Considering how expensive living in Los Angeles is, I was looking for a chart which shows how much you're permitted to spend on everyday expenses such as auto insurance, gasoline, groceries health care, personal grooming & the like?
Thanks!I forgot to mention rent , auto expenses including repairs & maintenance.
There is no set amount. Each person's circumstances are different. A person who drives 100 miles a day to and from work is going to have a higher gasoline expense than the perons who works down the street from where they live. You should list your actual living expenses. That said, published national and local standards are used by trustee in determine whether your expenses are reasonable. If they are unreasonable, the trustee may object and seek dismissal of your case with the goal of forcing you into a chapter 13 plan wherein you repay some of your creditors with the money you were previously putting toward those unreasonable expenses. Check out the U.S. Trustee's website for more information on national and local standards.
If you go to the following web site and enter in your state you will be provided a list of numbers you can use.
As far as gasoline expense that is subjective to what you reasonably spend based upon your circumstances.
Jonathan Leventhal, esq.
Leventhal Law Group, P.C.
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To qualify for chapter 7 there are several tests. The primary test is a comparison of your income (may include a spouse if married and not separated) using a 6 month average to the IRS guidelines as contained in a form called the Means Test. The IRS guidelines have several categories including national standards for food, apparel and services, housekeeping supplies, personal care and miscellaneous. There are also local standards designed to reflect regional costs. The guidelines vary based on the number of dependents you support which means without more information I can't answer your questions. The Means Test amounts can be found at www.usdoj.gov/ust/
Law Office of Michael J. Primus We are a debt relief agency and help people file for bankruptcy under the bankruptcy laws. We have offices in California only.
I would advise against using a formula to establish how much you can spend on budget items. You are required to list what your expenses actually are, and as long as your expenses are reasonable and necessary, you will be okay.
People tend to forget that the US Trustee reviews every case that comes in & may conduct an audit to substantiate whether or not expenses claimed are legitimate...not just whether they fit into some average or ordinary amount.
Hope this perspective helps!
There are no set amounts. This is where the knowledge of an experienced bankruptcy attorney can be of significant help. For example, if you have one expense that's slghtly above the norm, it's not going to be a big deal. But if all your expenses are above average, this is going to raise and eyebrow or two.
If I have a client with an expense that is significantly above average, I'll put a note on Schedule J and explain it, i.e. debtor is a diabetic and spends "x" amount on a special diet. Also, necessary/important expenses are not going to be scrutinized as much as discretionary ones. Food, medical, electricity vs. entertainment, car payment, cell phone, etc.
The truth is, if you're inflating your expenses so as to eat up your disposable income, you probably shouldn't be filing a Chapter 7 and you definately should be consulting with an attorney who knows what he's doing. Just the other week I was consulted by a couple who were having their case dismissed because they claimed, among other things, that they spent $1,000.00 a month on entertainment. This was on their attorney's recommendation. Please, get a consultation with an experienced attorney before you file anything.
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