How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask Maverick Your Own Question

Maverick, Attorney
Category: Bankruptcy Law
Satisfied Customers: 3432
Experience:  Bankruptcy Law With An Accounting Degree - 13 + years as civil lawyer
Type Your Bankruptcy Law Question Here...
Maverick is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I was told by my lawyer that the trustee would object to a

Customer Question

I was told by my lawyer that the trustee would object to a home that I bought on land contract because it was worth $300k. My lawyer told me to keep my housing costs under $2000/month and I did. The lawyer said if I used the same monthly payment to rent, it would not be an issue. I put $10k down. I was told that the Judge and trustee would not think it was fair for me to be able to buy this house because it might be nicer than theirs. I was also told I could not include my childs school tuition in the means test for the same reasons(fairness). I gave up a much more expensive house and car. I had a significant drop in income. She said the court would not tell me to move out of the new house but they would make the repayment plan very high to punish me. I was told I do not look like a repentant debtor. I have no problem repaying my debts under 13, I just want the repayment plan based on what the means test actually allows. Nothing more and nothing less.
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Bankruptcy Law
Expert:  Maverick replied 5 years ago.
Can you please state what question you would like for us to assist you with. Also please let us know what state you reside in and if you have already filed a BK or are you trying to decide if you should.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Is the information I am getting from my lawyer correct? It seems that the means test is a suggestion and the trustee and judge get to decide on what they feel is right. I live in Indiana.
Expert:  Maverick replied 5 years ago.

The means test is a test by which the court determines if you are eligible to file a chapter 7 BK. Since there was a lot of abuse of people filing the chapeter 7, now the court employs the means test to see if you can even qualify for the chapter 7. In laymen's terms, the means test will likely prevent people who live an above average lifestyle from filing a chapter 7 and force them to pay creditors back by adopting a chapter 13 plan which will in turn force them to live a more ordinary life style until the chapter 13 plan is completed.


To apply the means test, the courts will look at the debtor's average income for the 6 months prior to filing and compare it to the median income for that state. For example, the median annual income for a single wage-earner in California is $42,012. If the income is below the median, then Chapter 7 remains open as an option. If the income exceeds the median, the remaining parts of the means test will be applied.


This is where it gets a little bit trickier. The next step in the calculation takes income less living expenses (excluding payments on the debts included in the bankruptcy), and multiplies that figure times 60. This represents the amount of income available over a 5-year period for repayment of the debt obligations.

If the income available for debt repayment over that 5-year period is $10,000 or more, then Chapter 13 will be required. In other words, anyone earning above the state median, and with at least $166.67 per month of available income, will automatically be denied Chapter 7.


So for example, if the court determines that you have $200 per month income above living expenses, $200 times 60 is $12,000. Since $12,000 is above $10,000, you're stuck with Chapter 13.



Please click ACCEPT so I can get credit for my work. We can continue our conversation after this at no additional charge.


Maverick, Attorney
Category: Bankruptcy Law
Satisfied Customers: 3432
Experience: Bankruptcy Law With An Accounting Degree - 13 + years as civil lawyer
Maverick and 2 other Bankruptcy Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Has it been your experience that the trustee wiill object and not allow the full standards on the means test? How much discretion does the trustee and judge have in determining your repayment? I thought the means test calculations determined it.
Expert:  Maverick replied 5 years ago.
No the means test is only a preliminary inquiry as to whether you can get a chapter 7 discharge or whehter you have to do a debt repayment plan under chapter 13. Your repayment plan has to be approved by the judge, the trusteem and most importantly the creditors. Mainly, what they are looking for after the 2005 changes in the BK laws is to see that the creditors aren't getting pennies on the dollar while you are living a lavish life style. The 2005 laws were enacted to prevent bankrutcy abuse.

JustAnswer in the News:

Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.

What Customers are Saying:

  • Mr. Kaplun clearly had an exceptional understanding of the issue and was able to explain it concisely. I would recommend JustAnswer to anyone. Great service that lives up to its promises! Gary B. Edmond, OK
< Last | Next >
  • Mr. Kaplun clearly had an exceptional understanding of the issue and was able to explain it concisely. I would recommend JustAnswer to anyone. Great service that lives up to its promises! Gary B. Edmond, OK
  • My Expert was fast and seemed to have the answer to my taser question at the tips of her fingers. Communication was excellent. I left feeling confident in her answer. Eric Redwood City, CA
  • I am very pleased with JustAnswer as a place to go for divorce or criminal law knowledge and insight. Michael Wichita, KS
  • PaulMJD helped me with questions I had regarding an urgent legal matter. His answers were excellent. Three H. Houston, TX
  • Anne was extremely helpful. Her information put me in the right direction for action that kept me legal, possible saving me a ton of money in the future. Thank you again, Anne!! Elaine Atlanta, GA
  • It worked great. I had the facts and I presented them to my ex-landlord and she folded and returned my deposit. The 50 bucks I spent with you solved my problem. Tony Apopka, FL
  • Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help. Mary C. Freshfield, Liverpool, UK

Meet The Experts:

  • FiveStarLaw


    Satisfied Customers:

    Bankruptcy Lawyer. Experienced.
< Last | Next >
  • FiveStarLaw's Avatar



    Satisfied Customers:

    Bankruptcy Lawyer. Experienced.
  • Terry L.'s Avatar

    Terry L.


    Satisfied Customers:

    Better Business Bur 15yrs bankruptcy experience. Chicago Bar
  • Phillips Esq.'s Avatar

    Phillips Esq.


    Satisfied Customers:

    B.A.; M.B.A.; J.D.
  • cortrightlaw's Avatar



    Satisfied Customers:

    Attorney practicing Bankruptcy Law including Chapter 7, Chapter 11, Chapter 12, and Chapter 13.
  • JoeLawyer's Avatar



    Satisfied Customers:

    Attorney in the practice of Bankruptcy Law since 1996
  • dylatess's Avatar



    Satisfied Customers:

    35 plus years of experience specializing in bankruptcy law
  • Brent Blanchard's Avatar

    Brent Blanchard

    Bankruptcy Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    Twelve years experience in all aspects of debtor & creditor BK.

Related Bankruptcy Law Questions