Qualifying For Chapter 7 and Protecting Assets now Easier

By David Kelly, Minnesota Bankruptcy Attorney

Easier Qualifying for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in Minnesota

The primary requirement for being able to file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy is to have your income below a certain level. Stated most simply, to qualify for Chapter 7 you want your income to be lower than the median income for your household size in your state. These levels are set by the Department of Justice, US Trustee’s Office; and new, higher numbers came out recently on April 1st. If your income is slightly above the median, there is a means test that you might be able to pass which would allow you to still file a Chapter 7. Doing the means test, however, can sometimes be an invitation to a close scrutiny of the case. Being below the median is best. Here are the April 2022 numbers and how much they just went up.

Minnesota Median Household Incomes April 2022

One person:    $  65,514 — Up $2,490

Two people:    $  86,358 — Up $3,875

Three people:  $ 106,445 — Up $4,776

Four people:   $ 125,753 — Up $5,533

Five people:   $ 135,653 — Up $6,543

Six people:    $ 145,553 — Up $7,443

More information at https://mn-bankruptcy.com/chapter7.html

Easier Protection for Your Stuff in Minnesota Chapter 7

As soon as you file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, the court appoints a trustee whose job it is to find assets that can be used to pay all or part of your debt. You really want the trustee to not be able to find any assets, or certainly not much for assets. The way to keep your assets away from the trustee is to claim them as exempt. What you can claim as exempt and how much is obviously very important. In Minnesota you have a choice between a state exemption list and a federal exemption list. In this post I am only talking about the federal list. The federal exemptions just went up in every category. Here are a few typical items and how much they went up. These are just a few examples. It is not anywhere near a complete list.

Some of the April 2022 Federal Exemption Increases

                 Now           Before         Increase

Household goods  $14,875       $13,400        $1,475

Car              $ 4,450       $ 4,000        $  450

Tools of Trade   $ 2,800       $ 2,685        $  175

Cash value of
Life Insurance   $14,875         $13,400      $1,475

Catch-all        $15,425         $13,900      $1,525

More information at https://mn-bankruptcy.com/exemptions.html

There is now word on the street that a round of increases to the Minnesota state exemption list is being contemplated for July 1, 2022. Watch my blog for news about that.

Filing Chapter 7 Easier After November 1st: MN Median Incomes Rise Despite Covid-19

Higher Median Income for MN

By David Kelly, Minnesota Bankruptcy Lawyer

Why Your Median Income is Important if you are Thinking of Bankruptcy

If your income is below the median for your household size in your state, you can file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy without having to take and pass the means test. I expected that with the Covid epidemic in progress the income numbers would be dropping substantially. At least for the state of Minnesota, this is not what has just happened. They actually went up. Quite a bit up in fact, as of November 1st 2020. This means that many people who may not have been able to file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy earlier will be able to do so now.

Twice a year the Department of Justice updates it’s official median income tables. Numbers are assigned on a state by state and a household size basis, supposedly based on figures from the Census Bureau. A new set of numbers is out for November 1, 2020. The numbers went up at a rate higher than usual. This is a happy surprise.

Are These Numbers For Real?

I can’t help but wonder if somebody is messing with the numbers. Frankly, they don’t look right to me based on what I have been seeing. But I should not be looking a gift horse in the mouth. This helps my clients. It will be a lot easier to file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Minnesota after November 1, 2020 than it was before. Another benefit is that if for some reason you need to file a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, having an income below median means that your payment plan can run only three years instead of the usual five years.

Here are the Minnesota median income numbers effective November 1, 2020:

One person:$  61,811 – an increase of $3,761 since April 2020
Two people:$ 81,478 – an increase of $3,776 since April 2020
Three people:$100,430 – an increase of $2,773 since April of 2020
Four people:$118,646 – an increase of $4,320 since April of 2020
Five people$127,646 – an increase of $4,320 since April of 2020
Six people: $136,646 – an increase of $4,320 since April of 2020
Add $9,000 for each individual in excess of 6

Call 952-544-6356 to Find Out How This Helps You

When it comes to eligibility for filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy, or for Chapter 13 if that’s what you need, things are looking up. Now is a good time to contact me for a free telephone consultation to discuss how this helps you.

This post is for general information purposes only and is not legal advice. It does not create an attorney-client relationship. Seek the advice of the attorney of your choice concerning the details of your case. I am a debt relief agency. I help people file for relief under the federal bankruptcy code.


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