Your income determines, in large part, the bankruptcy options available to you. If you earn too much money, your only bankruptcy option may be filing a chapter 13 bankruptcy case. The approach required by the bankruptcy code to determine your bankruptcy options is commonly known as the “means test.” The means test definition of income essentially says that income is any amount of money received from any source on a regular basis for support for you or for your dependents. It is the starting point and a major component of the means test. There are some calculators on the internet that can give you approximate means test results, but only if you understand what should be included as income.
- Is social security income counted?
- Is social security disability income counted?
- Is retirement income from pensions counted?
- Is money received from a significant other counted?
- Is a loan from parents or other family members counted?
- Do you count income before or after taxes?
- What if you just received a big lump sum payment, but have little other income?
Determining whether you must include a particular type of assistance could mean the difference between being allowed to file a chapter 7 case and discharging all of your debt or being forced to file a five year chapter 13 plan costing you thousands of dollars. For example, social security income does not count for means tests purposes. If you mistakenly include it when determine your income for the means test, you may easily come to an incorrect conclusion about your ability to file a chapter 7 bankruptcy case.
Experienced Newnan Bankruptcy Lawyers understand that it is imperative to correctly analyze all of your income to insure get the debt relief that you deserve. It is not an exact science and takes experience and skill to make the correct determinations. The good news is that you can have an experienced Newnan bankruptcy attorney review your situation at no charge to you. All you have to do is contact me by calling our office or by sending us a message though this website. I hope you will take me up on my offer so that you don’t make any mistakes regarding income and avoid any costly surprises.