Wisconsin Bankruptcy Means Test and Income Limit 2024

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. We are not attorneys and cannot provide financial advice. However, we hope this information will assist you in making a more informed decision about bankruptcy and other debt management options. If you want to speak with a bankruptcy attorney in your area, you can schedule a free consultation with us, and we will connect you.
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.

In this article, we will outline the requirements of Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Wisconsin and offer calculators to help you determine your eligibility. We will also present the pros and cons of each method and suggest alternatives to bankruptcy. Here are some initial points to consider:

  • You may qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Wisconsin if your current household income is lower than the median income for your family in the state.
  • Even if your household income exceeds the median, you may still qualify if you have deductible expenses. Our bankruptcy means test calculator can assist you in estimating your eligibility in this scenario.

Below, you'll find the Wisconsin bankruptcy means test calculator, which estimates your qualification based on the most up-to-date data for 2023-2024.

Wisconsin Bankruptcy Means Test Calculator

As mentioned earlier, this calculator aims to estimate your eligibility. Additionally, it provides an estimate of the cost of filing for bankruptcy in Wisconsin with legal assistance. Click below to begin!

Chapter 7 Means Test Explanation

To provide context for the calculator above, let's explain how the means test functions within the realm of bankruptcy. It is an income assessment wherein your average monthly income is multiplied by twelve to determine your annual income. This figure is then compared to the median income in Wisconsin to ascertain your eligibility for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Here are some additional details:

  • The means test evaluates your entire household income, even if your spouse is not filing with you (unless there is legal separation).
  • You'll need to input the average monthly income from all sources over the six months preceding your bankruptcy filing. Sum up the income for these six months and divide it by six to determine your average yearly income.
  • Avoid duplicating income entries. For instance, if you and your spouse share ownership of a rental property, record the income from that property in a single column.

Wisconsin Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Income Limit

Below are the median income limits for various household sizes in Wisconsin state. To qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, your household income should ideally fall below the following figures:

# of PeopleAnnual Income
1$63,492
2$79,090
3$97,477
4$117,725
5$127,625
6$137,525
7$147,425
8$157,325
9$167,225

Household greater than 9: Add $9,900 for each additional family member

What Is Considered Income?

We've covered the bankruptcy means test and various income thresholds up to this point. Let's delve into what constitutes "income" and identify any exceptions. Below is a list of all the types of income that will be considered in the bankruptcy above means test:

  1. Salaried income: The amount you get paid each month
  2. Spousal income: Your spouse's income is subject to challenge if you're in a joint case or aren't officially separated
  3. Hourly and overtime pay: You can deduct any overtime you work
  4. Net Rental Income: Any money you make from renting out real estate is included
  5. Wisconsin government income: Your state payments are included on this list if you get any
  6. Alimony and child support
  7. Royalties, Interest, and Dividends: funds from investments and entrepreneurial ventures
  8. Retirement and Pension Income
  9. Net business income: The money you make from your firm is included if you are the owner and operator
  10. Payments for annuities
  11. Compensation for unemployment
  12. Benefits from Worker's Compensation

What Is Considered In Household Size?

Another question that often arises concerns how household size is established. In bankruptcy proceedings, household size encompasses all individuals financially linked within a single residence. This includes immediate family members, dependents, and individuals who rely on and contribute to the household's resources.

Wisconsin Above Median Bankruptcy Means Test Calculator

If you've used the bankruptcy means test calculator and discovered that you don't qualify, or if your household income exceeds the median as outlined in our summary above, there's still a chance for you to qualify. In this scenario, you'll need to utilize other means test forms. The first form is known as the "Statement of Exemption from Presumption of Abuse Under §707(b)(2)," which determines if you're exempt from the presumption of abuse. The second form is the "Chapter 7 Means Test Calculation," which allows you to subtract your allowable monthly expenses from your current monthly income (CMI) to determine your disposable income. These expenses encompass a combination of national and Wisconsin expenses.

Moreover, if your disposable income falls below a certain threshold, you may still be eligible for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. We've developed a Wisconsin above-median bankruptcy means test calculator to simplify the process. This tool utilizes both forms to help you ascertain your allowable expenses and estimate your eligibility for Chapter 7. Click below to begin!

Allowable deductible expenses

While discussing deductible expenses, we'd like to highlight what these might entail. These are the actual expenses that can be deducted on the second part of the bankruptcy means test, such as mandatory employment deductions (like union dues, retirement plans, and uniforms), health and disability insurance premiums, income taxes, child care expenses, term life insurance premiums, secured debt payments for your car and home, alimony and child support payments, and charitable contributions.

Additionally, you can deduct other expenses for exceptional circumstances. The allowable amounts for these expenses vary based on the number of individuals in your household. You can refer to the current national standards to determine the maximum amounts. These expenses encompass housekeeping supplies, clothing, food, personal care services and products, housing and utility expenses, transportation expenses, and out-of-pocket healthcare expenses.

If you have any further questions or require additional guidance, contacting a local bankruptcy attorney in Wisconsin can sometimes be helpful. They can offer you a free evaluation and assist you in navigating through this process.

What Happens If You Fail the Bankruptcy Means Test?

If you don't pass the bankruptcy means test, exploring alternative options to manage your debt may be beneficial. One option is filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, which enables you to establish a repayment plan to settle your debts over three to five years.

Additionally, alternatives such as debt settlement, debt management, or debt payoff planning could assist you in regaining control of your financial situation. We've provided brief overviews of each option below.

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

A Chapter 13 bankruptcy in Wisconsin is known as a wage earner's plan. This entails repaying a portion of your unsecured debts through a structured payment plan. The advantages include the potential retention of your assets, no income qualification requirement as long as you adhere to the debt limits, and a shorter appearance on your credit report, typically seven years instead of the standard 10. Payment plan lengths can vary but usually span 36 to 60 months.

Debt Settlement

Debt settlement is when you or a company negotiate with your creditors to reduce the amount of debt you owe. These programs usually come with a payment plan that lasts anywhere from 12 to 60 months. However, it's essential to remember that not all debt settlement companies are created equal. Some can charge you more than 25% of the debt you enroll in their program.

If you want to understand the intricacies of debt settlement programs, you can check out the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau. They have all the up-to-date information you'll need.

Debt Management

Debt management, also known as credit counseling by some, involves a company negotiating with your creditors to lower the interest rates on your debt. These companies typically focus on credit card debts and may not assist with unsecured personal loans. Once enrolled, you make regular payments to the debt management company, and they distribute the funds to your creditors on your behalf. This payment plan usually spans between 36 and 60 months.

If you're burdened with high-interest credit card debt, this option could reduce your interest rates by approximately 10% to 20%. This facilitates faster debt repayment and could save you between 30% and 50% of your current debt. Ultimately, evaluating your circumstances and choosing the financial option that aligns best with your needs is essential.

Summary

While navigating Wisconsin's Chapter 7 bankruptcy means test and income limit may initially seem daunting, it can sometimes be a helpful step toward attaining financial relief. Despite its complexity, many opt for Chapter 7 due to its cost-effectiveness compared to other debt relief methods. The means test evaluates your household's income against Wisconsin's income limit, considering various exclusions.

If your income exceeds the threshold, don't lose hope. Eligibility for Chapter 7 bankruptcy also considers your expenses and deductions. Carefully assess these aspects of the means test to avoid mistakenly deeming yourself ineligible. Additionally, our calculator can provide a more precise assessment of your potential qualification.

There are alternative options, such as debt management, debt settlement, or Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Regardless of the means test outcome, each option presents distinct factors and potential solutions, ensuring there's always a path forward.

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