How You Can Be High Income — Even When You’re Not

The centerpiece of the 2005 Bankruptcy reform act is something called the Means Test.   It is a bit of an accounting nightmare, but it really doesn’t limit access to the Bankruptcy courts very often. It just chews up time and money.  The great thing about the means test is that you only have to complete the whole thing if you are over median income.   Congress chose to define high income filers as those who make more than the median income for their household and family size in their home State.

That means that if 50.1% of the households of your size in your State make less than you do, you are a high income filer for purposes of the Means Test.  Except, if  you are high income, why are you considering Bankruptcy?

Consider this little fact that I just found in  a news story about recent Congressional action concerning school lunches.  In Oklahoma 66% of all school children qualified for free or reduced price school lunches.  That is right, 2/3 of all school children in Oklahoma come from households so poor that they qualify for subsidized lunches.  Kind of shifts the parameters on high income a bit.


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