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Pass the Means Test by Filing Bankruptcy in 2018

November 12th, 2018 at 8:00 am

The timing of your bankruptcy filing can determine whether you qualify for quick Chapter 7 vs. paying into a Chapter 13 plan for 3-5 years.

 

Timing Can Be SO Important

There are lots of ways you could greatly benefit from meeting with a bankruptcy lawyer sooner rather than later. You may save yourself lots of money by choosing an option that would not be available to you later. 

There are many situations this could happen. Today we’ll address how filing sooner—say, before the end of 2018—might enable someone to pass the “means test” when that might not be possible later. Passing the means test means you’d likely qualify to file a Chapter 7 “straight bankruptcy” case. Otherwise you may be required to file a Chapter 13 “adjustment of debts” case.

Chapter 13 can be great in the right circumstances. But you don’t want to be forced into filing one quickly because you’re desperate for immediate relief from your creditors. If you had to file a Chapter 13 case because you didn’t have the flexibility to strategically time your filing, this could easily cost you many thousands of dollars. It could mean that you couldn’t discharge most of your debts in a matter of 3-4 months without paying anything on them vs. paying on those debts for 3 to 5 years.

Timing and Income in the Means Test

The means test requires people who have the “means” to do so, to pay a meaningful amount on their debts. If you don’t pass the means test you’re effectively stuck with filing a Chapter 13 case.

Be aware that a majority of people who need a Chapter 7 case successfully pass the means test. The most direct way to do so is if your income is no larger than the published “median income” amounts designated for your state and family size. What’s crucial here is the highly unusual way the means test defines income. This unusual definition creates potential timing advantages and disadvantages.

The Means Test Definition of Income

When considering income for purposes of the means test, don’t think of income as you normally would. Instead:

1) Consider almost all sources of money coming to you in just about any form as income. Included, for example, are disability, workers’ compensation, and unemployment benefits; pension, retirement, and annuity payments received; regular contributions for household expenses by anybody, including a spouse or ex-spouse; rental or other business income; interest, dividends, and royalties. Pretty much the only money excluded are those received under the Social Security Act, including retirement, disability (SSDI), Supplemental Security Income (SSI), and Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF).

2) The period of time that counts for the means test is exactly the 6 full calendar months before your bankruptcy filing date. Included as income is ONLY the money you receive during those specific months. This excludes money received before that 6-month block of time. It also excludes any money received during the calendar month that you file your Chapter 7 case. To clarify this, if you filed a Chapter 7 case this December 15th, your income for the means test would include all money received from exactly June 1 through November 30 of this year. It would exclude money received before June 1 or received from December 1 through the date of filing.

The Effect of this Unusual Definition of Income

This timing rule means that your means test income can change depending on what month you file your case. To the extent you have flexibility over when to file, and if there are any shifts in the money you receive over time, you have some control over how much your income is for the means test when you do file your case.

So if you receive an unusual amount of money anytime in December, it doesn’t count if you file a Chapter 7 case by December 31. This unusual amount of money might be an employer’s annual bonus, a contribution from a parent or relative to help you pay expenses, or an unexpected catch-up payment of spousal/child support. Remember, if you file bankruptcy in December, only money received June through November gets counted.

Even relatively small differences in money received can make an unexpectedly big difference. That’s because the six-month income total is doubled to arrive at the annual income amount. So for example let’s say you got an extra $1,500 from whatever source(s) in December. If you file in December that extra doesn’t count, as just discussed above. But if you wait until January to file, December money is counted becasue the pertinent 6-month period is now July 1 through December 31. That extra $1,500 gets doubled, increasing your annual income by $3,000. That could push you above the designated “median income” for your state and family size. If so you’d likely not pass the means test and not qualify for Chapter 7, leaving you with Chapter 13 as your only option.

Conclusion

It is a fact that most people wait way too long before their initial consultation meeting with a bankruptcy lawyer. There are many very understandable reasons for this. But do yourself a favor and be the exception. See a lawyer not because you’re at the very end of your rope and need immediate relief from your creditors. Instead see one because you want to learn about your options. Do this sooner and you may have some significantly money-saving options that you might not have had otherwise. 

 

A Simple Example of Passing the Means Test

July 5th, 2017 at 7:00 am

 We show by example how the means test works, when a person qualifies for a Chapter 7 case simply by income.  


