Bankruptcy is not intended for only low-income families; it is designed to provide relief for all Americans who are burdened with debt. However, in order to qualify for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy borrowers must pass the means test. In order to answer, do I qualify for Chapter 7 in Florida, you should compare your income to the Chapter 7 means test. The Chapter 7 means test considers median income by geographic area and family size, then subtracts certain allowed expenses to determine eligibility. Answering the question, do I qualify for Chapter 7 in Florida is a complex evaluation, you should consult with a Tampa bankruptcy lawyer for assistance.
Do I Qualify for Chapter 7 in Florida
The first step to answer, do I qualify for Chapter 7 in Florida is to compare your income to Florida’s median income. The U.S. Trustee’s Office periodically releases updated median incomes by state and family size. If your income is below the state median, you automatically pass the means test and may be eligible for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. By this standard, the higher the median income in Florida, the more individuals who qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. However, if your income is above the state median, you must continue to complete the means test to determine eligibility. Earning above the median income does not necessarily mean you wont qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
Florida’s Median Income
Below is the U.S Trustee’s determination of the median income in Florida, effective November 1, 2017. These amounts are used to determine eligibility for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Florida
- Household of 1 person = $45,703
- House of 2 people = $56,759
- Household of 3 people = $61,600
- Household of 4 people = $72,958
Do I Qualify for Chapter 7 in Florida if I Earn More than the Median Income?
If your income is above the median income, you may still be able to answer yes to the question, do I qualify for Chapter 7 in Florida. If your income is above the median income, you should move onto the next phase of the means test. At this time, the Court will evaluate your income after considering some allowable deductions. This part of the test is very complicated, as deductions are established through the IRS code and census bureau. In cases such as these, you should consult with a Tampa bankruptcy lawyer for assistance. An experienced bankruptcy lawyer in Tampa can use the IRS Code, Bankruptcy Law, Census data, and other information to help pass the means test.
What if I Don’t Qualify for Chapter 7 in Florida
Even if you do not qualify for Chapter 7 there may still be other options available, such as Chapter 13 bankruptcy. To learn more about the differences between Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy click here or contact a bankruptcy lawyer in Tampa for more information.
Bankruptcy Law Firm in Tampa
At Florida Law Advisers, P.A. we understand that filing for bankruptcy can be a very confusing and intimidating process. That is why we work so hard to make the process as easy as possible for our clients. When you hire Florida Law Advisers, P.A., you get an experienced Tampa bankruptcy lawyer by your side. We will help ensure your rights are protected and keep you well-informed every step of the way. To schedule a free consultation with a bankruptcy lawyer in Tampa call us today at 800 990 7763