A Complete Guide to the Georgia Bankruptcy Means Test


The attorneys at Bournakis & Mitchell P.C. created a comprehensive guide to the Georgia Bankruptcy Means Test for clients. Contact us for more information!

What Is the Bankruptcy Means Test?

The bankruptcy process protects individuals or businesses from creditors and debt collectors. The Georgia means test will determine eligibility for a debtor to file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. The Chapter 7 Means Test calculates the debtor’s average monthly household income over the past six months, and will deduct certain allowable actual expenses. What remains is disposable income. Disposable income is compared against the Georgia median income for the same family size. 

The Means Test is a test that is used to determine if you are eligible for certain types of financial aid, including bankruptcy. You are required to submit information about your income, resources, and living situation. If the person’s income is less than the Georgia median income, they are eligible to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. If not, they must file for Chapter 13.

The Means Test is a complicated test that can be difficult to pass without proper guidance. Understanding the requirements and how they will affect your eligibility can be challenging. Bankruptcy lawyers from Bournakis & Mitchell P.C. may be able to help.

How Does the Bankruptcy Process Work?

Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 are two types of bankruptcy for individuals. Chapter 7 bankruptcy involves liquidating all your assets to pay off debts, while Chapter 13 pays back your debt with monthly payments over time.

The process of declaring bankruptcy starts with filing a petition with the court. The debtor must provide relevant information about their secured and unsecured debts, assets, income, and expenses in this petition. This information includes how much they owe each creditor and how much it would cost to repay these debts.

This information will help determine whether or not they are eligible for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy relief and what kind of repayment plan they will need to follow if they are approved for Chapter 13. 

What Does the Georgia Bankruptcy Means Test Assess?

Bankruptcy code rules ensure that you have enough income and assets to pay your bills to continue your life after bankruptcy.

The basis of the Georgia bankruptcy Means Test is income and expense information, including household income and household size.

Average household income includes all types of taxable income, such as: 

  • Current monthly earnings from a job or self-employment earnings

  • Social Security benefits

  • Pensions

  • Interest from investments or bank accounts

  • Alimony received

  • Child support received 

  • Any other taxable money coming into the household

Household size includes the number of people in your household who have lived there for more than six months yearly. Chapter 13 lawyers may provide additional information and advice.

What Is the Georgia Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Means Test?

Georgia bankruptcy means test is a set of rules that the court will use to determine if you are eligible for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. The debtor’s income is calculated and compared to the median income in their state. If the debtor’s income is higher than the median, they are ineligible for Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

Chapter 7 bankruptcy in GA is a form of personal bankruptcy that liquidates a person’s assets and distributes them to creditors. They will not have to make any payment on the debts that are being discharged, but they may need to be more careful with their money in the future.

What Is the Georgia Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Means Test?

The Means Test is a set of questions the court will ask to determine whether you are eligible for Chapter 13. If you pass the Means Test, you may file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy.

The following are some of the questions asked in the Means Test:

  • How much money do you make each month?

  • Do you have any unusual expenses?

  • Do you own a home or have any other significant assets?

  • How much debt do you have?

  • What is your current monthly budget?

People ineligible for Chapter 7 bankruptcy may file for Chapter 13. 

How Do You Use the Bankruptcy Means Test Calculator?

The bankruptcy Means Test calculator is a tool that an individual’s disposable income by considering their monthly expenses.

The bankruptcy means test calculator can be found on the United States Courts’ website for anyone who has access to a mobile device or computer and an internet connection.


Is Social Security Income Included in the Bankruptcy Means Test?

Social Security Income (SSI) is not included in the means test calculation. But, the test may include Supplemental Security Income (SSI) depending on whether it is considered an “income” or “asset.”

What are the Bankruptcy Means Test Requirements in Georgia?

The Means Test is an income-based test that compares your average monthly income to the median income in your state to determine whether you qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. 

The only criterion for qualifying is that your monthly income needs to be lower than the Georgia median. You should also provide your income from the last six months to get an average when filing.

If your household income is over the average, you may still qualify by going through the whole calculation, including your monthly income and expenses. If your income exceeds the median, you fail the Means Test and do not qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

Is Anything Exempt from the Filing Bankruptcy Means Test in Georgia?

In the U.S., bankruptcy is a legal process that allows individuals and businesses to find relief from debt. The law was enacted in 1898 by the federal government and has been amended many times since then. Bankruptcy laws vary in each state, with some states having stricter guidelines than others. In Georgia, a few things are exempt from bankruptcy proceedings.

The following items cannot be claimed as assets during bankruptcy proceedings:

  • Social Security benefits

  • Public pensions

  • Some types of retirement accounts (IRA)

  • Child support

  • Alimony payments

To ensure you claim all required assets, consider consulting with a Georgia bankruptcy attorney. They can provide more than legal advice.


Can a Georgia Bankruptcy Attorney Help You?

A Georgia bankruptcy attorney will help you file for bankruptcy, which is a process that will allow you to get rid of your debt.

The first thing you should do is find a good lawyer. An experienced lawyer will ensure that you are filing and are eligible for the correct type of bankruptcy. Call the attorneys at Bournakis & Mitchell P.C. at (706) 252-9353 or contact us online to discuss your questions about bankruptcy.

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