The bankruptcy means test helps you figure out how much money you have left after paying basic living expenses. The leftover money is used to pay your creditors. If the leftover income is too high, you fail the means test. If you fail the means test, you will not get a Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
You will need the following information to calculate your current monthly income for the means test:
- Total income for the last six months. If you are married and file a joint bankruptcy case, you will also need your spouse's total income for the last six months.
- The median family income for your household size, which can be found on the US Trustee's Website.
Current monthly income is your monthly income for the six months before you filed for bankruptcy. Add up the total income for the past six months and divide by six. This number is the current monthly income.
If your current monthly income is less than the median income for your household size, you qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. You don't have to complete the rest of the means test.
If your current monthly income is more than the median family income in Illinois for your household size, you will have to complete the second part of the means test.
For the second part, you will need to see how much income you have left over after paying your monthly expenses. If this amount is too high, you fail the means test and cannot file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
An easy way to see if you pass the second part of the means test is to use this online bankruptcy means test calculator.
Updated: July 2017