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Bankruptcy Means Test – Woodland Hills Lawyer

At the Leventhal Law Group, P.C., I help clients understand the means test now required of people seeking to file Chapter 7 bankruptcy. This test is one of the measures that was instituted as a result of the 2005 bankruptcy reform act. Essentially, the means test determines whether an individual can file Chapter 7 or must file Chapter 13.

Call 818-347-5800 to speak with a Los Angeles-area lawyer at Leventhal Law Group, P.C.. Schedule your free initial consultation today.

The Means Test in a Nutshell

If your current income is lower than the median income in your county, you are eligible for Chapter 7 and do not have to take the means test. If your income is greater than the county median, then the means test is applied to determine whether you have enough disposable income to repay some of your debts. However, determining adjusted income can be tricky. Some of the factors that go into a determination of your income include these:

  • Your household size
  • Ages of people in the household
  • Expenditures on the necessities of life to be deducted, such as housing, utilities, transportation, food
  • Tax liabilities to be deducted
  • Other eligible expenses that may be deducted, such as health care expenses, child support, special needs child care and phone bills


If your income exceeds the median in your county, even after incorporating the allowed expenses, then in most cases you are not eligible to file Chapter 7 and must file under Chapter 13.

You Can Still File Bankruptcy in Los Angeles or Ventura County

If you are deemed ineligible for Chapter 7 bankruptcy after taking the means test, I will apply your attorney’s fee to a Chapter 13 filing. You will not lose anything by trying for Chapter 7 if you (and I) think you may be eligible. Almost anyone can file for Chapter 13, whatever the results of the means test.

Contact the Leventhal Law Group, P.C.. Call my Los Angeles area, Woodland Hills California, office at 818-347-5800 to find out how a lawyer can help you with the bankruptcy means test.