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Met with the first attorney today and frustrated about household size.

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  • Met with the first attorney today and frustrated about household size.

    I'm glad I scheduled a consultation with more than one attorney because I'm not sure I'd feel comfortable hiring the one I met with today. He just wanted one number after another and mostly cut me off when I had questions. The big thing that left me feeling frustrated involved household size.

    Both my husband and myself have been divorced and remarried so we have a large blended family.

    2 children live here full time, 4 are a hair under 50% visitation at our house (their dad is "primary" for school zoning purposes) and we are expecting a baby together. The attorney kept putting our household size as 5 (me, husband, 2 full time kids and baby arriving next month) and that would force us to have to take the means test.

    Two of the other children are definitely considered dependents for tax purposes and we are allowed by the divorce decree to claim them. So last year we claimed 4 children total on taxes.
    Even so, we still have to buy food, clothing, entertainment, etc... for all 6 (soon to be 7) kids.

    It seems to me that our household size should at least be: Me, husband, 2 full time kids, 2 we tax claim and new baby (total of 7). Or am I completely wrong?
    If the household size is 6 or 7, it keeps us at an income level where we wouldn't have to automatically take the means test. The attorney did say that after expenses he's nearly certain we'd pass the means test no problem but I'd feel less nervous if we could be further away from that income level vs. household size.

  • #2
    You are just going to need to go through several (3-5) consultations to find comfort and begin to understand the process. Each attorney may treat "household" size different because it's a fine line when there are non-custodial/custodial issues with just who is really a dependent.

    I would not worry about household size and I would not worry about completing the entire means test. Everyone except a few have to do at least Means Test 122A-1. The test of your household income is only to determine if you have to do Means Test 122A-2. Don't worry that you have to do 122A-2. The key is expenses and if you have any domestic support orders are childcare expenses, you can deal with those on the actual petition.

    So, I suggest that you see 2-3 more attorneys and ask questions. Most don't want to spend a lot of time on a "free" consultation as they know you're shopping. Some are also leery of those that use the attorneys to learn and to subsequently file on their own.
    Last edited by justbroke; 09-09-2017, 10:22 PM.
    Chapter 7 (No Asset/Non-Consumer) Filed (Pro Se) 7/08 (converted from Chapter 13 - 2/10)
    Status: (Auto) Discharged and Closed! 5/10
    Visit My BKForum Blog: justbroke's Blog


    I am not an attorney. Any advice provided is not legal advice.

    Comment


    • #3
      I agree ~ having to do the means test is not a big deal. What matters is that your attorney is confident that you can pass it with flying colors.

      We had enough expenses without even getting creative, without even using some of the things we legitimately could have used. No one blinked an eye at our case, it seems. So just being over the median and having to do the means test really is not this horrible thing.

      Comment


      • #4
        Bk...Auto was just repossessed. Have not filed BK yet my questioni is if you have more equity into the vehicle than what the vehicle is worth but cannot afford to make the payments and the lender sells do I receive any of the remaining monies after all lenders monies are deducted?

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by moonshawna5 View Post
          Bk...Auto was just repossessed. Have not filed BK yet my questioni is if you have more equity into the vehicle than what the vehicle is worth but cannot afford to make the payments and the lender sells do I receive any of the remaining monies after all lenders monies are deducted?
          Repossessed vehicles are sold at auction at "fire sale" pricing. Unless you have really significant equity, you may not see a penny from the sale.

          Chapter 7 (No Asset/Non-Consumer) Filed (Pro Se) 7/08 (converted from Chapter 13 - 2/10)
          Status: (Auto) Discharged and Closed! 5/10
          Visit My BKForum Blog: justbroke's Blog


          I am not an attorney. Any advice provided is not legal advice.

          Comment


          • #6
            I ran into a similar situation. As long as paying your current bills including your cc payments if you are severely in a deficit you will pass the means test. My first attorney told me I would not pass and that I should be happy I make more than the median income in our state. First time in my whole life I had booze at lunch time. I was so beyond upset. The second
            attorney was able to prove I was in a 1600 a month deficit every month. I also have claimed my boyfriend as a dependent on taxes but found out I could not include him for BK. Some of the rules are frustrating but honestly, most of us that go this route do qualify. Do more consultations. best wishes. My bk is final 9/23 can't wait.
            Chapter 7 Filed 10/17/07
            341 mtg. 11/15/07
            Discharged 2/19/08
            Closed on 2/26/08

            Comment


            • #7
              We are meeting with another attorney today. Our income is dropping starting next month by quite a bit and our health insurance premium has increased over $100. From the looks of it, we'll have no problem being under the median and/or passing the means test. We might need to wait a few months before we file but that's okay.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by stopthebleeding View Post
                As long as paying your current bills including your cc payments if you are severely in a deficit you will pass the means test.
                Your monthly credit card payments never come into play on the means test. The means test calculates your disposable monthly income without reduction for credit card payments. If your DMI is $128.33 or less, there is no presumption of abuse (i.e., "you pass"). If your DMI is more than $214.16 a month, there is a presumption of abuse and you can only get a Chap 7 discharge if you can rebut the presumption of abuse. If your DMI is between those amounts, that is when they look at your total non priority unsecured debt, not the monthly payments. If your DMI is not enough to pay 25% of that debt in a 5 year Chap 13 plan, then there is no presumption of abuse.
                LadyInTheRed is in the black!
                Filed Chap 13 April 2010. Discharged May 2015.
                $143,000 in debt discharged for $36,500, including attorneys fees. Money well spent!

                Comment


                • stopthebleeding
                  stopthebleeding commented
                  Editing a comment
                  not sure how my attorney did it then but she showed 1600 a month deficiency and it was because of credit cards but if I look closely I suppose I qualify anyhow. I will not give advice because it is really tricky it seems. one attorney said no way ill pass and next made it happen seems the means test has some glitches. thank you for correcting that I was just so happy to find the right attorney and just can't go with what one says that is something I learned.

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