Coping with the financial and personal hardships that come with debt can pose significant struggles for families and businesses alike. While these hardships put pressure on the lives of those involved, filing for bankruptcy is an option for Minnesota residents and business owners when the financial stress of debt becomes overwhelming. The process of declaring and filing for bankruptcy, however, can add even more difficulties to those struggling with debt. At Behm Law Group, Ltd., we are dedicated to providing expert legal advice and assistance for those considering filing for bankruptcy in Mankato, MN.
In October of 2005, a law was passed that requires any individuals declaring bankruptcy to go through credit counseling during the 180 days prior to filing. However, before the filing process can begin, the filer in question has to take the first step and see if one actually qualifies for chapter 7 bankruptcy relief. One can qualify for chapter 7 bankruptcy relief by satisfying the “means test” of 11 U.S.C. §707(b).
2005 Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005 (BAPCPA) Means Test
The means test is designed to determine if an individual qualifies for filing for chapter 7 bankruptcy. The potential filer must provide pay advices, pay stubs and any other evidence of income generation for the past six months for a bankruptcy attorney to analyze and then compare with the median Minnesota income or state average income for a household of similar size to the household of the person seeking to file for chapter 7 bankruptcy relief. If the analysis proves that the filer’s income is less than the median, the filer can begin the filing process for Chapter 7. If the filer’s income is found to be greater than the median income for a household of that filer’s size in Minnesota, the filer must choose to file Chapter 13 bankruptcy.
To officially begin filing, paperwork detailing debts, income, living expenses, property, major transactions, and tax returns must be gathered and provided to a bankruptcy attorney. With our help, gathering this paperwork won’t be as daunting as it may seem.
The BAPCPA Means Test is in place to start those considering bankruptcy on the path that will best suit their financial situation. For more information about declaring bankruptcy in Mankato, MN, contact Behm Law Group, Ltd. at (507) 387-7200.