Written by Attorney Karra Kingston.
Updated August 17, 2020
A Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Montana can help you leave your debts in the past. To file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you must complete the bankruptcy Means Test in Montana. The Chapter 7 Means Test was created by Congress in 2005 because it was believed that many people were abusing the bankruptcy system by filing Chapter 7 even though they could pay their debts. The Chapter 7Means Test was enacted as the solution, to ensure that people filing for Chapter 7 truly are not able to afford to pay back their debt. There are two ways to pass the Means Test. First, you can do so by looking solely at your income; if your current monthly income is lower than the Montana median income for your family size, then you qualify immediately. If you don’t immediately qualify, don’t forget that this means that you are better off than half of the people in Montana because you make too much money to pass the Chapter 7 Means Test on the first go. In that case, you can then go through the second part of the Means Test calculation, where you can deduct your monthly expenses from your income. If you have very little or no disposable income at the end of the month to pay to your creditors, you will still qualify to file your Montana bankruptcy as a Chapter 7 case.
Montana Median Income Levels
Montana Median Income Standards for Means Test for Cases Filed On or After May 1, 2021
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Discharge in Bankruptcy for Montana
The outcome you desire in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy is to receive your discharge order. The discharge is order is when you can finally put all of the debt in the past and enjoy your fresh start. Once you receive your Montana bankruptcy discharge you can begin the process of rebuilding your credit. It’s important to keep the discharge order with your important paperwork just in case you have to show proof to any creditors in the future. Also remember that there are some types of debts that are non-dischargeable , which do survive the bankruptcy process. The discharge in your Montana bankruptcy will usually come about 60 days after your Meeting of Creditors. If you have filed all of your paperwork, completed all the necessary tasks, and the Trustee concluded your Meeting of Creditors, you should only have to wait out the remaining time to get your discharge. As you go through your Montana bankruptcy, keep in mind that a discharge is not an absolute right and the Bankruptcy Court can deny your discharge for many reasons. Upsolve can help you through your Chapter 7 bankruptcy to help ensure you are on the right path to receiving your
Montana Means Test Calculator
A Means Test calculator is a fast way to see if you qualify for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Montana. A Means Test calculator can determine if you make too much money or have too much disposable income left over. If you go online and search for a Means Test Calculator many will appear. It is important that you use one that is specific for your state as each city and state uses its own figures. You will also need to make sure that you are using an up to date Montana Means Test calculator to give you the best opportunity to qualify. If you use an outdated calculator you may think you qualify for a Chapter 7 even though you don’t actually pass the Chapter 7 Means Test. If you file a Chapter 7 when you don’t qualify, your case may be thrown out or switched to a Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Upsolve’s Means Test calculator is current for Montana and all other states, so you can rest assured that you are using the most current information. Upsolve can assist you through all other aspects of your Chapter 7, so you can be certain that you are completing all the necessary steps to receive a discharge in your Montana bankruptcy.
What Happens If I Fail The Means Test for Montana?
If you fail to qualify for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Montana, there are still a few steps that you can take to explore your options. First, it is a good idea to go through your full Chapter 7 Means Test calculation one more time to verify that you included all of your expenses and did not forget anything. You should also think about the future - are there any big changes on the horizon, like a baby? Your family size can have a huge impact on whether you qualify for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy so you may want to wait to file if your family size is going to increase in the near future. Maybe your work is tied to snow removal and not consistent for the whole year. With seasonal work, timing your bankruptcy filing is important. If you just did most of your work for the year, then your monthly income (based on the last 6 months) will look a lot different then it will a few months after the season ends. If you still don’t qualify you may want to think about future expenses that you may want to incur now. Do you need a car? If so, maybe leasing or financing a vehicle to make sure you have reliable transportation makes sense. Perhaps you need term life insurance? Or health insurance? If you have been thinking about purchasing these things, consider purchasing them now so you can give the Court an accurate picture of your expenses as part of the bankruptcy Means Test in Montana. Upsolve can help you through the rest of your case with the Montana Bankruptcy Guide. Meeting with a bankruptcy lawyer can also be beneficial if you don’t think you qualify. A bankruptcy lawyer can review your income and expenses to ensure you didn’t leave anything out or give you guidance on steps you can take to pass the Chapter 7 Means Test. Often bankruptcy lawyers give free consultations to folks looking for assistance with their Montana bankruptcy. A bankruptcy lawyer can also guide you with respect to a Chapter 13 if they don’t think Chapter 7 is a good fit for you.