Forum Rules (Everyone Must Read!!!) (updated: 04/28/2015)

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Under median income but too much disposable income.

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  • Under median income but too much disposable income.

    Hello everyone,

    So I am well under the median income for my family size. My attorney even said I should be okay, note I have not officially settled on one attorney so the paper work is still a few weeks off.

    My question is regarding qualifying for chapter 7. On schedule J after I add everything up, not counting the credit cards, it looks as though I may have too much disposable income.

    If that is the case will I then NOT qualify for chapter 7 even though I am under the median income level.

    Thanks as alway!

  • #2
    It depends on what you mean by "too much" disposable income, but in general yes, if the number is too high you won't qualify for a Chapter 7. However, a lot of people underestimate their expenses, because they've been scrimping on various things in order to pay creditors and stay afloat. Various expenses like home/auto maintenance, health care/drug costs, and so forth can help bring down that disposable income number real quick. Your attorney should be able to give you guidance on what's appropriate for your particular case.
    This post does not constitute legal advice. If you use this advice instead of that of a lawyer, God help you.
    Filed CH 7: 5/11/17 341: 6/12/17 Discharge: 8/14/17


    • #3
      If you are well under median, you are probably leaving something out unless you live rent and mortgage free for some reason, or those expenses are unusually low. Keep in mind that Schedule J should be forward looking and include all necessary and reasonable living expenses assuming you had the funds to cover them instead of fighting to pay your dischargable debt.
      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!


      • #4
        Thanks for the replies! So really I am, for a family of four, 10k or so under the median. What confuses me is the 6 month CMI figure because really, I get paid 26 times out of the year, I'm biweekly, so two months out of the year I get three paychecks. The 6 month CMI does not take that into account. I get that the breakdown for what I bring home is the same but it still does not work out to how I get my money and how I can spend\budget. So really I get two checks a month for a total of $3468 CMI shows my month at $3758.

        It's not a huge difference but I am worried about it. Also I heard that I can count things like tires for my car, glasses, oil changes, brakes etc. just have to calculate what the cost monthly is?

        Thanks as always!


        • #5
          It's the 6 months before filing that's used to calculate that income. If one of those months happens to be a "super-month" where you get 3 checks, then unfortunately you're stuck with having that higher amount. The only way around that is to time your filing so that the previous 6 months don't have any of those super-months.

          As for Schedule J, yes, you get to include ALL your expenses. So, for example, your vehicle cost would include not just your monthly payment, but also maintenance, fuel, repairs, etc broken down monthly. This can be tricky (for example, you know at some point you're gonna need new tires at $500, but how soon? 2 years, 3 years? How do you break that up?), when my attorney walked me through it he basically just put close to the IRS allowable amounts for everything, since those numbers would be considered "reasonable" and could account for some of that unpredictability. Your attorney will know what kind of numbers will/won't be acceptable in your area.
          This post does not constitute legal advice. If you use this advice instead of that of a lawyer, God help you.
          Filed CH 7: 5/11/17 341: 6/12/17 Discharge: 8/14/17


          • #6
            Thanks for the replies. I have been looking at the schedules and think there are many things that I never even considered, mostly due to the fact that I pay so much in cc debt a month. Like the amount the IRS standards say we can spend for a family of 4 is actually quite nice and I absolutely wish I was able to spend $845 in food a month now lol.


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