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?
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.