An Example is Worth a Thousand Words

You have to pass the means test to qualify for a Chapter 7 “straight bankruptcy. In a recent blog post we said that the easiest way to pass the means test is by your income. If your income is low enough you pass without having to look at your allowed expenses or special circumstances.  Let’s see how this works by way of an example.

Our Example—The Facts

Jeremy and Allison need bankruptcy relief. Their bankruptcy lawyer has recommended that they file a Chapter 7 case based on their circumstances. They have decided to do so.

They are both employed and get paychecks twice a month, on the 1st and 15th of the month. Jeremy has a gross income of $2,750 per month and Allison $3,250 per month.

They have two children who live with them in their home in Indiana.

“Income” for the Means Test

For purposes of the means test you count virtually all sources of incoming money (other than from Social Security). But you count only money received during the 6 FULL CALENDAR months before filing the Chapter 7 case.

Allison and Jeremy want to file their case during July. So they look at the income they’d received during the period from January 1 through June 30, the 6 full calendar months before. That’s 6 times $3,250 for Allison, or $19,500, plus 6 times $2,750 for Jeremy, or $16,500, or a combined $36,000. Multiply that by 2 to get an annual income of $72,000.

The Median Income for Your Family Size in Your State

Allison and Jeremy would pass the means test the most easily if their income, as just calculated, would be no larger than the median income amount for their family size in their state.

The median income amount for a group of people is similar to their average income amount, but not quite. It’s the amount at which half of the people have a greater income and half have less.

So for Jeremy and Allison, the median income is the amount at which half of the families of four people in Indiana have more income and half have less. How do they find out that amount?

It’s provided online by the U.S. Trustee. Here is a table showing the most current information of this writing. (This table is updated every few months so check here for more current median income tables.)

Notice that the median income for Jeremy and Allison’s family size and state is $77,566. Their income as calculated above, at $72,000, is less than this median income amount.

Conclusion

As a result Allison and Jeremy pass the means test simply on the basis of their income. They and their lawyer don’t need to go through the process of figuring out and deducting all their allowed expenses to find out if they pass the means test. Their income is low enough. It’s presumed that they don’t have enough money left over to pay a meaningful amount back to their creditors.

 

The Chapter 7 Means Test

June 23rd, 2017 at 7:00 am

You have to pass the means test to qualify for a Chapter 7 case. It’s often an easy test to pass but one with some crucial twists and turns. 


The Purpose of the “Means Test”

You need to qualify to file a Chapter 7 “straight bankruptcy” case. The “means test” is the main step in qualifying. Its purpose is to not let you file a Chapter 7 case if you have the “means” to pay a meaningful amount to your creditors. If you do, then usually you would instead have to go through a Chapter 13 “adjustment of debts” case.

A consumer Chapter 7 case generally “discharges” (legally writes off) all or most of your debts. And it does so in a process that usually takes only 3 or 4 months.

In contrast a Chapter 13 case requires you to pay as much as you can reasonably pay to your creditors over a 3 to 5 year period. That usually means that under Chapter 13 your creditors get paid at least a portion of what you owe them. Often that portion is small, and sometimes most of your creditors actually get nothing. But the point is that Chapter 7 is SO much faster and easier. IF it’s the right option for you, you want to be able to qualify. And that means passing the means test.

Usually Easy, but Watch Out for the Twists and Turns

The reality is that most people who want to file under Chapter 7 can pass the means test. And most of those who pass do so quite easily.

Here’s why. There are a number of steps to the means test. But if you pass it on the first easiest step, then you’re done. You don’t have to go through the other more complicated steps.

This first step—the “median income” step—is relatively straightforward. But it has its own oddities—its twists and turns.

The “Median Income” Step

The idea behind this first step is that if your income is low enough, you have no money for creditors. You don’t have the “means” to pay a meaningful amount to the creditors.

If your income is low enough you pass the means test simply on the basis of your income. You don’t have to compare your income to your expenses to see if you have enough left over to pay to your creditors. (That’s the second step of the means test, if you don’t pass at this median income step.)

How low does your income need to be to pass the means test at this first step?

It can’t be more than the current median income amount for your state and your family size.

Median income is somewhat like the average income but not quite. It is the income amount at which half the people of the population have a lower income while half of the people has a higher income. The median income amounts for each state and family size are updated usually two or three times a year. The most recent update as of this writing was effective as of May 1, 2017. Tables of these median income amounts are published and made available.

