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Bankruptcy Means Test

There are many steps to bankruptcy that a person must go through to file. The means test is one of those many steps. But what is a means test? What does it do? How does a person fill a means test out? Questions such as these are answered below by the Experts.

What is a means test?

A means test is used to determine if a family or an individual is able to receive assistance for the government.

Is a means test used in all types of bankruptcy?

Chapter 7 bankruptcy is the only type of bankruptcy that a means test is applicable. For a person to file chapter 7 bankruptcy they must first pass the means test. The test compares a persons’ family income with that of the median income of a family that is the same size and lives in the same state. If a persons’ income is above the median level then they must also pass an additional test that will compare their disposable income and their unsecured debts

Should pre-tax company contributions to a retirement plan be included in income on the means test?

When filling out a means test retirement contributions may or may not be included. If the contributions are mandatory then a person may include them. If the contributions are not mandatory then a person may not include them on the means test. If it is the company that is making the contributions to the retirement plan then a person need not list it on the means test.

Will a person need receipts for proof of expenses put on means test?

In most cases receipts are not needed for proof of expenses that are put on a means test. However in chapter 7 bankruptcy the trustee has the authority to request receipts for expenses that were filled out on the means test. In most cases the request for receipts is not made randomly, and is usually on requested when the trustee feels that the expense on the means test is too high. When a request is made for receipts the time frame for needed receipts is usually six months to a year. This request is usually in the form of a letter requesting that the person who has filed out the means test bring the receipts in question to the Meeting of Creditors.

When filing out the means test is military retirement considered part of income?

If a person is filling out the means test and comes to the income portion, and they receive military retirement, they should include the military retirement in the income section of the means test. The only things that are not considered income on the means test are social security disability, VA disability income, or retirement income.

The path to bankruptcy is filled with many obstacles and many forms. The means test is just one of the steps and forms that need to be filled out on that path. Logically people have many questions regarding the things that go in a means test.
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