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Means test question...

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  • Means test question...

    I've been going over my BK paperwork over and over. I do feel that I have a competent attorney with more than 20 years experience, so I feel comfortable with him, but I do question a few things on our means test.

    For the means test, I see that the national standards are what are used in most places, like food, health care, etc. My means comes out -125. I have a diaper/wipes expense for 2 babies of $200. Would that be in the $1633 national standard or should that have been listed separately (it was not). If so, what line should that have been on? Also, we pay a 1% tax on our income, that is not taken out of our checks and we pay on our own. I see a place for taxes other than real estate and sales tax, but don't think it is included in that number? Should it be included in this section? Also, my calculation on my husbands income using every pay stub, which were the ones submitted to the UST, I get that he makes $56 a month less (when added and divided by 6) than what the means test has. Just that in itself would bring the means to -181.00. Should I talk to my attorney or just leave well enough alone for now and wait it out? Again, we are in the negative, and also have the statement of notice for POA issued by the UST for being over median. I'm sorry for dwelling on this, but it's a hard position to be in and I'm unclear what to do. Sometimes I feel like all I do is hound my attorney. I don't want to question him, as he is the professional and I am far from it and learning more and more from this forum as I go. Any input is so greatly appreciated!
    Filed Ch 7: 11/2010 and 03/2011 and closed

  • #2
    I would talk to the attorney-the 1% tax sounds like a no-brainer and if your income calculation is less then I would definitely discuss and correct if needed. As to the diapers-who knows?...mistakes happen so don't assume the attorney is infallible

    Comment


    • #3
      If you are in the negative (but not so much in the negative that the US trustee will question your ability to pay your bills each month moving forward) then you are exactly where you want to be. I would have back up expenses handy in case some of your expenses are questioned by the trustee or US trustee, but there is no need to add more expenses at this point.
      You can't take a picture of this. It's already gone. ~~Nate, Six Feet Under

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      • #4
        Do you spend equal to or more than the amount of the national standard of $1633, csonly? If so - there is a place for a 5% adjustment for food/clothing on the means test - it is on line 39 - I would ask about putting it there if it is needed to keep you from a 13.
        ~~ Filed Over Median Income Chapter 7: 12/17/2010 ~~ 341 Held: 1/12/2011 ~~ Discharged: 03/16/2011 ~~
        Not an attorney - just an opinionated woman.

        Comment


        • #5
          Hi csonly,

          Agree w/ backtoschool, you're right where you need to be. Don't upset the applecart...

          Tom in Colo
          Ch7 filed 5/12/2010.....341 meeting 6/30/2010....report of no distribution 8/15/2010.....discharged 10/01/2010.....closed 11/09/2010

          Comment


          • #6
            To all - Thanks for all your advise.

            Tom - like the idea of "don't upset the apple cart." That totally makes sense.

            I am going to sit tight and see what happens, as hard as that is, I will do that.

            Tom - I'm a little worried about GMAC being my mortgage holder, I know you said they were not the easiest to work with. We plan to stay and pay, do you think they will be okay with that. The auto stay has been lifted and I keep current, they even gave me access of the acct again on line and are sending me statements, but of course covering their butt by stating the statements are informational, blah blah blah. On a few of my statements, they had listed like $765 in attorny fees, filing, etc. for the auto stay to be lifted, but on my last statement that was not on there and it also was not added to the balance of the loan. What do you think is up with that? Also, on my last statement, they had the late fee, which I was not late and I called and the person I spoke to said she did not see where there was a late fee, but I told her it shows on my statement. I guess I'll just wait and see what my next statement shows as far as other fees (attorney) and late fees. For now, they are only getting my regular payments, not a penny more.
            Filed Ch 7: 11/2010 and 03/2011 and closed

            Comment


            • #7
              Each time I go over my means test, I understand it more, but not enough for my satisfaction.
              The 1% tax, it looks like my attorney has under line 44 and has it divided by 12 months.

