Ohio Chapter 7 Means Test Calculator: Estimate Qualification and Cost

You may be considering bankruptcy in Ohio but are curious about the ins and outs of passing the Chapter 7 means test. I am going to cover that and more.
Information in this article does not constitute legal advice, it is for informational purposes only, and may not constitute the most up-to-date information. Readers should contact their attorney for advice on any particular legal matter.

There are two ways you can potentially qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Ohio:

  1. Your current household income is lower than the median income for your family in Ohio. You can use an Ohio bankruptcy means test calculator to estimate if you potentially qualify. Just keep in mind that some incomes are excluded from the means test.
  2. You may have some deductible expenses if your household income exceeds the median income. Use the Ohio above median bankruptcy means test calculator to estimate your chances.

The Ohio bankruptcy means test calculators are super helpful tools that will give you a good idea of whether you potentially qualify or not. Plus, they're updated with the latest data for 2023 - 2024.

Ohio Bankruptcy Means Test Calculator

If you want to file bankruptcy in Ohio, the means test calculator below may be helpful.

This is based on the Chapter 7 Statement of Your Monthly Income form. It also estimates how much it'll cost to file bankruptcy in Ohio with an attorney.

Chapter 7 Means Test Explanation

The means test will look at your income and see how it compares to others in your state (figures from the Census Bureau). They want to know your average monthly income and then annualize it to determine your average annual income.

You fill in your average monthly income from all sources during the six months before you file for bankruptcy. For example, if you're pointing to September 15, they will look at your income from March 1 through August 31. And if your income was fluctuating during those six months, add it up and divide by six. Make sure you don't include the same income more than once. If you and your spouse own the same rental property, just put the income from that property in one column.

If you're finding that your income fluctuates, you may be able to take the average monthly gross income for your household over the last six months and put that value over 12 months. That way, you can compare that value to the income threshold for your state and household size.

Let's discuss Ohio's bankruptcy means test calculation for bankruptcy cases filed in 2023.

Ohio Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Income Limit

First, let's discuss Ohio's Chapter 7 bankruptcy income limit. These figures change every six months or so, so you should be able to use the free Chapter 7 calculator, which has the most up-to-date data.

If you're filing for bankruptcy in Ohio on or after November 1, 2023, you'll want to pay close attention to these income thresholds. They're here to help determine whether you may qualify for bankruptcy relief. Keep in mind that you will want to be at or below these figures depending on household size:

# of PeopleAnnual Income
1$59,181
2$74,739
3$91,160
4$108,950
5$118,850
6$128,750
7$138,650
8$148,550
9$158,450

You should be able to add $9,900 for each additional member if you have more than nine family members.

What Is Considered Income?

Let's look at what is considered income when filing for bankruptcy. Not all income counts when it comes to this test. For instance, disability and social security income may not have to be included in the bankruptcy means test. In Ohio, a few more types of income are exempt from the test.

But now, let's focus on the income that does count in the Ohio bankruptcy means test. The test includes any income regularly paid by someone other than the debtor to cover household expenses. It's a broad definition, so let's look at some of the income types that fall under this umbrella:

  1. Salaried income
  2. Spousal income applies if you're filing jointly or not legally separated.
  3. Hourly and overtime income
  4. 1099 Income
  5. Net Rental Income
  6. Ohio government income
  7. Child support and Alimony
  8. Dividend, Interest, and Royalties: Money from stocks, investments, etc.
  9. Pension and Retirement Income
  10. Net business income
  11. Annuity payments
  12. Unemployment compensation
  13. Worker's Compensation Benefits

Now that we've covered income let's take a quick look at how household size is calculated.

What Is Considered In Household Size?

Another question that often pops up is how household size is determined. For example, your roommate might not be considered part of your household size. However, your children, who you claim as dependents on your taxes, would usually be included.

Things can get tricky if you have children away at college or are engaged but not yet married. Different bankruptcy jurisdictions in Ohio might have rules about who can be counted in your household size.

Ohio Above Median Bankruptcy Means Test

Don't worry if your income exceeds the means test annual income; you might still be eligible for Chapter 7 bankruptcy based on a couple of means test forms.

The first one is called the "Statement of Exemption from Presumption of Abuse Under §707(b)(2)". It's a way to prove you're not trying to take advantage of the bankruptcy system. The second form is the "Chapter 7 Means Test Calculation". This allows you to deduct your allowable monthly expenses from your current income. By doing this, you can determine your disposable income, the money you have left after paying your expenses.

