The means test was added by BAPCPA in 2005 to make it more difficult for some consumers to file Chapter 7 Bankruptcy. Those people with an ability to repay the debts must file a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy instead.
Most individual debtors filing for bankruptcy relief are required to complete the forms used to complete the means test formula. The Court uses the means test to determine whether you can afford payments to your creditors.
If your total household income is less than the average income in your state, you have passed the means test and are eligible to file a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy.
If your total household income is more than the average income in your state in your state, then we must complete the means test formula. The means test allows us to subtract deductions and expenses from your gross income to determine your disposable monthly income. This is the amount that must be committed each month to repay your creditors.
Some of the deductions are determined by the Debtor’s personal budget such as income tax, health insurance, child care, charitable contributions, etc.
Some of the deductions are determined by using the standard IRS allowance such as living expenses, vehicle expenses, etc.