In a Chapter 7 filing, some of your property might be seized to satisfy creditors, but many possessions are exempt. Your home in New YorkState can't be seized so long as your equity does not exceed $50,000 if you're single or $100,000 if you're married and both you and your spouse own it.
Chapter 13, known as the wage earner's bankruptcy, is designed for people able to repay their debts over time (3 to 5 years). It's an option for those who want to keep property that a debtor is behind on paying that might be seized by creditors in a Chapter 7 filing (ie home or car, etc.).
A debtor who is below the median income, which is currently $47,790 for a household size of 1 in New York State, does not need to take the means test. A debtor who is married or has kids will have a larger household and the median income threshold is higher. For example, currently in New York State the median income for a family of 2 is just over $59,000. So a single parent whose income is below $59,000 will not be required to take the means test.
Current monthly income is defined to be the average income over the last six months before filing for bankruptcy. If a debtor is above the median income deductions can be used to pass the means test.
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