“Income” Isn’t What You Think

“Income” has a very special and specific meaning here. To see if your income fits within your applicable median income amount, you need to know this meaning of “income.”

First, consider only money you received during precisely the SIX FULL calendar months before the filing of your bankruptcy case. For example, assume you are filing a Chapter 7 case on any day in the month of July. Then, you only count money you’d received from January 1 through June 30 of that year.

Second, we purposely said “money” instead of “income” here. That’s because you include virtually all money you received during the applicable six-month period from virtually all sources. It’s not just employment income, or money that’s taxable and shows up on your income tax return. Include essentially all sources of funds, except those received through any kind of Social Security benefit.

Once you have the total 6-month “income” amount, multiply it by 2 to get the annualized amount of “income.” Then compare that amount to the one for your state and family size in the published table.

Timing of Filing Often Changes Your “Income”

With this particular definition of “income,” whether you are above or below median income can change by the month. That’s especially true if you occasionally get money in irregular amounts and/or with irregular timing. Examples would be inconsistent child support, an annual or quarterly bonus from work, or any kind of lump sum distribution like a disability settlement or from a vehicle accident.   

An unusual payment can artificially inflate your “income” for the means test. A gap in usual payments can deflate your “income.” These can either push you temporarily above your applicable median income or below it. Because the impact is doubled (when you annualize the 6-months of income), even a moderate change can effect whether you pass this step of the means test.

The Rest of the “Means Test”

If your income is more than your applicable median income, you go to the second step of the means test. This involves a comparison of your income and allowed expenses to come up with your “disposable income.” The twist and turn here is in calculating your allowed expenses. We’ll get into that in our next blog post.

 

What is Considered “Income” for the Chapter 7 “Means Test”

March 23rd, 2016 at 7:00 am

“Income” is not what you think it is—it’s much broader than usual and fixates on the 6 full calendar months before your bankruptcy filing.

 

Our last blog post a couple days ago was about an upcoming cost of living adjustment of median family income amounts. This adjustment is going in effect for bankruptcy cases filed on and after April 1, 2016. (See Section 101(39A) of the Bankruptcy Code.) These median family income amounts are important because they can determine whether you can pass the “means test” and qualify for a Chapter 7 “straight bankruptcy” instead of a Chapter 13 “adjustment of debts.”

That’s important because a consumer Chapter 7 case usually take only 3 or 4 months to finish. It usually does not require you to pay anything to most of your creditors. In contrast a Chapter 13 case usually takes 3 to 5 years, and requires you to pay all you can afford to your creditors throughout that period of time.

The easiest way to pass the “means test” is for your family “income” to be no greater than the median family income amount for your family size in your state. Here is a table of all the median family annual income amounts effective starting April 1, 2016 for every state and territory in the United States. The table includes different median income amounts for families of different sizes, from 1 to 4 people; for larger families add $8,400 for each additional family member beyond 4.

How Do You Compare Your “Income” to These Published Median Family Income Amounts?

It’s trickier than you might think to calculate your “income” to find out if it is no more than the published median income amount for your state and family size. Indeed we put “income” in quotes because that word has a very specific meaning for “means test” purposes.

“Income” includes money received during and only during a rather unusual time period. And “income” includes certain sources of money received during that time period but excludes other sources of money. 

The “Income” Time Period

The period of time during which your “income” is counted for the “means test” is precisely the last SIX FULL CALENDAR months prior to the day you file bankruptcy.

Because you count only money received during the prior FULL calendar months, you do NOT include any money received during the month your bankruptcy is filed. For example, if you file on a April 15, you don’t count any money received from that April 1 through April 15.

Because you count money received only the last SIX full calendar months, you don’t count any received just before that. For example, if you file bankruptcy on a December 15, you don’t count any money received on or before that May 31, even though it’s in the same calendar year. That’s because only money during the 6 prior full calendar months—from June 1 through November 30 of that year—counts.

What’s Included in and Excluded from “Income”

Virtually all forms of money received or paid on your behalf is included other than Social Security. The statutory language says to include

income from all sources that the debtor receives… without regard whether such income is taxable income,…  and… includes any amount paid to any entity other than the debtor… on a regular basis for the household expenses or the debtor or the debtor’s dependents… but excludes benefits received under the Social Security Act.”

