The Means Test, which is a kind of gate-keeper for a Bankruptcy filing, is dependant on Census figures to determine what is the median income for the Debtor’s household size in the Debtor’s home State. Although the determination of whether or not a Debtor is over or under median income is just the first determination made in the Means Test, it can be a very significant one.
The Census Department has just released new data to determine what is median income for the different States. Obviously, they vary from State to State and the amount of change varies as well; but for Oklahoma the median income for most household sizes looks like it has gone up about $3,000 a year. This is good news for debtors who are close to median income but need a little help to get under that bar. (Do not believe anyone who tells you that being over median income means you cannot file a Chapter 7. All being over median means is that you have to complete the rest of the Means Test. Passing the Means Test and eligibility for a Chapter 7 filing has far more to do with what you spend your money on and what kinds of debt you have then it does on how much money you make.)
These numbers have not yet been blessed by the U.S. Trustee’s office. They may well argue that they are not yet available for Bankruptcy use. Also, my Bankruptcy Software hasn’t added the new numbers in yet. Regardless, if I had someone who needed a couple hundred a month to be under the Median income level — I’d use these numbers now.