Remember that the expenses used in the means test are a mix of national and Ohio costs. So, it's essential to consider that when calculating your disposable income.

Disposable income is the money you have left over after paying all your expenses. And here's the good news: if your disposable income is below a certain amount, you might still qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

To hopefully make things easier for you, we have an Ohio above-median bankruptcy means test calculator below. It uses both forms we discussed earlier to help you determine your allowable expenses and estimate your eligibility for Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

Allowable deductible expenses

If you're going through the bankruptcy means test, you might wonder what expenses you can deduct.

  • You may be able to deduct certain mandatory employment expenses like union dues, retirement plans, and even uniforms.
  • Health and disability insurance premiums
  • Income taxes
  • Child care expenses
  • Term life insurance premiums
  • If you're making payments on your car or home
  • Alimony and child support payments
  • Charitable contributions

You might be able to deduct other expenses, depending on your circumstances. These deductions are limited and vary based on the number of people in your household. The maximum amounts allowed for these expenses are in the current national standards.

These expenses include housekeeping supplies, clothing, food, personal care services and products, housing and utility expenses, transportation expenses, and out-of-pocket healthcare expenses.

If you still have questions or need further guidance, it may be helpful to take the Ohio Means Test calculator and speak with a local bankruptcy attorney. They can provide a free evaluation and help you navigate through this process.

What Happens If You Fail the Bankruptcy Means Test?

You still have options if you do not pass the means test.

One alternative you can explore is filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy in Ohio. This type of bankruptcy allows you to create a repayment plan to settle your debts over a specific period.

Another option worth considering is looking into bankruptcy alternatives. These alternatives, like debt settlement, debt management, or debt payoff planning, offer different approaches to help you get back on track with your finances.

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

A Chapter 13 bankruptcy in Ohio is what they call a wage earner's plan. It's a way to pay back a portion of your unsecured debts through a payment plan. The good news is that you can typically keep your assets if you don't exceed the debt limits. And here's another perk: it only stays on your credit report for seven years instead of 10 years. Now, the length of the payment plan can vary. It could take you 36 or 60 months to complete it. Your payment plan might be shorter if you're in a 100% Chapter 13.

Some individuals prefer Chapter 13 over Chapter 7 bankruptcy if they have more equity than what's allowed under the Ohio bankruptcy exemption; Chapter 13 might be the way to go.

Debt Settlement

Debt settlement is when you or a company negotiate with your creditors to lower the amount of debt you owe. They forgive some of what you should pay back. For example, if you owe around $50,000, a debt settlement company can try to negotiate to bring that down to just $25,000.

Debt settlement usually comes with a payment plan that lasts anywhere from 12 to 60 months. Remember that not all debt settlement companies are the same. Some charge 25% (or higher) of your enrolled debt, which can add up to a lot throughout the program.

If you want to make sure you're making the right choice, you can check out the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau's up-to-date info on debt settlement programs. Or you can always reach out to us for more details. Debt settlement companies can typically serve nationwide, so don't worry about finding one locally.

Debt Management

Debt management, or credit counseling as some call it, is a plan to negotiate lower interest rates on your debt. Imagine owing money with a 22% interest rate. These companies can negotiate and lower that interest rate to a much more manageable 9%. They are experts at dealing with credit cards. However, they may not be able to help with unsecured personal loans. Debt management is a payment plan lasting anywhere from 36 to 60 months. It's designed to fit your unique financial situation and help you get out of debt. The debt management firms are also typically national, meaning you don't have to search for one in your area.

Summary

Understanding the bankruptcy means test and income limit in Ohio for Chapter 7 bankruptcy qualification can be a bit overwhelming. Many people go for Chapter 7 bankruptcy because it's often cheaper than other ways to get rid of debt.

Now, let's break down the basics of how the Chapter 7 bankruptcy means test and income limit work in Ohio:

  1. The first part compares your household income to the Ohio income limit. They consider certain incomes as included and excluded.
  2. Don't lose hope if your household makes more than the income limit! You might still qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Ohio based on your expenses and deductions.
  3. If you don't pass the bankruptcy means test, don't fret. Other options include Chapter 13 bankruptcy, debt settlement, and debt management.

I hope this article has shed some light on the subject. If you want to estimate your Chapter 7 qualification, go ahead and use the Ohio bankruptcy means test calculator below.

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