The United States Trustee has published new Census Median Income tables, effective Saturday, April 1st, 2017. These tables are used to determine whether or not a bankruptcy filer, based on household size and gross income, must file a Chapter 13 repayment. If the household income is above these thresholds, you will need to complete the second portion of the means test.
- Household of one: $51,138
- Household of two: $61,271
- Household of three: $75,018
- Household of four: $90,821
- Household of five: $99,221
- Household of six: $107,621
- Household of seven: $116,021
- Household of eight: $124,421
A couple of points of clarification. First, these amounts are for annualized gross income. But, the means test is a 6 month look-back. This can be a bit confusing. If you are the lone household earner, you will be above the threshold if you earn $25,569.00, or one-half of the annualized threshold amount listed above, in the 6 months before filing. The table is calibrated to yearly earnings, but the means test only looks at the 6 months before filing (this consistently causes confusion).
Second, these amounts are for gross earnings, that is, earnings before taxes. The amount you paid in taxes for the 6 months before filing only applies for the second part of the means test, which may reduce the amount you must repay. However, the initial determination is based on gross income.
Third, household size is generally determined by how many dependents you claim on your taxes. There are exceptions to this rule, but it is the basis in most cases. Adult children normally do not count.
Finally, it should be noted that ALL sources of income, outside of Social Security benefits, are used to calculate this income. This includes bonuses, unemployment, lottery winnings, side jobs, and business income. Make sure you report all types of income to your attorney.
If you have any questions about how the means test works, or would like to schedule a free consultation to calculate your earnings, contact us. Make sure to have 6 months of pay stubs and proof of income. I will be happy to walk you through the process.