Upcoming Changes to the Means Test Figures

Once again, the means test figures for median income are changing as of November 1, 2011. In New York, it means that the amount of income that the debtor can have before being forced into a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy is going to decrease.

Through October 31, 2011, a single debtor in New York could have $46,295 in income in income and still be able to file Chapter 7 Bankruptcy.  Starting November 1, 2011, that figure is decreasing to $45,931.  Similar decreases will take place for all family sizes. The comparison of the existing and new income limits is below.

Old Income Limits


1 EARNER         2 PEOPLE              3 PEOPLE              4 PEOPLE *

$46,295               $57,777                    $68,396                  $83,942

New Income Limits


1 EARNER         2 PEOPLE                3 PEOPLE             4 PEOPLE *

$45,931               $56,113                    $66,953                  $81,212

* Add $7,500 for each individual in excess of 4.

While the decreases are not large, they are going to make it more difficult for some individuals and families to qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

The figures used for the each state’s median income are based on United States Census data, and adopted by the Office of the United States Trustee.  Usually, these figures are adjusted based upon the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for All Urban Consumers once or twice per year.

When the economy is growing, typically income rises because of the cost of living increases, inflation and other reasons. When the economy is not growing, income actually decreased from the prior year. As a result, the means test is adjusted and lower median income figures are used which make it more difficult for debtors to qualify for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy.

If you are contemplating filing Chapter 7 Bankruptcy or Chapter 13 Bankruptcy, or are dealing with debt problems in Western New York, including Rochester, New York, Canandaigua, Brighton, Pittsford, Penfield, Perinton, Fairport, Webster, Victor, Farmington, Greece, Gates, Hilton, Parma, Brockport, Spencerport, LeRoy, Chili, Churchville, Monroe County, Ontario County, Wayne County, Orleans County, Livingston County, and being harassed by bill collectors, and would like to know more about how bankruptcy may be able to help you, contact me today by phone or email to schedule a FREE initial consultation with a Rochester, NY, bankruptcy lawyer.