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New Means Test Numbers on November 1, 2010 means it's harder to qualify for Chapter 7 discharge.

Posted by attorney Shannon McDuffie

The Department of Justice periodically updates the numbers that we use to determine median income and the means test when filing bankruptcy petitions. Median income draws a bright line in the bankruptcy court. Either your family is above median income or below median income. Above median income means that you are presumed by the code to be a Chapter 13 debtor. Before you file, I'll be working hard to analyze your family's income and expenses to see if I can overcome the presumption that you belong in Chapter 13. Below median income means that you are presumed by the code to be a Chapter 7 debtor. The problem is that the lower the median income, the harder it is to file Chapter 7. Here's a comparison:



New Median income (Cases Filed After 11/1/2010)

Old Median income (Cases filed before 10/31/2010

Difference after 11/1/2010





















Add $7,500 for each increase in household size over 4. (That is actually the only good news here gang. The old increase for each additional member of the household was $6,900.)

Households of two and three saw the biggest drop to their median income between March and October.

The updates are generated by information collected by the Census department. These new numbers apply to cases filed after November 1, 2010. The numbers are not good news for Georgians ability to file Chapter 7 bankruptcy or Georgia's economy. We're poorer, plan and simple.

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