Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Forms
Chapter 7 – Liquidation
You must file Chapter 7 Statement of Your Current Monthly Income (Official Form122A–1) if you are an individual filing for bankruptcy under chapter 7. This form will determine your current monthly income and compare whether your income is more than the median income for households of the same size in your state. If your income is not above the median, there is no presumption of abuse and you will not have to fill out the second form.
If you and your spouse are filing together, you and your spouse may file a single Form 122A-1. However, if an exemption on Form122A-1Supp applies to only one of you, separate forms may be required. 11 U.S.C. § 707(b)(2)(C).
If your completed Form 122A-1 shows income above the median, you must file the second form, Chapter 7 Means Test Calculation (Official Form 122A –2). The calculations on this form—sometimes called the Means Test— reduce your income by living expenses and payment of certain debts, resulting in an amount available to pay other debts. If this amount is high enough, it will give rise to a presumption of abuse. A presumption of abuse does not mean you are actually trying to abuse the bankruptcy system. Rather, the presumption simply means that you are presumed to have enough income that you should not be granted relief under chapter 7. You may overcome the presumption by showing special circumstances that reduce your income or increase your expenses. If you cannot obtain relief under chapter 7, you may be eligible to continue under another chapter of the Bankruptcy Code and pay creditors over a period of time.
Chapter 7 Means Test Calculation B 122A-2
Chapter 7 is for individuals who have financial difficulty preventing them from paying their debts and who are willing to allow their non-exempt property to be used to pay their creditors. The primary purpose of filing under chapter 7 is to have your debts discharged. The bankruptcy discharge relieves you after bankruptcy from having to pay many of your pre-bankruptcy debts. Exceptions exist for particular debts, and liens on property may still be enforced after discharge. For example, a creditor may have the right to foreclose a home mortgage or repossess an automobile.
However, if the court finds that you have committed certain kinds of improper conduct described in the Bankruptcy Code, the court may deny your discharge.
You should know that even if you file chapter 7 and you receive a discharge, some debts are not discharged under the law. Therefore, you may still be responsible to pay:
– most taxes;
– most student loans;
– domestic support and property settlement obligations;
– most fines, penalties, forfeitures, and criminal restitution obligations; and
– certain debts that are not listed in your bankruptcy papers.
You may also be required to pay debts arising from:
– fraud or theft;
– fraud or defalcation while acting in breach of fiduciary capacity;
– intentional injuries that you inflicted; and
– death or personal injury caused by operating a motor vehicle, vessel, or aircraft while intoxicated from alcohol or drugs.
If your debts are primarily consumer debts, the court can dismiss your chapter 7 case if it finds that you have enough income to repay creditors a certain amount. You must file Chapter 7 Statement of Your Current Monthly Income (Official Form 122A–1) if you are an individual filing for bankruptcy under chapter 7. This form will determine your current monthly income and compare whether your income is more than the median income that applies in your state.
If your income is not above the median for your state, you will not have to complete the other chapter 7 form, the Chapter 7 Means Test Calculation (Official Form 122A–2).
If your income is above the median for your state, you must file a second form —the Chapter 7 Means Test Calculation (Official Form 122A–2). The calculations on the form— sometimes called the Means Test—deduct from your income living expenses and payments on certain debts to determine any amount available to pay unsecured creditors. If
your income is more than the median income for your state of residence and family size, depending on the results of the Means Test, the U.S. trustee, bankruptcy administrator, or creditors can file a motion to dismiss your case under § 707(b) of the Bankruptcy Code. If a motion is filed, the court will decide if your case should be dismissed. To avoid dismissal, you may choose to proceed under another chapter of the Bankruptcy Code.
If you are an individual filing for chapter 7 bankruptcy, the trustee may sell your property to pay your debts, subject to your right to exempt the property or a portion of the proceeds from the sale of the property. The property, and the proceeds from property that your bankruptcy trustee sells or liquidates that you are entitled to, is called exempt property. Exemptions may enable you to keep your home, a car, clothing, and household items or to receive some of the proceeds if the property is sold.
Exemptions are not automatic. To exempt property, you must list it on Schedule C: The Property You Claim as Exempt (Official Form 106C). If you do not list the property, the trustee may sell it and pay all of the proceeds to your creditors.