Philip L. Weiser
Do I Qualify For Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in Kansas?
When going through financial hardship, declaring bankruptcy is often one of the eventual options to remedy your situation. As a Kansas bankruptcy attorney, I have seen people ask various questions when the idea of filing bankruptcy is suggested. Most notably, “What are my bankruptcy options?” and “How do I qualify for any of them?”
Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in Kansas
Under Kansas law, bankruptcy is considered a last resort for anyone going through financial hardship. Regardless, there are certain situations where filing for bankruptcy can provide you with a much-deserved fresh start. This is what you get with Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Kansas.
In Kansas, filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy serves as a fresh start because it allows you to wipe out your debts by liquidating your property. The trustee (that is, the person appointed to handle your bankruptcy) will collect and sell all your assets that are not exempt under the Kansas bankruptcy code. After all your non-exempt assets are sold, the trustee uses that money to pay your creditors.
How to Qualify for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
Chapter 7 is the simplest, quickest, and most common type of bankruptcy in the United States. According to Debt.org, over 63% of the 819,159 bankruptcy cases filed in 2016 were Chapter 7. To qualify for Chapter 7 filing in Kansas, your income must be lower than the Kansas median for your household size, or else you must pass the Kansas bankruptcy means test.
Kansas Median Income
Each state’s median income fluctuates depending on economic trends, so it’s important to understand that the numbers provided here are only to give you a rough estimate of what to expect when filing for bankruptcy in Kansas. According to the Census ACS 1-year survey, the median household income for Kansas was $56,422 in 2017. However, this may differ depending on family size. The median income for each household size in Kansas is listed below:
- Household of 1 member – $49,630
- Household of 2 members – $63,754
- Household of 3 members – $72,221
- Household of 4 members – $83,723*
*Add $8,400 for each individual in excess of 4 members.
You (or better yet, your bankruptcy attorney) can determine your average household income by calculating the average of your monthly income over the last 6 calendar months. If your current monthly household income is less than the Kansas median income for your household size, there is an assumption that you pass the Kansas bankruptcy means test. Thus, you are eligible to file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy
The Kansas Bankruptcy Means Test
In a situation where your income is above the Kansas median income for your household size, you will be required to complete the Kansas bankruptcy means test. The means test is used to determine if you will be able to repay some or all of your unsecured debts through a Chapter 13 bankruptcy. If that’s the case, you will not be considered eligible for Chapter 7 debt relief but will instead be encouraged to apply for Chapter 13.
The Kansas bankruptcy means test will examine all your financial records, including your income, expenses, secured debts, and unsecured debts. After collating all the required information, your expenses will be subtracted from your income. Your net monthly income will help determine if you pass the means test or are still able to settle your unsecured creditors through a Chapter 13 bankruptcy plan.
If you qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, the process can usually be completed in less than 4 months. However, it’s important to keep in mind that Chapter 7 may not be the only option available to you. To better understand your legal and financial options, I invite you to contact me today. As a bankruptcy lawyer with decades of experience, I would be more than happy to help you decide on the right course of action for your specific situation.
Hire an Experienced Bankruptcy Attorney in Wichita, Kansas Today
If you are facing financial adversity and considering filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you don’t have to go through it alone. I can advise you, guide you, and take you through the entire process. Declaring bankruptcy should never be seen as a sign of defeat. Look at it as an opportunity for you to get the fresh start you deserve. Call my law firm, Philip L. Weiser, Attorney At Law, today to schedule a free consultation. Based in Wichita, I serve clients throughout Sedgwick County, Butler County, Harvey County, Sumner County, and Kingman County.