How Do I Calculate My Household Size When I File Bankruptcy?

05 Nov How Do I Calculate My Household Size When I File Bankruptcy?

Your household size can be a critical factor in determining whether you can file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy case or how much you need to pay in a Chapter 13 case.  Household size is the starting point in figuring out if you are above or below the median income for your state.  The larger the household size, the higher the median income.  In New York State, the median incomes are as follows:           

            Household of 1……$42,896

            Household of 2……$51,994

            Household of 3……$62,815

            Household of 4……$74,501

In a typical family, you include yourself, your spouse and the children you could claim under the IRS dependency test.  But often there are unique situations which raise questions as to the allowable household size.  Bankruptcy Courts have recently ruled on some of these cases as follows:

1)      A Louisiana Court held that a debtor can not claim an unborn child as a household member.

2)      A Colorado Court held that a family could not include a child above the age of majority where the parents do not contribute to his living or educational expenses.

3)      A South Carolina Court held that a family could not include the daughter of a close family friend and her fiancé who lived with them.

4)      An Ohio Court held that the debtors’ adult daughter and her 3 children were household members because the debtors provided support for them.

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Peter Orville is a bankruptcy lawyer in Binghamton, located in the Southern Tier of New York. He is a member and New York co-chair of the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys.
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