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$1237 over the Median - Do I have a chance?

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  • $1237 over the Median - Do I have a chance?

    Today, astonishing to me, I was offered a job that puts me $1,237 over the state median.

    I was planning to file within the month.

    Should I:
    1) Continue my plans to file anyway?
    2) Ask for a LOWER salary?

    Other options?

    Thanks!
    - rp
    This isn't legal advice. It is just informational based on my experiences through the process, and some of the lessons I've learned.

  • #2
    Originally posted by rpertusio View Post
    Today, astonishing to me, I was offered a job that puts me $1,237 over the state median.

    I was planning to file within the month.

    Should I:
    1) Continue my plans to file anyway?
    2) Ask for a LOWER salary?

    Other options?

    Thanks!
    - rp

    If you file by the end of this month then your look back would be October through March. Even if you get this job, would the added income cause the 6 month average to be over the median?
    Filed Chapter 13 02/2006 - Confirmed 05/2006 - Discharged 09/2011
    I'm not an attorney. My replies are merely suggestions or observations, not legal advice. As always, consult with an attorney before making any decisions.

    Comment


    • #3
      The added income will NOT push me over the median if I average the last 6 months. I had a low-paying job AND was unemployed for 1 month during that time.

      BUT, an attorney we consulted with told me that the '6 month average' can be thrown out if they believe my future earnings will push me over the median.

      - rp
      This isn't legal advice. It is just informational based on my experiences through the process, and some of the lessons I've learned.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by rpertusio View Post
        Today, astonishing to me, I was offered a job that puts me $1,237 over the state median.

        I was planning to file within the month.

        Should I:
        1) Continue my plans to file anyway?
        2) Ask for a LOWER salary?

        Other options?

        Thanks!
        - rp
        Do you mean $1,237 over the annual average or the monthly average? Either way, it's all about the expenses. I was 24K over the annual median and had no problems but I had enough allowable expenses to offset the excess income.

        I would not ask for a lower salary. File before the new salary kicks in and hope you have no issues! If you are just $1,237 over the annual median, hopefully you can cover that and have little or no DMI.

        Good Luck!
        Wife Laid off - 11/16/2009 Missed First Payments - 12/5/2009
        Filed Chap 7 - 12/31/2009
        341 - 2/12/2010
        Discharged - 4/19/2010

        Comment


        • #5
          Sorry, $1,237 over the annual average.

          - rp
          This isn't legal advice. It is just informational based on my experiences through the process, and some of the lessons I've learned.

          Comment


          • #6
            Yes. It depends.

            I was $21k over the median and as "BCA2009" states, it's all about your expenses. Go to here: http://www.legalconsumer.com/ and plug in your numbers, that will give you an idea of where you stand. Good Luck!
            May 2008 Hired 1st Attorney/Stopped paying CCs
            May 21, 2009 Retained 2nd Attorney
            May 28th - Filed for Ch 7 (FINALLY!)
            9/11/09 - DISCHARGED!!!!

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by liz417 View Post
              Yes. It depends.

              I was $21k over the median and as "BCA2009" states, it's all about your expenses. Go to here: http://www.legalconsumer.com/ and plug in your numbers, that will give you an idea of where you stand. Good Luck!
              I think we will be about $21-22K over the median too. I did this test and got all the way to the bottom where it asks you to put in your unsecured debt. I did that and apparently becasue we have so much debt, it said we could do either CH 7 or Ch13. Is this fairly accurate?

              Comment


              • #8
                Let me be the third to agree "it's all about your expenses"! 20k+ over median - discharged 2 days ago! 3 atty's said ch13 the only way. Found one willing to do the means test, and here we are.
                1/15/10 Filed ch7 2/18/10 314 meeting
                2/22/10 Report of No Distribution
                4/20/10 Discharged 5/20/10 Closed!

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by pcn View Post
                  Let me be the third to agree "it's all about your expenses"! 20k+ over median - discharged 2 days ago! 3 atty's said ch13 the only way. Found one willing to do the means test, and here we are.
                  Can please give me some examples of what expenses made it work for you? I am very confused and I also had met with at least two attorneys who said Ch 13 with our income.

                  I also thought that unsecured debt did not matter then when I get to the bottom of the means test it asks you to put in unsecured debt and then said that we could do CH7 or CH13.

                  I really do not see why anyone would do CH13 if they are able to do CH7.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by MarieT View Post
                    Can please give me some examples of what expenses made it work for you? I am very confused and I also had met with at least two attorneys who said Ch 13 with our income.