Section 101(10A) of the Bankruptcy Code.

This may include income and payments from some unexpected sources.

As expected, all income from your employer is included—all gross wages or salary, as well as any tips, overtime, shift differentials, and commissions, WITHOUT subtracting any tax or other deductions.

If you operate a business or farm, have a profession, or have income from real estate, include all gross receipts during the 6-month time period. You can subtract operating expenses of that business, farm, profession or real estate, but only to the extent that they are “ordinary and necessary” ones. If the expenses are more than the income, you can’t use a negative “net” amount; just put $0.

There’s a line for entering all income in the form of “interest, dividends, and royalties.” If you own stock or other investments in which the dividends or other proceeds are automatically reinvested, include those dividends or other investment proceeds as income.

Include all pension and retirement income, other than Social Security payments (So include all non-Social Security governmental and private retirement income, as well as from 401(k)s and IRAs of any type.

Include unemployment compensation. Arguably some kinds of unemployment benefits are “benefits received under the Social Security Act” and so perhaps should be excluded. Talk with your attorney about this issue is locally enforced. Given how modest unemployment compensation tends to be, you may be well under the median family income amount for your family size and state even if it is treated as “income.”

Social security disability benefits are not included, but private disability insurance benefits are included.

Include any amounts paid by any other person or entity on a regular basis for your household expenses. It doesn’t matter whether the payments are made monthly, quarterly, annually or on any other regular basis. It doesn’t matter whether the payments are made without any written agreement. This includes payments from a roommate or housemate, a partner, parent or other relative, whether or not this person is living with you. Include child and spousal support. Include payments made directly to creditors on your behalf, such as for your apartment rental or your vehicle loan payments or insurance, or anything else.

Include other odd sources of income, such as any net gambling gains, cash gifts, proceeds of any litigation (including your share of any class action proceeds). Include any trust income.

But exclude income tax refunds and any repayments received on a debt owed to you.

Then What?

Add up all of such sources of income during the 6 full calendar months before your anticipated Chapter 7 filing. Then multiply that total by 2 to get the annualized amount. Compare that amount to the table of new median family income amounts referred to above. If your “income” is no more than the median family income amount in the table for your family size, then you pass the “means test” the easiest way to pass it, and you qualify for Chapter 7. (You might still pass the “means test” if your “income” is higher than the applicable “median family income” amount, but it’s more challenging and risky.)

New Questions

But what if when you try to compare your “income” to the median family income for your state and your family size, you don’t know which state to use or which family size?

Which state’s median income amounts do you use if you’ve moved recently, or if you are married but maintain households in two states?

What’s your family size if you have children who didn’t live with you all year, or are living with you but partly support themselves?

And if you’re married but only one spouse is filing bankruptcy, how do you factor in the other spouse’s income and expenses?

We’ll address these questions in the next blog post.

 

The Military Exemptions from the Chapter 7 “Means Test”

March 18th, 2016 at 7:00 am

You qualify for Chapter 7 without having to pass the “means test” if you fit within these very specific military-related exemptions. 

 

Short Introduction to the “Means Test”

The “means test” determines whether you have enough income after your expenses to pay a meaningful amount back to your creditors. If you do, you don’t pass the “means test” and you don’t qualify for Chapter 7 “straight bankruptcy.”

But like many people who want to file a Chapter 7 case, you may easily pass this test simply by having low enough income. As long as your income is no more than the current published “median income” amounts for their state and family size (as being updated on April 1, 2016), you don’t have to consider the amount of your expenses—you automatically qualify for Chapter 7.

Even if your income is higher than the applicable “median” amount, you can often still pass the “means test” by having enough allowed expenses so that your disposable income is low enough.  And then even if you have too much disposable income you might still pass the “means test” by showing “special circumstances.”

The Advantage of Skipping the “Means Test”

But not everybody passes the “means test.” If not, their cases are either “dismissed” (thrown out) or changed into a Chapter 13 “adjustment of debts” case. A Chapter 13 case requires paying creditors as much as your budget allows for a period of 3 to 5 years. That’s in great contrast to a Chapter 7 case which usually “discharges” (legally writes off) most debts without any payment, and usually does so in about 4 months.

