The means test in Chapter 7 bankruptcy only applies to higher income bankruptcy petitioners. According to bankruptcy law, this means test is only for those whose income is higher than the Florida median according to family size. The means test applies for filers whose debt is primarily consumer debt. If your debt is primarily “business” debt (as opposed to “consumer” debt) then you are allowed to file Chapter 7 case without regard to your current level of income. Additionally, disabled veterans who incurred their debt while serving their country are also exempt from the means test.
The means test is designed to cut down on abusive claims in Chapter 7 bankruptcy filings and make those who have incomes above the median level pay back the debt in a structured payment plan in Chapter 13. Of course, the banks and the credit card companies are in favor of this type of law and lobbied hard for its approval in Congress.
However, just for your consideration, there are benefits to filing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy if you qualify. In Chapter 7, there is no obligation to repay your debts and the whole matter will probably be completed in approximately four months. On the other hand, Unlike Chapter 7, Chapter 13 can stop a foreclosure and let you get caught up on the missing payments. Chapter 13 can allow you to keep some especially important items of property that you might lose in a Chapter 7.
After discussing your options with a qualified bankruptcy attorney, you may discover that a Chapter 7 filing would not suit your needs and that a Chapter 13 bankruptcy would be more appropriate. This is most especially true in cases where you are attempting to keep secured property like a home with a mortgage.
The best thing to do before making any decision about which type of bankruptcy filing to prepare is to talk to an experienced Florida bankruptcy lawyer who has handled these cases before.