland defense activity. You meet the disabled vet part. Did you work in law enforcement while incurring the debts? May police and sheriff's departments provide homeland security defense. Check with an attorney in your city if you are seriously considering bankruptcy.
Please note this is to be considered general advice and not legal advice about any particular situation. The answering of any question does not create an attorney client relationship and does not make the answer specific legal advice. I am an attorney admitted to the practice of law in the state of Georgia. Â
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