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How does my Schedule J look?

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    How does my Schedule J look?

    Net monthly income: $2,096.00
    Rent $1,387.00
    Renter insurance $12.00
    Electric $135.00
    Water/sewer/trash $60.00
    Phone/cable/internet bundle $140.00
    Other (pet rent $ 25 per pet/mo) $75.00
    Food/hskp supplies $250.00
    Personal care and supplies $20.00
    Med/dental expenses $-00
    Gas/maint $45.00
    Entertainment $10.00
    Charity $5.00
    Health insurance $150.00
    car insurance $60.00
    dental insurance $8.00
    other (pet food & supplies) $50.00
    $2,407.00
    $(311.00)

    #2
    Should I be concerned that I am in the red by (311.00) - I mean, concerned from a discharge perspective ? At some point I will move, but I can't right now because my credit is tanked.

    No asset, chapter 7....

    Comment


      #3
      Nothing jumps out at me for bankruptcy purposes except the rent. Depending on the county, you may not be allowed the full expense on the rent. Whatever is disallowed in the rent could be put in other areas where I think you substantially understated the expense (food).

      Furthermore, you need to move someplace a lot cheaper. Spending over 50% of your income on just the rent is financial suicide. The usual max limit is 1/3 of GROSS income although 1/3 net income is better.

      The housing standard in FL is here. https://www.justice.gov/ust/eo/bapcp..._charts_FL.htm

      Comment


        #4
        If that's for a single person in Florida then the flashoflight brings up a good point on the rent. But, depending on the area that you live in Florida, even a single person could be allowed up to $1,800/month in rent. Most major metro areas are at least $1,000/month in Florida according to the (UST) guidelines.

        Trustees in Florida may question cable/internet/phone over $100/month. Everything else seems okay depending on the county in which you live and if you're single.
        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


          #5
          Thanks - I thought they used the IRS National Standards for rent, which is much more realistic. As for spending 1/3 income on rent....maybe in my next life. :-(

          I have bad credit and 3 cats, there isn't a landlord on the planet that would accept me. I just pray this place doesn't run a credit check on me when I am up for lease renewal (I have been here a few years). Then, after discharge (God willing), I can start working on my credit and then move someplace a little cheaper.

          Comment


            #6
            The United States Trustee has their own UST Program site (USTPA) which shows the values for rent/mortgage. These are based on the IRS Collection Financial Standards (CFS) and "are derived from Census and BLS data." They are broken down to the county-level.
            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


              #7
              I'll just have to submit it, anyways. I can't put that I pay $ 943 for rent when I pay significantly more than that. Even if trustee only accepts rent as "943.00" (which is not realistic), I should still be okay. My food budget could actually be a little higher.

              Comment


                #8
                Looking at the CFS standard, $1490 would be allowed (for family of 1), but that would include utilities. So no matter what I use, I will be over.

                Comment


                  #9
                  You can put the value that you actually pay on Schedule J, but the Trustee is going to challenge anything over the IRS Collection Financial Standards as listed on the UST's Means Testing website. Unfortunately, the difference between what you listed and what the UST/IRS allows for your county is over $400. That could push you into a Chapter 13 just with that difference. Your non-mortgage/non-rent expense seems to be okay based on my guess.

                  The Means Testing allows up to $385 for food for a single person household. You may need to look at your other numbers as well. I would use what's on the Means Testing as your allowances on the Means test.

                  But please realize that the rent is likely to be an issue. So if you are really at negative $300 then the difference in the rent may not be an overall problem. I would certainly bump the food up to the allowance of $385. I would also review my housekeeping expense (allowed $45), add some clothing (allowed $85), and as well as the other personal items. The total for a single person should be close to the IRS FCS which is $715/month in total (food, clothing, housekeeping, clothing and services, personal care products and misc.).

                  Please see if your court has a Pro Bono Clinic. Once you have your forms done, or need help, you can visit the Pro Bono clinic to get help. With COVID concerns, I do not know how the clinics are running, but I know that they are meeting face to face.

                  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


                  • Scarlett1234
                    Scarlett1234 commented
                    Editing a comment
                    i am confused after reading your 2 comments here , can you explain to me please? If my SO is below median income and bypass means test , will his real expense on schedule J be compared to the standard number on UST means testing website ,and anything goes well those standard number will face a challenge ? Many expense he got is over the standard number , he also got quite a few educational subscription as he is in school and trying to learn new skills . Or do you mean only if he has to take means test thats when his schedule J expense should be expected to align with the standard number allowed on UST means testing website ? Thanks

                  #10
                  My income is so far below the means that I did not have to submit itemizations for that (form 122A-1 states "there is no presumption of abuse. Go to Part 3. Do NOT fill out or file Official Form 122A-2.") However, like you said, I am worried now about what I pay for rent (schedule J). I will redo my spreadsheet and see where I may have some inaccuracies (like food).

                  I am very confused. Seems rent of $ 975 is for the means test (which would not apply to me due to my low income, I pass), and $ 1490 is the IRS national standard for living expenses (my county, rent for family of 1).

                  But since I have to list actual expenses on schedule J (whether they are allowed or not), we shall see. :-)
                  Last edited by Ekop785; 02-26-2021, 08:47 AM.

                  Comment


                    #11
                    If you're below the median income, you will likely receive no objections to discharge from the United States Trustee (UST).
                    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


                      #12
                      I am still a bit confused, for the reasons Scarlett 1234 mentions. Since I am far below means and thus do not have to submit form 122A-2, will trustee use the IRS CFS standards (which would only allow $ 975 for rent) or would they accept the IRS National Standards (which is much higher and which is what I actually pay)?

                      I understand that my actual expenses go on Schedule J, but are the CFS standards used for means testing only?

                      Thank you!

                      Comment


                        #13
                        Originally posted by Ekop785 View Post
                        I understand that my actual expenses go on Schedule J, but are the CFS standards used for means testing only?
                        Yes, actual expenses go on Schedule J. However, the Trustees (the United States Trustee (UST) themself, a Chapter 7 panel trustee, or a Chapter 13 trustee) will use the CFS standards as the actual guidelines. If you exceed them on Schedule J, the trustee could possibly question that expense.

                        When you're under-the-median the changes of the UST objecting to a discharge are low. But in cases where there is a significant difference, it may pique the curiosity of the UST.

                        If you are over-the-median and your housing costs are higher than the IRS CFS standards, you will be questioned... especially in a Chapter 7. The only exception is when you own the home and the living standard is commensurate with your income. In some cases, a trustee may overlook a rent that exceeds the local standards if there is a compelling reason (it's close to work, saves on commuting costs, and those savings are reflected in the schedules).

                        The real kicker is this. There's no way to tell how the UST or trustee will behave if they see that you exceeded the guidelines. The handbook says that the trustee "should" object to certain instances where the expenses exceed the standards.

                        But, as I wrote, being under-the-median is likely to shield such debtors from the deeper inquiry and scrutiny.
                        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

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