Any New Jersey resident filing bankruptcy must go through a process called "means testing" in order to qualify for a chapter 7 or determine possible minimum payments in a chapter 13 plan. If your gross household income is under the median for your household size, you will have a much easier time of it. Unfortunately, starting on November 1, 2012, the median income figures are going down!
Another sign of the bad economy, median incomes for New Jersey residents have trended down, thus lowering the bar for possible disqualification for a chapter 7. What does this mean to you? Well, just take a look at the changes in terms of dollars for the various household sizes.
- One person: $62,226 to $59,906
- Two people: $69,634 to $68,284
- Three people: $87,576 to $83,292
- Four people: $105, 175 to $101,682
- Five people: $112,675 to $109,182
Even if you are still over the median for gross income, though, you may still be able to file for chapter 7 if your expenses under means testing show that you would not have enough money to pay your creditors after your bills have been paid. The bottom line, though, is that if you are anywhere near the current median income figures, you should seriously consider filing this month.
If you are thinking about bankruptcy but are worried that you might not "qualify" for a chapter 7, call my office at 856-432-4113 or contact me through this site for a free consultation to discuss your options.