Average Income for Bankruptcy Eligibility Test Drops

20 Oct Average Income for Bankruptcy Eligibility Test Drops

According to the United States Department of Justice, U.S. Trustee program, Americans make less money today than eight months ago.

In order for bankruptcy practitioners to determine whether a person or couple qualifies for Chapter 7, we look to the latest median income figures periodically published by the U.S. Trustee. Normally, and as anyone would expect, these figures, on average, go up every time they are published. However, this time, the numbers tell a sadly different story that the U.S. economy continues to contract.

I was startled to learn that my state, Florida, had experienced a nearly 3% decline in income since the last time the median income figures were published.So, I did an analysis of the entire country, and while Florida was harder hit than most, the average for the entire country had declined!

According to my statistical comparison of the median income figures for a single person, the national average has declined for the period of March 15, 2009 to November 1, 2009 by nearly a quarter of a percent:

Change in Median Income

I ranked the states in order from biggest gain in income to biggest loss in income. Not surprisingly, those states experiencing tremendous foreclosure rates are near the bottom of the list.

Florida and Nevada, both of which have been decimated by foreclosures, rank 42nd and 46th respectively. New Hampshire and Oregon report the worst decline, while Nebraska, Alaska and New Jersey round out the greatest increases in median income.

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Chip Parker is the managing partner of Parker & DuFresne, P.A., where he represents Northeast Florida businesses and consumers facing bankruptcy, and homeowners facing foreclosure. His firm files more homeowners in the Mortgage Modification Mediation Program than any other law firm in Northeast Florida. Parker is the recipient of Jacksonville Area Legal Aid's prestigious Award for Outstanding Pro Bono Service. Mr. Parker is an active member of the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys and National Association of Consumer Advocates.
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