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What is the Chapter 7 ’Means’ Test?

Our Bankruptcy Lawyers Can Help Determine if You Qualify

Chapter 7 is known as the “fresh start” bankruptcy, where nearly all your debts – such as credit cards, medical debt, lawsuits/judgments and mortgage foreclosure deficiencies – are discharged so you can start over with a clean slate. Because of the attractive nature of the “fresh start,” Chapter 7 bankruptcies became wildly popular.

In 2005, Congress changed bankruptcy law to add a prerequisite test you must take before filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. This condition, known as the “means test,” exists so that the federal government knows that you have a true financial need to file for a “fresh start” bankruptcy.

Although most people who consider filing for bankruptcy pass the means test, it is still important to accurately fill out the qualifying test because it helps decide your eligibility to file under Chapter 7. There are some additional conditions of Chapter 7 eligibility beyond the means test; they address your history of prior bankruptcies and examine some other factors — such as whether you own your home outright.

Do you wish to speak with our York & Harrisburg bankruptcy lawyers confidentially? We are here to listen.
Call Dethlefs, Pykosh & Murphy Law at (717) 559-0271 or contact us online.

How to Qualify for Chapter 7

Are you fighting against severe debt? If so, filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy may be an option for you, however, not all debtors can file for it.

To qualify for Chapter 7, you must:

  • Pass the means test.
  • Have completed a credit counseling course approved by the Office of the U.S. Trustee. It must have been completed within 180 days before filing.
  • Not have debt discharged from a previous bankruptcy.
  • Not have a previous bankruptcy case that was dismissed 180 days ago.
  • Not have defrauded creditors.
If none of the above is true for you, the bankruptcy court may dismiss your filing. It is possible that Chapter 13 bankruptcy may be a better option for you, but if you are unsure, reach out to our experienced Chapter 7 lawyers in Harrisburg.

Call Bankruptcy Lawyers at (717) 559-0271. We Serve Harrisburg & York.

At Dethlefs, Pykosh & Murphy Law, our bankruptcy attorneys help our clients with all stages of Chapter 7 or 13, including the means test. If you need help with any stage of bankruptcy, contact our legal team and one of our experienced Carlisle personal bankruptcy attorneys can assist you.

Our Harrisburg & York bankruptcy law firm is experienced at helping people determine whether they qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Even if you don’t meet the requirements of the means test for Chapter 7, Chapter 13 bankruptcy may still afford you a lot of relief. Our Chapter 7 attorneys are happy to help you explore your options and make an informed decision.

Take the first step to a brighter future by scheduling a free case evaluation.