What is the Bankruptcy Means Test in Illinois?

3,725 families have filed bankruptcy using Upsolve. Learn More.

Written by Attorney Karra Kingston.  
Updated July 28, 2019

To qualify a Chapter 7 bankruptcy in the Land of Lincoln, you have to pass the bankruptcy Means Test in Illinois. In 2005, when Congress revised the Bankruptcy Code, they implemented the Chapter 7 Means Test to stop people who can afford to pay their debts from filing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy.It determines who is eligible to file for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. The Means Test has two parts. First, you can qualify for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy based on the income limits set for Illinois. If you earn less than the median household income for a family of the same size in Illinois, you pass the Chapter 7 Means Test. If your income is above the allowable amount, you have to go through the second part of the Chapter 7 bankruptcy Means Test in Illinois, which looks at your disposable income after your monthly expenses. If, after going through the full calculation, you have no (or very little) disposable income remaining, you can file your Illinois bankruptcycase as a Chapter 7 case. 

Illinois Median Income Levels

Illinois Median Income Standards for Means Test for Cases Filed On or After May 1, 2020
Household SizeMonthly IncomeAnnual Income
1$4,573.08$54,877.00
2$6,049.42$72,593.00
3$6,979.92$83,759.00
4$8,589.50$103,074.00
5$9,339.50$112,074.00
6$10,089.50$121,074.00
7$10,839.50$130,074.00
8$11,589.50$139,074.00
9$12,339.50$148,074.00
10$13,089.50$157,074.00

Discharge in Bankruptcy for Illinois 

When you file your Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you want to get a discharge. A discharge means you can walk away from all of your debts without having to pay them. To successfully get an Illinois bankruptcy discharge, you need to be honest and make sure all of your assets are listed on your bankruptcy forms. In order to complete an Illinois bankruptcy, you will have to attend a Meeting of Creditors with a Trustee who will go over everything you disclosed in your forms. If all of the required steps have been completed, you will receive the notice that your debts have been discharged approximately 60 days after your Meeting of Creditors. A discharge is not the same as the Court closing your bankruptcy case. Your bankruptcy case will most likely be closed a short time after your discharge is entered. An Illinois bankruptcy discharge is not guaranteed in every case. Bankruptcy Courts can deny a discharge for many reasons, including errors in the debtor’s bankruptcy Means Test in Illinois. It’s important that you qualify under the Chapter 7 Means Test, so you receive your Illinois bankruptcy discharge without any complications.  

↑ Back to top
Fresh Start Diaries
"I'm going to be honest with you, pre-bankruptcy my credit score went down to a 543. My score today is a 720. With the help of Upsolve, I feel free again. I have the ability to build myself into something new."
I filed with Upsolve. Read my story →

Illinois Means Test Calculator

To determine if you qualify for a to file your Illinois bankruptcy as a Chapter 7 case, you should use the Illinois Means Test calculator. If you do an online search, you will see many online Means Test calculators. A lot of these calculators are not kept current, which can be a problem when trying to qualify. At Upsolve our Illinois Means Test calculators are always kept current to the day, every day. Means test numbers change periodically, so it’s important to make sure you are using one that has the right figures. Upsolve can help you with the bankruptcy Means Test in Illinois. Upsolve is a nonprofit organization that can help you complete every step of the Illinois bankruptcy process for free to make sure your debts are discharged. 

↑ Back to top

What Happens If I Fail The Means Test for Illinois

If you don’t pass the bankruptcy Means Test in Illinois, take a moment to make sure you didn’t make any mistakes while calculating your income. Even a slight mistake can throw off your calculations. You should go over all of your monthly expenses to make sure you didn’t miss anything. It’s important to be exact when calculating your monthly expenses so that your figures are precise. If you find there are no errors after reviewing everything, you may want to consider whether your situation may change in the near future. The bankruptcy Means Test in Illinois averages your last six months of income to determine if you qualify for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. If your income recently decreased, it may be better to wait to file. For example, if you work a seasonal position you may want to wait until after your busy season to file. Another consideration to keep in mind is whether your family size will change in the near future. For example, if you are expecting, you may want to wait until your family grows so that you may qualify for a Chapter 7 case due to a larger family size and the resulting increase in expenses. It’s important to note that these are a few examples of changes that can occur but there are many others to look into. If your income and family size are not about to change, you should consider meeting with a bankruptcy lawyer. A bankruptcy lawyer can help you go over the Chapter 7 Means Test to make sure that you didn’t miss anything. Many bankruptcy lawyers give free consultations which can be beneficial and also give you the chance to learn more about filing your Illinois bankruptcy as a Chapter 13 instead. 

↑ Back to top
About the author

It's easy to get help

Choose one of the options below to get assistance with your bankruptcy:

Free Web App

Take our bankruptcy screener to see if you're a fit for Upsolve's free web app!

Take Screener
3725 families have filed with Upsolve! ☆
OR

Private Attorney

Get a free bankruptcy evaluation from an independent law firm.

Find Attorney
2504 people found attorneys this month

Upsolve is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that started in 2016. Our mission is to help low-income families who cannot afford lawyers file bankruptcy for free, using an online web app. Spun out of Harvard Law School, our team includes lawyers, engineers, and judges. We have world-class funders that include the U.S. government, former Google CEO Eric Schmidt, and leading foundations. It's one of the greatest civil rights injustices of our time that low-income families can’t access their basic rights when they can’t afford to pay for help. Combining direct services and advocacy, we’re fighting this injustice.

To learn more, read why we started Upsolve in 2016, our reviews from past users, and our press coverage from places like the New York Times and Wall Street Journal.

Close

Considering Bankruptcy?

Try our 100% free tool that thousands of low-income families across the country have used to file bankruptcy themselves. We are funded by Harvard University, will never ask you for a credit card, and you can stop at any time.

Get Your Fresh Start