Bankruptcy Law Questions? Ask a Bankruptcy Lawyer Now.
Hello: This is PhillipsEsq. I am a licensed Attorney and I will be assisting you today.
Could you explain a little more?
Have you spoken with your Attorney?Did you pass the Mean Test?Did you have excess income on Schedule I? That is, is your income on Schedule I much more than your expenses on Schedule J?
1. I gave all of my (and my husband's) financial information to my attorney. She said that I "barely qualified" for Chapter 7, but that I was still eligible.
2. I don't know. I have been unemployed for 2+ years. My husband works, but our bills & utilities stretch beyond what he earns.
3. According to the attorney, no.
Appreciate the response. After her review of my financials, if I did not pass the means test, how could my licensed attorney (Texas) submit Chapter 7 papers on my behalf?
The debt is completely in my name and I filed alone. My husband (of less than 2 years) is the lone earner in our household. I haven't worked in 2+ years, and have been suffering from fibromyalgia and PTSD. While he makes a satisfactory living, he makes just enough to pay our monthly expenses, but little else, and we're often overextended. What is our worst-case scenario after receiving this letter? What if I'm also not granted Chapter 13 relief? Will the courts decide that I need to pay all my creditors in full despite not having income of my own?
A: Frankly, I don't know. Most attorneys who routinely handle consumer bankruptcies, have software applications where the attorney's paralegal plugs in the debtor's financial info, and the system won't generate the petition and schedules unless the debtor passes the means test. If the forms were filled in by hand, then someone could have made a calculation error. That would be my bet.
The debt is completely in my name and I filed alone. My husband (of less than 2 years) is the lone earner in our household. I haven't worked in 2+ years, and have been suffering from fibromyalgia and PTSD. While he makes a satisfactory living, he makes just enough to pay our monthly expenses, but little else, and we're often overextended. What is our worst-case scenario after receiving this letter? What if I'm also not granted Chapter 13 relief?
A: Okay, so now we're getting somewhere. You probably have too much income for Chapter 7 because of your community property interest in your spouse's earnings, but not enough income for a Chapter 13 unless your spouse files a joint bankruptcy. Payments regularly made by the nonfiling spouse for household expenses must be included in the debtor's “current monthly income.”
The trustee has probably determined that your spouse is paying all the bills, and so that's all your income, which disqualifies you for Chapter 7 -- but at the same time, it's probably not enough for Chapter 13, because it does not represent all of your disposable household income.
Will the courts decide that I need to pay all my creditors in full despite not having income of my own?
A: See above. You need to talk to your spouse about filing a joint Chapter 13 bankruptcy petition. Otherwise, I think you may be dismissed completely from the bankruptcy, because you won't be able to qualify for a Chapter 13.
Hope this helps.
Thank you so very much. Your information makes a lot more sense than my attorney's advising. I will speak to her on Monday, but right now I'm very concerned. My husband absolutely cannot file jointly because he is in the process of repairing his credit from a previous marital disaster.Even though he still has credit card debt, his credit is what we use to rent a place to live, appliances, utilities, etc. Therefore, If I do not qualify for chapters 7 or 13 alone, and my case is dismissed by the trustee, how do I go about settling with all of my creditors directly?
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