So it’s understandable why Chapter 7 can be a much better way to go than Chapter 13. And that’s why having a way to avoid the “means test” altogether could be very valuable.

Totally Avoiding the “Means Test”

There are two ways to avoid the “means test” related to military service: the disabled veteran and the active duty/homeland defense exemptions.

The Bankruptcy Code makes clear that under these exemptions you can completely avoid the “means test.” It states that “the [bankruptcy] court may not dismiss or convert [into Chapter 13] a case based on any form of means testing” if either of these exemptions apply. (See Section 707(b)(2)(D) of the Bankruptcy Code.)

The Disabled Veteran Exemption

You can avoid the “means test” if you are:

1) a “disabled veteran,” meaning:

a) you are entitled to veteran disability compensation by being least 30% disabled; or

b) you have been discharged from service, or released from active duty, because of “a disability incurred or aggravated in line of duty” (as defined in 38 U.S.C. Section 3741(1)), AND

2) Your “indebtedness occurred primarily during a period” in which you were either:

a) on “active duty,” meaning “full time duty in the active military service of the United States” (10 U.S.C. Section 101(d)(2)); or

b) “performing a homeland defense activity.” (See definition in 32 U.S.C. Section 901(1).)

On a practical level this second condition is a particularly tough one. If you incurred most of your debts BEFORE you went on active duty, but then became disabled during active duty and as a result couldn’t pay your debts and needed to file bankruptcy, this exception wouldn’t apply. Your “indebtedness” would not have “occurred primarily” during your active duty.

Or if you didn’t have much debt when you went on active duty, but became injured and disabled while on active duty and then incurred most of your debt AFTER being released from active duty because of your disability, this exception would not apply for the same reason.

On the other hand you may well not need the exemption in these situations because your income would likely be less than your state and family size’s “median income.” If so, you’d easily pass the “means test” and qualify for Chapter 7.

The Active Duty/Homeland Defense Exemption

This second exemption is somewhat broader. But careful because it has a quick deadline to qualify for it.

You may be exempt from the “means test” if at any time after September 11, 2001 you were (or still are) a member of the Armed Forces or the National Guard who served either in active duty or for the homeland defense for a period of at least 90 days.

Unlike the above disabled veteran exemption, it doesn’t matter when your debts occurred in relation to the time of your service.  

However to use this exemption you must file your Chapter 7 bankruptcy case either during your term of duty or within the period of 540 days (about a year and a half) after it ends.

Conclusion

The disabled veteran exemption is narrow because your indebtedness must have “occurred primarily during” your period of service. The active duty/homeland defense exemption is broader but you must file your Chapter 7 case during or within 540 days after completing your service.

Even if you don’t think you qualify for these exemptions, please remember that most people needing to file a Chapter 7 case can pass the “means test” and so don’t really need these exemptions from it.

 

The Business Debt Exemption from the Chapter 7 “Means Test”

March 16th, 2016 at 7:00 am

If your debts are not “primarily consumer debts” then you may be able to qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy much more easily.

 

Last week we had a blog post about an adjustment in the “means test” that is used for qualifying for Chapter 7 “straight bankruptcy. We mentioned that you’re exempt from needing to take and pass the “means test” under two circumstances:

  • if your debts are primarily business debts instead of consumer debts
  • if you fall into one of several military service categories

We’ll cover the first of these exemptions today, and the second one in our next blog post.

The Purpose of the Means Test

The “means test” is intended to not allow you to go through a Chapter 7 case if you have the “means” to pay a meaningful amount of money back to your creditors. If your income is more than the “median income” for your family size in your state, you are required to go through a complicated formula to see if you do have sufficient “means.” If you are considered to have the “means,” you are required to file a Chapter 13 case instead, paying all you can afford to your creditors for 3 to 5 years.

The “means test” was instituted as a major ingredient of the last major amendment of the federal Bankruptcy Code in 2005. That amendment was in large part motivated by Congress’ impression that consumers could discharge (legally write-off) their debts through Chapter 7 too easily. Some debtors were considered to be abusing the bankruptcy system, abuses that Congress believed needed to be reined in. In fact the amendment was called in part the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention…  Act.

Under the Bankruptcy Code prior to this Act the bankruptcy court was given a fair amount of discretion in allowing a debtor to pick between the available Chapters—the forms of relief. The law instructed the court that “[t]here shall be a presumption in favor of granting the relief requested by the debtor.” The 2005 amendment deleted this sentence and, among many other ways of toughening the law, added the “means test.”

