Consumer Protection Law
Consumer Protection Law Questions? Ask a Lawyer Now.
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.
DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.
The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).