10 Oct New Median Income and Means Test Numbers Go Into Effect on October 15, 2007
The United States Trustee’s office has released new median income numbers and new means test expense numbers that will apply in cases filed on or after October 15, 2007.
The new median family income numbers are here.
The new means test expense numbers are here.
Based on past updates, these new numbers will be valid until approximately February 12, 2008.
At first glance, it appears that the median family income numbers have not increased as much, percentage wise, as they have in the past. There are even some median family income numbers that have declined – for example the median family income for a family of two in Georgia actually went down in the new tables.
Higher median family income numbers mean an easier time qualifying for Chapter 7. If your household income falls below the median, you do not have to worry about the means test at all.
Minimal changes to the median income tables are not the only issue on the minds of bankruptcy lawyers. As my colleague Jed Berliner wrote in a prior post on this blog, the IRS has added some new expense categories as of October 1, 2007, but the U.S. Trustee doesn’t plan to give bankruptcy filers the benefit of these new expense categories until January 1, 2008.
Along these same lines, I have seen instances where some bankruptcy judges are allowing debtors to claim a means test ownership expense in the case of a paid for vehicle, while other judges will not allow such an expense deduction.
All of these issue may prove to be fertile ground for bankruptcy court arguments and ultimately, litigation.
Jonathan Ginsberg, Esq.
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