What Is the Bankruptcy Means Test in Washington?

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Written by the Upsolve Team.  
Updated July 30, 2019

The Pacific Northwest is a beautiful, vibrant, and dynamic place to live. However, it’s not an inexpensive place to live. Therefore, it’s not unusual for even the hard working and responsible residents of The Evergreen State to find themselves struggling financially from time to time. If you are thinking about filing a Washington bankruptcy, you may be wondering whether tofile for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy. If you meet theincome limits and pass the bankruptcy Means Test in WA, it’s likely be preferable to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Unlike Chapter 13 bankruptcy, which simply reorganizes debt to make it more manageable, Chapter 7 bankruptcyeliminates most debt in a short amount of time. Also, most Chapter 7 filers are typically able tokeep all of their property. From vehicles you own outright to your Seahawks and Mariners jerseys, this process will allow you to keep your hard-earned stuff safe from creditors. To pass the Chapter 7 Means Test, your household income will need to fall below a specific level set by Washington State.

Washington Median Income Levels

Washington Median Income Standards for Means Test for Cases Filed On or After May 1, 2020
Household SizeMonthly IncomeAnnual Income
1$5,625.92$67,511.00
2$6,687.58$80,251.00
3$7,714.00$92,568.00
4$8,956.75$107,481.00
5$9,706.75$116,481.00
6$10,456.75$125,481.00
7$11,206.75$134,481.00
8$11,956.75$143,481.00
9$12,706.75$152,481.00
10$13,456.75$161,481.00

Discharge in Bankruptcy for Washington

Chapter 7 bankruptcy results in the elimination of almost all debts. The Court order that effectively erases your debts is called a discharge order or simply the discharge. Except for certaintax debts,student loan debts and family support debts, if you pass the Chapter 7 Means Test and take all necessary steps to work through the bankruptcy process, you will be able to get rid of most, if not all, of your unsecured debts with your Washington bankruptcy discharge. Getting rid of your debts can help you to regain financial health and a sense of wellbeing. The Washington bankruptcy process can be intimidating, but it can also change your life for the better.

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Washington Means Test Calculator

To determine whether you will pass the bankruptcy Means Test in Washington, you will benefit from exploring aMeans Test calculator. This resource will help you calculate (based on the size of your household and your household income and expenses), whether you will easily pass the bankruptcy Means Test in Washington. However, it’s important to remember that not all Washington Means Test calculator resources posted online are current. Accessing a current Means Test calculator is important because outdated information will not help you to make an informed decision about your situation. The team at leading nonprofit organization Upsolve maintains a current Means Test calculator for Washington State. Upsolve helps low-income Chapter 7 bankruptcy filers generate forms needed for their Washington bankruptcy and helps higher-income bankruptcy filers  find attorneys for their more complex cases. If you have questions about the Upsolve Means Test calculator or your situation generally, connect with Upsolve today.

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What Happens if I Fail the Means Test for Washington?

Washington State has the highest minimum wage in the country. However, this income rate can be deceptive. Just because a household takes in significant income does not mean it’s immune to financial hardship. If you fail the bankruptcy Means Test in Washington because your household takes in too much income each year, this does not mean that you are not legitimately struggling to make ends meet. Thankfully, even if you fail the Chapter 7 Means Test, you may have otherWashington bankruptcy options available to you. For example, you may be able to file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy and reorganize your debt so that it becomes more manageable. If you can’t successfully file for bankruptcy on your own after failing the Means Test, know that a knowledgeablebankruptcy attorney may be able to help you explore your options. Failing the Means Test is not the end of the road, just an indicator that you may need to take a different path.

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