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I am filing chapter 7 bankruptcy. The process requires pay stubs from the last 6 months. If I total the last 6 months, the total is a few thousand over the state salary, disqualifying me from chapter 7. However, I no longer work at this job. I started a new job this week and the total yearly salary will be less than the state average. I am confused on how I can file and qualify for chapter 7!
Response: You need to delay the filing. Since the income used to calculate the Means Test is a rolling figure, you would be able to file the case in two to three months when only four months or three months of your income from your previous job would be used. This means that if you are filing for bankruptcy protection this month, August 2013, the income that would be used to calculate the Means Test is your income from February 2013 to July 2013. If you are filing next month, September 2013, the income that would be used in the Means Test calculation would be the income from March 2013 to August 2013, etc.
If your income is still high, then you may consider waiting for four to five months before filing. You should be able to qualify at that time. Timing is everything in bankruptcy. You do not want to file prematurely because that could be quite costly: your case could be dismissed for one thing for failure to meet the Means Test. So, at this time, if your income is too high, you have to wait to file the petition. There is no way around it if you want your bankruptcy filing to be successful.