The means test is part of the bankruptcy process, and it is used whether you are filing under chapter 7 or chapter 13. There is plenty of confusion, and a lack of knowledge, about the means test that has caused both lawyers and consumers to hesitate. Reading some of the theoretical articles written in the past will not tell you the practical facts, and how the means test could influence your bankruptcy case.
The means test is used to determine whether you are financially able to pay off the debts that you owe with any disposable income that you have each month, and if your monthly income is below the median income for your area. This test is objective and impartial. Most people who qualify under chapter 7 of the bankruptcy code either pass the means test or are exempt from taking it based on their current financial situation and income level.
What happens if you fail the means test? Does this automatically mean that you will need to file again under chapter 13? Will failing the means test prevent you from filing for bankruptcy at all? Will your attorney be upset and simply tell you that you owe all your debts and must pay these back to the creditors? Will you be forced to spend a week in solitude reflecting on your financial sins? Bankruptcy is a complicated legal procedure, and like all legal procedures the answer will depend on your individual case and all of the relevant factors involved.
Legal professionals and law professors have been debating and writing about the means test for many years. Lawyers really like to debate things, that is what they do, and the confusion and controversies surrounding the means test make it a good topic for discussion.
To help put the means test in a more practical light and eliminate the confusion about this bankruptcy tool, and to explain why the means test is not a reason to worry for most consumers as long as you have an excellent attorney like Chris Lee, there is an informative article written by experienced consumer bankruptcy attorney Richard West which can help you break through the confusion and figure out how the means test will affect you and your case. The article can be found at this link: https://debtfreeohio.com/means-test-misunderstanding