Bankrupcty Protection In Connecticut


Since enactment of the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005 (BAPCPA), there has been an income-based eligibility test for Chapter 7. However, it is an unfounded myth that if you have a regular source of income you cannot qualify.

At Lawrence & Jurkiewicz, LLC, we will tell you how your eligibility for Chapter 7 will be determined. First, your annualized gross income from all sources is compared to the median income for the state in which you reside, for a household of your size. Your annualized income is your gross income for the six-month period ending on the last day of the month prior to the month in which you will file your bankruptcy petition. This is called the look-back period. If your annualized gross income, based on the look-back period, is at or below the median income for your state, you are eligible for Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

But, if you are over the median, that is not necessarily the end of the inquiry. The next step is the means test. The means test is designed to estimate how much money you will have available to repay creditors, after applying a combination of your actual expenses and standardized expenses. Like a long form tax return, the means test is somewhat complicated. If your projected disposable income for the next five years is low enough, then you are eligible to file Chapter 7, even though you may be over the median.

Even people with relatively high earnings can file Chapter 7 bankruptcy, depending on their individual circumstances. I am a lawyer who has successfully worked through the means test with many clients to establish their Chapter 7 eligibility, when their prospects appeared, at first glance, to be borderline. In the means test, high amounts of debt can work to your advantage.

Because your bankruptcy is a completely voluntary process, we may be able to time your filing to establish eligibility. For example, if you are ending a period of unemployment and your income will be increasing, it may be best to file quickly, before your increased income is included in the look-back period.

If you cannot pass the means test, you still have bankruptcy options. Congress intended the new eligibility requirements to be a test of whether it is possible to make a meaningful payment to creditors under Chapter 13. So, Chapter 13 will still be an option. In Chapter 13 the means test functions somewhat differently than in Chapter 7. In Chapter 13 the means test determines the minimum amount you must pay your unsecured creditors, and the minimum duration of the plan (three or five years).

If a Chapter 13 is necessary because you are not eligible to file under Chapter 7, we will work through the means test to obtain the most favorable payment options possible in your Chapter 13 case.

Contact Lawyer Edward P. Jurkiewicz Today

If you would like to learn more about our firm, please contact our office. We offer a free initial consultation to discuss your situation. With offices in Hartford, Avon and Torrington, we represent clients throughout Connecticut, including the Greater Hartford metropolitan area, and the Farmington Valley and Litchfield County areas.

Hartford area bankruptcy attorney and divorce lawyer Edward P. Jurkiewicz has over 20 years of experience representing clients. Our firm represents debtors and creditors and handles both relatively simple divorces and bankruptcies and more complex litigation matters. With this depth of experience, our firm is able to anticipate and prepare for any potential issues that could arise in your bankruptcy, divorce or family matter.

CONTACT US TODAY AT 860-299-6263