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Schedule J: Your Expenses vs National Standard

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    Schedule J: Your Expenses vs National Standard

    When inputting all of your expenses, why not put what the federal maximum is for that specific item. I filled out the Schedule J accurately and after subtracting my expenses from my net income, I'm left with $712. That makes me nervous that I take home too much after expenses. Is my attorney supposed to look at that number and figure out a way to lower it?

    I have food and housekeeping supplies at $685, but the national standard is $910. How am I supposed to move forward? How can I find out what max I'm aloud to have leftover after expenses? I read somewhere it's like $225. So I'm like $500 over that. Does that mean the trustee will dismiss my chapter 7 and push for a chapter 13? Thanks!

    Edit: I did fill out in it's entirety the legalconsumer means test calculator and it says I have -256 in net monthly income after expenses. I'm assuming it's factoring in federal averages for me.

    Edit 2: I went back and was looking at the bottom line and it says; Based on the information you have entered so far, you pass the means test requirements to qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, because your monthly income of $4,333 is below the median income for 4-person households in Ohio ($6,960).

    Summary of your data:

    Your average monthly income is $4,333 and, so far, you have expense deductions totaling $ 4,589 per month. That would leave you with $ -256 at the end of each month to pay into a hypothetical, five-year Chapter 13 bankruptcy plan, which would pay your unsecured creditors $ -15,360 over the next five years.
    Last edited by netengr44; 03-21-2018, 11:00 AM.

    #2
    Yes, the means test calculator on legalconsumer uses the national and local standards.

    If you pass the means test, the US Trustee could object to discharge if your Schedules J shows enough disposable income to pay a portion of your debt. If your income is below median, especially by $2627 and Schedule J is showing disposable income of $712, either you are living rent/mortgage free or you are missing or under estimating some expenses. Keep in mind that you should be using reasonable expenses, not necessarily what you are spending while struggling to pay off dischargeable debt. $685 for food and housekeeping supplies for a family of 4 seems very low. Your attorney should be able to point out where else your expenses seem too low.
    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!

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