The Purpose of the Business Debt Exemption from the Means Test

Most of the changes in the 2005 amendment were intended to affect individual consumers, not businesses and business owners. The “means test” in particular was not intended for present and former business owners. Apparently Congress did not want to discourage risk-taking among entrepreneurs, and left the door open wide for Chapter 7s by them.

The mechanism that Congress used to divide between consumers who had to take and pass the “means test” and business owners who did not is a 3-word phrase: “primarily consumer debts.” All those with “primarily consumer debts” have to take the “means test” to qualify for Chapter 7 relief. Those without “primarily consumer debts” do not have to take the “means test.”

Not “Primarily Consumer Debts”

If the total amount of all your consumer debts is less than the total amount of all your non-consumer (business) debts, your debts are not “primarily consumer debts.” If so, you can avoid the “means test.”

Section 101(8) of the Bankruptcy Code defines a “consumer debt” at as one “incurred by an individual primarily for a personal, family, or household purpose.”

But as you add up your consumer and non-consumer debts, realize that you may have more business debt than you think for two sets of reasons.

First, for purposes of this distinction in the law, debts that you might normally consider consumer debts may actually not be. For example, debts used to finance your business, even if otherwise straightforward consumer credit—credit cards, home equity lines of credit, and such—may qualify as non-consumer debt based on your business purpose of that credit.

Second, keep in mind that some of your business debts may be larger than you think. For example, If you surrendered a leased business premises or business equipment you would likely be liable not just for the missed lease payments owed at filing of the bankruptcy but also potentially for the string of future contractual payments, depreciation, and such.

These are all the more reason to confer with an attorney before assuming that you have “primarily consumer debt” and are stuck with needing to take and pass the means test. This makes sense given what is at stake if you don’t pass the means test–being required to pay on your debts for the next 3 to 5 years under Chapter 13 instead of discharging them in just a few months under Chapter 7. 

 

Larger Families More Likely to Qualify for Shorter Chapter 13 Cases

March 11th, 2016 at 8:00 am

Soon families of larger than 4 people can have a bit more income and qualify for a 3-year Chapter 13 payment plan instead of a 5-year one.

 

How could it be that larger families can have shorter Chapter 13 “adjustment of debts” cases?

The reason is that on April 1, 2016—as happens every 3 years—there will be a modest increase in the “median family income” calculation for “a debtor in a household exceeding 4 individuals.” This matters because whether your Chapter 13 case can last 3 years or instead must go for 5 years depends whether your “current monthly income” is more than the published “median family income” amounts for your size of family in your state.

If your “current monthly income” is not more than the published “median family income” then your Chapter 13 case is not required to go longer than 3 years. If it is more, then your case is required to go 5 years.

We explain the upcoming change in the rest of this blog post, and why it only affects “households exceeding 4 individuals.”

Two Different Adjustments Happen in Tandem

This can get confusing because there’s another much more frequent “median family income” adjustment besides the April 1 every-3-year adjustment just affecting households of larger than 4. The published “median family income” amounts affecting every state and ALL household sizes are adjusted much more often—usually about 2 or 3 times a year. As of this writing the most recent across the board adjustments of this type were made effective November 1, 2015 and May 15, 2015.

“Median Family Income” for Households Larger than 4

But these more regularly updated “median family income” amounts only directly refer to household sizes of from 1 to 4 individuals. For larger households, you add a stated dollar amount for each additional individual in the household to come up with the appropriate “median family income” for the household. This monthly additional dollar amount per additional household member was $525 when the law on this was passed in 2005, and has been increasing every 3 years since then. For the last 3 years this amount to add for each additional household member was $675. On April 1 this amount is increasing to $700 more for each additional household member.

On an annual basis, this in an increase in the “median family income” from $8,100 per additional individual ($675 times 12) to $8,400 per additional individual ($700 times 12).

How This Works

If the published annual “median family income” for a household of 4 is $60,000, then before April 1 that amount for a household of 5 would have been $68,100 (which is $60,000 + $8,100). As of April 1 that amount will be $68,300 ($60,000 +$8,300). A small increase. But if it makes the difference between paying a Chapter 13 plan for 3 years instead of 5 years, that could make a huge difference.

 

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