Filing fees for all chapters are rising in just a month and a half. The fee for a chapter 7 case will increase from $306 to $335, and the fee for a chapter 13 case will increase from $281 to $310. Here is a list of the changes to the bankruptcy filing fees.
Beginning April 1, 2014, less than 6 months since the last the means test numbers were revised, we now have new means test numbers. For Californians, if your annual income falls below the following numbers, then you automatically qualify for chapter 7 bankruptcy:
Family of 1: $48,498 ($4041.50 per month)
Family of 2: $62,917 ($5243.08 per month)
Family of 3: $67,594 ($5632.83 per month)
Family of 4: $76,211 ($6350.91 per month)
For each additional family member, add $8100 per year ($675 per month).
As I explain here, if your income falls above these numbers, then it’s possible that you’ll still qualify for chapter 7, after deducting certain monthly expenses.
If you don’t live in California, then you can find the updated means test numbers for your state here.
I get this question a LOT. People either ask me this question, or they say, “I have a car, but I don’t want to include that in the bankruptcy.” This is my response:
Yes, Your Car Is Listed In Your Bankruptcy Schedules
Okay, first: your car must be disclosed in your bankruptcy case. Particularly, it must be listed in Schedule B, where all of your personal property is disclosed. Nothing is left out. So yes, you must “include” your vehicle in the bankruptcy. Continue reading
Blogger Kevin Drum wrote a very interesting article in Mother Jones yesterday about the findings of a study on the effect of health care reform in Massachusetts on bankruptcy and personal debt. Unsurprisingly, the study’s findings lead the authors to conclude that “the reform significantly improved credit scores, reduced the total amount past due, reduced the fraction of debt past due, and reduced the probability of personal bankruptcy.” Massachusetts has benefitted from their health care reform laws much longer than Obamacare, so hopefully, the reduced bankruptcies and personal debt in Massachusetts forecasts similar results nationwide.