Do You Qualify to File Chapter 7 in Florida?
by bankruptmenow, Window Shopper
- Created: May 13, 2014, 11:25 pm
- Updated: May 13, 2014, 11:28 pm
You'll still hear bankruptcy lawyers refer to it as the "new bankruptcy law," but BAPCPA (bankruptcy reform) has been around since 2005. The goal of bankruptcy reform was to make it harder for debtors "who could afford to pay something back to their creditors" to file for chapter 7 bankruptcy. How does the system determine whether you can afford to repay something to creditors? First it looks at your income. If you earn less than the median for a Florida family of similar size, you're presumptively entitled to file for chapter 7. However, if your income is above the median, your income and expenses will be evaluated under the means test. The means test is the signature "accomplishment" of bankruptcy reform. It is a complicated government formula that allows deduction of your actual expenses in some cases and only government allowed expenses in others. Too much disposable income after expenses disqualifies you from the relatively speedy chapter 7 process. A good bankruptcy lawyer will be able to help you crunch the numbers to determine whether you qualify. If you don't, there's always chapter 13.
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