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What is a Chapter 7 bankruptcy means test?

On Behalf of | Jan 5, 2022 | Bankruptcy, Chapter 7

Individuals who decide to declare chapter 7 bankruptcy likely have many questions, including those related to means testing. The United States Department of Justice notes that means testing for Chapter 7 differs from that of Chapter 13, as not all forms apply to all types of means-testing.

Those who wish to understand whether they qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy may first want to examine details of how to complete a means test and how it applies to a bankruptcy claim.

About means-testing

A means test is usually one of the first steps individuals must take for declaring bankruptcy. Generally, the test measures income versus debt and whether the individual or couple applying has enough assets to repay it or if the debt outweighs that ability and debt erasure under Chapter 7 bankruptcy is the best option. Those in debt can take a means test online after gathering some information about their wages and other assets.

Means testing forms

Individuals seeking to qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy can complete a means test by downloading and completing 122A forms available on the United States Courts Administrative Offices website. Those applying may want to gather certain information before they begin, including:

  • Monthly wage statements
  • Expense information
  • Bank statements

Debtors may also require other forms from the Internal Revenue Service and the Census Bureau, which the government makes available online.

Those who find difficulty with filling out means-testing forms can visit their local bankruptcy court office and ask a clerk for assistance. Debtors may want to complete these forms as soon as possible to prevent a delay in filing.