Two times every year the U.S. Department of Justice releases figures that show the median family income for individuals in every state in the country. These numbers are intended for more than mere curiosity, they are the basis for calculating whether a person is eligible to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
What does income have to do with anything?
The way the Bankruptcy Code has been written says that if a person’s income exceeds the median income for your state (taking into account things like family size), that creditors can fight your ability to receive Chapter 7 protection. If your income exceeds these benchmarks, then creditors can file motions asking that the bankruptcy court dismiss your case. Though the decision ultimately lies with the judge, any person whose income exceeds the median for his or her state has a presumption under Part A of the Means Test that you do not qualify for Chapter 7.
How does the Means Test work?
Part A of the Means Test says that if your average monthly income is less than the median family income in your state, then you are presumed to qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection. However, Part B says that even if your income exceeds the median for your state hope is not lost. Under Part B other expenses such as school costs, health insurance, recurring charitable donations and other fixed expenses can be deducted from your income, potentially allowing you to qualify for Chapter 7.
So what are the numbers for North Carolina?
According to the latest DOJ figures, as of May 1, 2013, the median family income for North Carolina is as follows:
Family size 1: $40,710 per year;
Family size 2: $51,812 per year;
Family size 3: $56,339 per year;
Family size 4: $64,983 per year.
If your family is larger than four people, the DOJ says you simply add an additional $7,500 per year for each additional member.
If you find yourself needing the services of a Charlotte, North Carolina bankruptcy attorney, please call the skilled lawyers at Arnold & Smith, PLLC today at (704) 370-2828. As professionals who are experienced in the bankruptcy arena, our attorneys will provide you with the best advice for your particular situation.
“Census Bureau Median Family Income By Family Size,” published at Justice.gov.
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