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You may be considering a Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Florida due to a financial hardship. The purpose of this article is to explain the process to qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy means test in Florida and to estimate whether you are able to qualify for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Let’s get started.

The Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in Florida requires qualification. There are two ways that you can qualify by passing what is known as the bankruptcy means test:

  1. You can qualify immediately by showing that the current household income is below the Florida median income for your family size. 
  2. You can qualify by going through the means test calculation and showing that you will pay back nothing or very little in a chapter 13 bankruptcy.

We are going to spend the most time going through the first option, but the Florida means test calculator runs through both options for you.

Step 1: Calculating Your Average Income

There are two forms that are important for Chapter 7 qualification. There’s the Chapter 7 Statement of Your Current Monthly Income and the Chapter 7 Means Test Calculation. You don’t need to memorize these as we will break down everything you need to know.

On the Statement of Current Monthly Income, you’ll notice that the form requests the average monthly income that you received from all sources during the 6 full months before filing the bankruptcy case. To assist you, we created a simple 6 month average income calculator below:

Step 2: Compare Your Income to Florida Chapter 7 Income Limits

There are Florida Chapter 7 income limits that are revised every six months that determine whether your household income is less than the Florida median income. This table is called the Census Bureau Median Family Income By Family Size. The most current table as of November 1, 2020 can be found below. 

In order to qualify, check the average household income by taking the average of your household monthly income from the past six calendar months. Once you determine the average monthly income, you need to annualize that number by multiplying by 12. Compare that annualized monthly income to the Florida median income below.  Please note that you would add $9,000 for each member in your household above 9. 

# of PeopleAnnual Income

Step 3: Estimate Using Florida Mean Test Calculator

There are other nuances to consider such as whether you are married or whether you have additional, non-regular income that would be considered in your average income.

Our more precise Florida Chapter 7 calculator takes into consideration these variables in addition to comparing a Chapter 7 using the Chapter 7 Statement of Your Current Monthly Income to different options such as Chapter 13 and Debt Settlement. The calculator below provides a rough version of whether you qualify for a Chapter 7:

Let’s Say Income is Above Florida Mean Test 

Let’s say that your income is above the Florida Chapter 7 income limit. Now what? That does not necessarily rule you out of a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. 

The second way is to qualify by going through the means test calculation to determine whether you can afford to pay a portion of your unsecured debts through Chapter 13 bankruptcy. If you are unable to afford to pay a portion of your unsecured debts, you may still qualify for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

You may want to speak with an experienced bankruptcy attorney if you are having trouble passing the means test. How do you find an experienced, reputable attorney? Check out blog article titled, “5 things we look for in a bankruptcy attorney” or drop us a message and we can let you know who we work with for a free consultation in your area.

Post Author: Ben Tejes

Ben Tejes is a co-founder and CEO of Ascend Finance. Before Ascend, Ben held various executive roles at personal finance companies. Ben specializes in Chapter 13 Bankruptcy, Debt Settlement, Chapter 7 Bankruptcy and debt payoff methods. In his free time, Ben enjoys spending time going on adventures with his wife and three young daughters.

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