Under Chapter 13, you get to live in the same way you’ve become accustomed to (for example, keeping your house and vehicles) and you pay back your debt over a longer period of time.
Depending on your preferences, both of these options might look like a solid choice. So, how do you know which one is right for you?
Enter the Means Test
The Bankruptcy Court uses the Means Test to determine whether or not your income is too high for the Chapter 7 threshold. There are many variables to this calculation.
The specific details are complex, but essentially, the test determines if your income is higher than the average income for people living in your state.
If your income is determined to be too high for Chapter 7, you may have to file for Chapter 13 protection instead – still having to pay down your debts but at a slower rate.
Beware the Means Test — Knowing Which Bankruptcy is Right for You
There are income limits for filing each chapter and the Means Test will tell you which bankruptcy chapter you are eligible for. But you shouldn’t rely solely on the Means Test to make your decision.
The “right” bankruptcy depends on your specific situation. In other words, just because you qualify for a Chapter 7, that doesn’t always mean you should file for it.
The smartest thing you can do is discuss your options with an experienced consumer bankruptcy attorney. They’ll use their expertise to examine your finances and decide the best course of action for your unique situation.
Contact a Cherry Hill Bankruptcy Attorney for Your Consultation in Central & South Jersey
If you’re struggling with debt, you may need a fresh start financially. An experienced bankruptcy and debt relief attorney can help you explore your options and determine the best course of action for you, your family, and/or your business.
The experienced New Jersey bankruptcy lawyers at The Law Office of Joel R. Spivack understand the nuances of NJ and federal bankruptcy laws, so we can help you protect your interests.