                    I also thought that unsecured debt did not matter then when I get to the bottom of the means test it asks you to put in unsecured debt and then said that we could do CH7 or CH13.

                    I really do not see why anyone would do CH13 if they are able to do CH7.
                    For a variety of reasons: to keep a house that is significantly past due, to strip a 2nd mortgage, or to pay off the IRS. We could have filed ch. 7 but chose a 13 in order to lien strip....
                    Filed Chapter 13 on 2-28-10. 341 completed 4/14/10. Confirmed 5/14/10. Lien strip granted 2/2/11
                    0% payback to unsecured creditors, 56 payments down, 4 to go....

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      That makes sense then. I know we will be right on the edge as far as being able to do a Ch7 so may end up in a Ch13 anyway. Our mortgage is current and we don't have a second and we are really hoping that our IRS debt will be written of with a BK.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Do you have life insurance? If not, that's an allowable expense.
                        6/30/2009 Filed Ch. 7
                        10/06/2009 Discharged
                        01/24/2011 Closed

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by hamburgervol View Post
                          Do you have life insurance? If not, that's an allowable expense.
                          No...we do not have life insurance so I'm thinking about that. Always had it but when I lost my job had to let it go. Do you have to show that you have had it for so many months before filing? Will probably just insure my husband as he is the one making all the money right now but would be nice to have a small policy on me too.

                          I was also thinking of having my husband start contributing to his 401K but not sure that is allowable and the window of time to be able to do that at his company might bew closed now.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by MarieT View Post
                            No...we do not have life insurance so I'm thinking about that. Always had it but when I lost my job had to let it go. Do you have to show that you have had it for so many months before filing? Will probably just insure my husband as he is the one making all the money right now but would be nice to have a small policy on me too.

                            I was also thinking of having my husband start contributing to his 401K but not sure that is allowable and the window of time to be able to do that at his company might bew closed now.
                            I'm pretty sure it's at the time of filing. You should get policies on both of you. Ask your attorney. You should also check on the 401K to see if you can start contributing.
                            6/30/2009 Filed Ch. 7
                            10/06/2009 Discharged
                            01/24/2011 Closed

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              In our district 401k contributions were not allowed as expenses on the means test. The biggest expense is your home mortgage payment. If you have a large mortgage payment it will help alot. But you have to be current and "intend" to keep the house. Our attorney told us that in our district if you are not keeping the house you just get the IRS allowed amount. But we got close to $2000 because we are keeping the house. High home insurance and property taxes also help. Having 2 cars gets you the maximum in that category. We had some life ins, but only about $65 per month. But every little bit helps. We had some private school tuition that was allowed, but only $137 out of the 600 month we pay. We also have over the average monthly medical expense. We had it documented and our medical was more than twice the allowed amount. Not only medical out of pocket but medical insurance premiums, which can be high.

                              One area that I was a little nervous about was the tax withholdings. Our withholdings were set at the amount needed when my wife was also making 80K a year. For some reason we had my taxes set up to withhold way more than necessary from my check and she wasn't withholding enough. But it averaged out.

                              When she got laid off we didn't change my withholding amount so even though it was very high, I had a hsitory of having that amount withheld from my check.

                              Because she got laid off in November we had about six weeks to plan before we filed at the end of December. I knew we would be getting several thousand back, but instead of giving it up to the trustee (and obviously showing that we were overwithholding. I took a withdrawal from my IRA and paid some necessary allowable expenses. The taxes and penalty on the withdrawal turned us from getting about $2,500 in refund to paying about $100. And also when we showed the trustee our tax return at the 341. It didn't look like we were overwithholding. If he would have spent the time to look at the details he may have paid more attention to the IRA withdrawal, who knows?

                              We had enough negative DMI to overcome any one of those unusual expesnes, but if all of them we have been disallowed, we would have been in trouble. The key is to list every thing that you can back up, even if it is questionable. And let the trustee challenge things. There is a good chance he is so busy that unless something smells really fishy, he's not going to worry about it.

                              On that subject, if I were way over the median, I would not file pro se. I think that the trustee would look more closely at the expenses of a high filer that was pro se, than if he were using a local attorney that the trustee saw on a daily basis. I think that there would be an assumption that things are more correct when using a respected attorney. Even if the expenses are borderline allowable.
                              Wife Laid off - 11/16/2009 Missed First Payments - 12/5/2009
                              Filed Chap 7 - 12/31/2009
                              341 - 2/12/2010
                              Discharged - 4/19/2010

                              Comment

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