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Does Unemployment money count towards income in Chapter 7?

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  • Does Unemployment money count towards income in Chapter 7?

    My husband was just laid off on Friday. Prior to this we were really considering filing Bankruptcy. We were hoping that we would not have to file Chapter 13 because we plan to start a family soon and know that our financial needs will change. Anyway, I need to know if my husband collecting unemployment will effect us??

    We would like to file Chapter 7. I make $45,000 a year and I know they look back in the past 6 months of income. He made $10,100 (car salesman). In Florida, 2 earners can not make more than $51,945. Yikes.

    What do we do?!?!?!?!
    Last edited by armani222; 10-25-2008, 09:05 PM.

  • #2
    YES! 'Hub 1099 will come.
    If I knew it all, would I be here?? Hang in there = Retained attorney 8-06, Filed 12-28-07, Discharge 8-13-08, Finally CLOSED 11-3-09, 3-31-10 AP Dismissed, Informed by incompetent lawyer of CLOSED status, October 14, 2010.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by armani222 View Post
      My husband was just laid off on Friday and we were on our way to filing Chapter 13 but now we would like to file Chapter 7. This will put us in a different income bracket. Will they count his unemployment towards monthly income??
      Yes it will. 'Hub and I had planned on filing 13, then I lost my job, and we had to file 7. Yes, UI is counted. You will be asked to supply pay advices, which you can't do, because everything is online--at least in Florida. If you are getting paper checks, GREAT! Keep the stubs and make copies. If the check is deposited online, keep everything they ask you to print for your records.

      You should also be getting a copy of a yearly statement around now because of the new fiscal year, Oct 1-Sept 30, showing your allotment. Make a copy of that and present it.

      If your deposts are Direct Deposit, you will have to provide printouts of your bank statement, with the UI deposits highlighted. You won't get a detailed printout any other way. At least that is the way it is in Florida.

      You can go to the online version to Claim Your Weeks, and get an option to claim weeks, or get account information. Account information will give you a page of when your benefits starte, how much you are entitled to claim per week, how much you have available to you, and when the last check was cut to your account.

      Our attorney was less than happy with that, but that was the way it was/is here in sunny Florida.

      Good luck to you!
      "To go bravely forward is to invite a miracle."

      "Worry is the darkroom where negatives are formed."

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      • #4
        I'm certainly no expert on this but I noticed on the form (B22A -- Statement of Income, i.e., "the means test), there is an option to claim unemployment benefits as exempt under the Social Security Act (i.e., that government benefits are exempt from the calculation.)

        It would seem (and again I'm no expert) that one could claim that unemployment compensation does *not* qualify under the means test. This would be consistent with what I've read elsewhere, but does anyone have more information about this?

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Aaaaah! View Post
          I'm certainly no expert on this but I noticed on the form (B22A -- Statement of Income, i.e., "the means test), there is an option to claim unemployment benefits as exempt under the Social Security Act (i.e., that government benefits are exempt from the calculation.)

          It would seem (and again I'm no expert) that one could claim that unemployment compensation does *not* qualify under the means test. This would be consistent with what I've read elsewhere, but does anyone have more information about this?
          I read the same thing, too.

          Being 1099'd only has to do with the fact that UI is taxable income for federal tax purposes (state also, depending on your state).

          So just know that unless you elect withholding from your UI checks, you will have to claim it on your 1040 for the year as income. It's NOT free money.

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          • #6
            A list of the Florida Exemptions are here:

            http://www.bankruptcyinformation.com/FL_exemp.htm

            Under the section Public Benefits is listed Workers' Compensation Fl. Stat. 440.22

            The only exemption not listed on this page is from the 2007 and 2008 Fl. Stat. allowing a $4000 personal property exemption to filers who do not claim, nor have the benefit of claiming, a homestead exemption. This is in a addition to the $1000 auto exemption.

            I believe even if you were to file for unemployment this Monday, a certain period of time must pass before you can start claiming weeks, so if you file for BK, your eligibility for unemployment is not necessarily assured and you may squeak by the means test if your husband's earnings are prorated for the year. Those free bankruptcy consults are very informative, I would go and speak to at least 3.

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            • #7
              2Bshinyandnew is correct. There is a two week waiting period, with the first week ineligible. I was already drawing UI when we filed, and had been for more than a month.

              I don't know if our attorney looked at exempting any of it or not. Probably not. She was not that great of an attorney--for us at least, and made no effort to educate us in the BK process. She or the assistant would say, "I need xxxxx, or yyyy." but make to effort at having us understand why. We have learned far more since finding this forum than we did from her.
              "To go bravely forward is to invite a miracle."

              "Worry is the darkroom where negatives are formed."

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              • #8
                Originally posted by AngelinaCat View Post
                2Bshinyandnew is correct. There is a two week waiting period, with the first week ineligible. I was already drawing UI when we filed, and had been for more than a month.

                I don't know if our attorney looked at exempting any of it or not. Probably not. She was not that great of an attorney--for us at least, and made no effort to educate us in the BK process. She or the assistant would say, "I need xxxxx, or yyyy." but make to effort at having us understand why. We have learned far more since finding this forum than we did from her.
                Hi AngelinaCat,

                Don't know if I should start a new thread for this or not, but if you look at the copies of the petition filed, even if you converted from a 13 to a 7, there should be a Schedule C - Property Claimed as Exempt. If 'Hub's unemployment was claimed as exempt, it would have been listed there. Your attorney would still have asked for any account statements and stubs. Other items that could be listed on the Schedule C would be Retirement Accounts, Alimony/child support received, and your attorney would have asked for statements for those as well, if you had them to claim. If the Unemployment was listed on the Schedule C, it was exempt, with the appropriate corrponding Fl. Statute cited.

                If it was listed on the Schedule I - Current Income of Individual Debtor(s), then your attorney did not list it as an exempt asset, which it should have been, according to the Florida Statutes. In either case, you did file a Ch. 7, so the outcome would have been the same, regardless, thank goodness!!!

                I downloaded on to my computer a free trial version of Bankruptcy software program call Best Case Bankruptcy from http://www.bestcase.com/. I heard about it at school, I'm working on getting an Associates Degree in Paralegal Studies and noticed the program on one of the computers at my school.

                It won't let you print out usable documents to actually file your BK (unless you pay $795-$995 for the program), but anyone can download the trial version. It has been a great tool for me to get a feel for the purpose of all the information that is required for filing. It has probably been mentioned here before, but I thought was worth mentioning again. Each individual state's bankruptcy laws are factored in when you start a new "case" using the program. It's pretty cool.

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                • #9

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