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A.J.
A.J., Attorney
Category: Bankruptcy Law
Satisfied Customers: 4300
Experience:  Experienced consumer bankruptcy attorney.
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I live in California (a community property state) and I want

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I live in California (a community property state) and I want to discharge my credit card debts in a Chapter 7. I wonder why the BK Form is asking for my wife's income... is this to determine whether or not I income qualify, or for the pro-ration calculation or what? I make $2800/month and my wife makes $4000/month. She is not interested in declaring bankruptcy.

SavyLawyer :

Hello, and thank you for contacting Just Answer.

SavyLawyer :

Yes, the bankruptcy code requires that family income be considered to determine whether you qualify under the income/means test for chapter 7, regardless of whether or not both spouses are filing for bankruptcy. It does not matter whether or not you live in a community property state, the bankruptcy code is federal law, and debtors petitioning for a discharge under chapter 7 of the bankruptcy code all have to provide this information.

SavyLawyer :

So, yes, unfortunately, you are required to report a spouse's income as part of the income test for chapter 7, even if they are not filing. If you do not report the spouse's income, your chapter 7 trustee (Appointed by the court to ask questions about the petition among other responsibilities) will certainly ask about it, and failing to report such income can cause the case to be dismissed at best, XXXXX XXXXX to sanctions at worst.

SavyLawyer :

While one spouse can file for bankruptcy without involving the other spouse in the petition, the income/means test that qualifies an individual for use of chapter 7 of the bankruptcy code is family (both spouse's) income.

SavyLawyer :

Remember that even if you are over the income limit for your family size, there is still a way to qualify for chapter 7 under the means test, but it is significantly more complicated. As such, the most prudent course of action is to consult, in person, with a bankruptcy attorney before going ahead with a bankruptcy.

SavyLawyer :

If you do not already have an attorney, a referral to an attorney near you can be gained from the California State Bar Association at:

SavyLawyer :

http://www.calbar.ca.gov/Public/LawyerReferralServicesLRS.aspx

SavyLawyer :

I hope this information helps clarify the issue for you, but please do not hesitate to ask if you require further information or clarification.

SavyLawyer :

If you do not have any further questions or have received a complete answer (whether or not it was the answer you were hoping for), Please RATE my answer by clicking the THREE STARS/POSITIVE FACES OR BETTER so that we can get good feedback for working with you. Also remember, sometimes the law does not support what we want it to support, but that is not the fault of the person answering the question, so please be courteous.

SavyLawyer :

Are you still there? Let me know if you have any further questions. Otherwise, please remember to RATE my answer AT LEAST 3 out fo 5, so that I can receive credit for my work.

Customer:

Cool, thanks!

SavyLawyer :

You are welcome, and let me know if you have any further questions. Otherwise, please remember to RATE my answer AT LEAST 3 out fo 5, so that I can receive credit for my work.

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