Not knowing all the details, I am still inclined to agree with what the attorney you met with told you.
The attorney said you would probably have to file Chapter 13
and that you would live "comfortably." This is probably true with a $75,000 gross income. Basically, according to the Means Test
, a household of two people in Texas has to make $55,859 gross income or LESS to qualify for Chapter 7
, and since you make more, you will likely be required to file Chapter 13 (see the U.S. Trustee
website showing how much gross income a family can make by State, HERE
Basically the Means Test is a formula; your income is plugged in, then your taxes, insurance, medical expenses, etc, and the IRS
standards for living expenses are plugged in, and at the end it tells you how much you have to pay to the Bankruptcy Court
each month for 60 months. At the end of the 60 months, you are out of debt even if you payments only equaled a small percentage of your total debt. The question is not how much you owe, but how much you can afford to pay back. The Means Test is supposed to generate a payment amount low enough to let you still make all your monthly bills, though it is still usually higher than people expect (but better than not filing bankruptcy at all).
Since your wife is facing back surgery, it is a good idea for her get that out of the way, THEN file bankruptcy. If you file bankruptcy BEFORE the surgery, and she gets stuck with $100,000 of new medical bills from the surgery, those bills CANNOT be discharged in your bankruptcy since the bills were incurred after your case was filed. So, you "save the silver bullet," meaning you wait until all the medical bills are incurred, THEN file bankruptcy so you can discharge them.
Hope this helps. Any other questions please let me know!
JoeLEGAL NOTICE: I am only licensed to practice law in certain state(s) and I cannot give legal advice to someone who does not reside in a state in which I am licensed, nor shall anything I say in the above answer or elsewhere on this site be deemed legal advice, even to someone who resides in a state in which I am licensed. Fees I receive for answering questions are paid for information, not for legal advice. This forum is designed to provide general information only, and information herein is not warranted to be correct or applicable in any way since laws may have been misinterpreted herein, since laws change from time to time, and since the impact of those laws on any particular situation varies. The information presented in this site shall not be construed to be formal legal advice nor the formation of an attorney-client relationship. Persons accessing this response are encouraged to seek independent legal counsel in their jurisdiction for guidance regarding their individual circumstances. Do not take any action or inaction based on information presented herein since it is informational and may not be accurate or applicable to you; it merely attempts to give you a basis of knowledge to help you formulate questions to ask a legal or other professional in a face-to-face meeting in your jurisdiction. Joseph Ross does not hold himself out to be a specialist or expert in any area, regardless of assertions made by any third party, and any implication of being an expert or specialist herein is made in error. I hope the information presented above is useful to you. Answer above is (c) Joseph Ross. All rights reserved.