The Bankruptcy Means Test

Bankruptcy Attorney in Sunset Hills, MO

Filing bankruptcy is a procedure under the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act (the “BIA”) designed to provide financial relief to individuals, corporations, partnerships, and certain trusts with overwhelming debt loads, by stopping the legal actions of creditors (also known as a stay of proceedings). This stay of proceedings against creditors is in place to prevent one creditor from gaining an unfair advantage over another.


When it is determined that the debtor’s operations are not viable or cannot be restructured to provide greater value to the stakeholders, or when all other options have been exhausted, bankruptcy is deemed a viable option.


At Doyel Law, we are seasoned Sunset Hills, Missouri-based bankruptcy attorneys who take prompt legal action. Please schedule a free consultation for more information. We are accessible around-the-clock to discuss your legal options.

Why do I need a Bankruptcy Attorney in Missouri?

Bankruptcy Means Test If you are contemplating filing for bankruptcy, you may wonder if it is worthwhile to hire a bankruptcy attorney or if you should just take your chances and handle it on your own. It may be very difficult to understand the bankruptcy code and bankruptcy laws. In order to demonstrate why it is ultimately the best course of action, we have outlined four reasons why you should not hesitate to hire a lawyer to handle your case and help you in the bankruptcy process.

  1. Bankruptcy attorneys can provide protection against creditors and collection agencies. Your attorney can contact your creditors to stop annoying collection calls during bankruptcies, saving you time and allowing you to focus on regaining your financial independence.
  2. Bankruptcy attorneys can assist you in staying on top of your paperwork. Filing for bankruptcy involves a substantial amount of paperwork that, if not completed correctly, can significantly complicate the filing process. You will also need to gather a variety of supplementary materials to accompany your applications. A lawyer can keep you on track with everything required for your application and provide legal counsel, which a document preparer cannot.
  3. Bankruptcy attorneys offer their knowledge and experience. Without a comprehensive understanding of bankruptcy law, it may be difficult to navigate the process on your own may be difficult. A lawyer can advise you on the best way to respond to a judge’s questions and will assist you with all necessary preparations using their legal expertise. They can help you avoid costly errors, such as failing to disclose an asset or property, which could result in its loss.
  4. Bankruptcy attorneys provide security and protection from uncertainty. When you entrust your case to an expert, you will experience less anxiety because you will know that it is proceeding as planned. A lawyer can advise you on how to proceed and provide you with regular updates on the status of your case.

Hiring a competent, experienced bankruptcy attorney in Sunset Hills, Missouri to handle your case could save you money in the long run. In the legal realm, errors can be extremely costly, as they can affect your time, finances, and even your case. With so much at stake, it is unwise to undertake bankruptcy proceedings without the counsel of someone who has extensive experience with them.

As far as a bankruptcy means test is concerned, it is only required when filing for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

What is Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?

Chapter 7 bankruptcy is a form of bankruptcy that can discharge various unsecured debts. This form of bankruptcy is also known as a straight bankruptcy or liquidation bankruptcy. If you are far behind on your bills and do not have the means to afford monthly payments and living expenses, filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy may be your only option to help you reset your finances and get back on your feet financially. On the other hand, you might be required to part with some of your possessions, which will have a significant and long-lasting adverse effect on your creditworthiness.


To be eligible to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, one of the requirements you will need to fulfill is to be able to pass what is referred to as a “bankruptcy means test.”

What is a Bankruptcy Means Test?

The bankruptcy Means Test is a method used to evaluate who in Missouri can apply for Chapter 7 bankruptcy and have their debts discharged. The Chapter 7 Means Test considers your income, spending, and family size to establish your eligibility for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. The Means Test assesses whether or not your monthly income is below the Missouri median income for a family of your size. If your salary is greater than Missouri’s median income and you do not immediately qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you will need to complete the second part of the Means test, which examines your disposable income after monthly costs. If you continue to be ineligible, you may consider filing a Chapter 13 bankruptcy instead.


The greater your disposable income, the less probable you will qualify for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. The Bankruptcy Court will presume that any remaining cash should be used to repay your creditors if you have surplus funds. Passing the Means Test doesn’t mean you should file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. In addition to reviewing Schedules I and J, the court will compare your income to your spending. The Bankruptcy Court may order you to transfer your Chapter 7 case to a Chapter 13 proceeding if you have a substantial amount of monthly disposable income.

What Happens If I Fail the Missouri Means Test?

If you do not pass the Chapter 7 Means Test, you may wish to double-check the numbers you provided to ensure they were entered correctly. In some instances, even a minor error can throw off the calculation. Additionally, you may be able to determine your eligibility in a few months. Since the Means Test averages your income over the past six months, if your income changes dramatically, you may qualify in the future. For instance, if you earned $120,000 a month for the past five months but lost your job last month, you may be eligible if you wait to file. If you have exhausted all other options, you may consider filing Chapter 13 bankruptcy.


If you fear you “fail” the Chapter 7 Means Test, you may wish to consult a bankruptcy attorney from Doyel Law. Our bankruptcy attorneys can verify your information to ensure that it was entered accurately.

Our Sunset Hills Bankruptcy Attorney Makes it Easy for You

We understand that meeting with an attorney can be stressful. Our Doyel Law bankruptcy attorney strives to make everything as smooth and easy as possible. When you contact us at Doyel Law, you enter a judgment-free zone. 


If you have questions about bankruptcy, bankruptcy means test or if you would like to check if you are eligible for one in Missouri, don’t hesitate to give us a call. From your first call to our office to the very end of your case we are here to solve your problems without judgment or blame.


With the current health risk associated with COVID all appointments are via telephone or video conference.


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