              Now a few more questions. I really want to understand every line and every amount listed.
              Line 20A, housing and utilities, non-mortgage. What exactly does that include, electric, heat, water, etc?
              Line 20B, (a) 1247.00 (b) 1917.00 Final column to right $0.00..don't understand this.
              Line 22 - 2 or more cars $530 (What does this all include besides gas?)
              Line 23 Transportation ownership..(a) 496 (b) 586..the final column to the right $0.00 (Don't understand this)
              Line 24 (a) 496.00 (b) 351.20 ...final column to the right $144.80 This baffles me
              Line 32 163.00 (I wonder about this????)
              Line 34 $0 (should this be health insurance premium?)
              Line 42, shows our #2 car pmt but is $88 less than what we pay. Is this due to what the standard is?
              Filed Ch 7: 11/2010 and 03/2011 and closed

              Comment


              • #8
                Although these threads can be useful, they are somewhat moot...you have already filed and have already had your 341. These are equivalent to hypothetical questions at this point since there is, as of yet, no issue. We frown on hypotheticals.

                I don't want to discourage you from posting, but we do want people to post real issues or problems.

                Comment


                • #9
                  HHM - Do you NOT consider a statement and notification of POA being filed a problem? If you do NOT, then that makes me feel better about it. If that is NOT considered a problem and merely being hypothetical, I apologize for posting on this issue. I'm also trying to understand every line of the means test, as to me, it's not all black and white. I guess there is a fine line between being hypothetical and being prepared. I realize, I should have been more prepared and understood this process better before I filed, but I wasn't, and nothing can change that now, I can just become more educated after the fact and try to be prepared for what follows.
                  Filed Ch 7: 11/2010 and 03/2011 and closed

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by csonly View Post
                    Line 20A, housing and utilities, non-mortgage. What exactly does that include, electric, heat, water, etc?
                    Maintenance & repair, HOA dues, condo fees, gas, electricity, water, heating oil, bottled gas, trash and garbage collection, wood and other fuels, septic cleaning, basic telephone and cell phone service.
                    Originally posted by csonly View Post
                    Line 20B, (a) 1247.00 (b) 1917.00 Final column to right $0.00..don't understand this.
                    Your actual mortgage amount is item (b) and it is also listed on lines 42/43. If your mortgage had been less than the local standard, the $0 you seen on this line would be the difference. You have a zero on this line only because your payment exceeds the allowance and is counted on line 42.
                    Originally posted by csonly View Post
                    Line 22 - 2 or more cars $530 (What does this all include besides gas?)
                    Everything. It's sometimes possible to get an extra $200 on this line for cars that are older than 6 model years or have 75K miles or more and paid off. Might be available outside the 5th, 7th, and 8th circuits. Discuss with attorney.
                    Originally posted by csonly View Post
                    Line 23 Transportation ownership..(a) 496 (b) 586..the final column to the right $0.00 (Don't understand this)
                    Your payment is higher than the standard. If it had been less, you would get the difference instead of the $0. Everyone gets to claim the standard amount even if their payment is lower. Your payment (actual) appears on line 42.
                    Originally posted by csonly View Post
                    Line 24 (a) 496.00 (b) 351.20 ...final column to the right $144.80 This baffles me
                    The $144 is the difference between the standard and what you actually pay. You get to claim the extra expense even though you don't use it to make your payment.
                    Originally posted by csonly View Post
                    Line 32 163.00 (I wonder about this????)
                    Necessary telecommunication - not basic cell or phone service which should be on line 20A. Pagers, call waiting, internet, expenses for "production of income". Ask your attorney what it is.
                    Originally posted by csonly View Post
                    Line 34 $0 (should this be health insurance premium?)
                    Yes. Health insurance, disability insurance and HSA
                    Originally posted by csonly View Post
                    Line 42, shows our #2 car pmt but is $88 less than what we pay. Is this due to what the standard is?
                    The difference between the standard and the payment you mention for line 23 above is $90. Might be why you see the $88 here.
                    There are two secrets for success in life:
                    1.) Never tell everything you know.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      debee - thank you so much for taking the time to explain these questions I had, I really appreciate it!
                      Filed Ch 7: 11/2010 and 03/2011 and closed

                      Comment

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