A lot of our Las Vegas clients tell us about the TV commercials they’ve seen in which debt settlement companies insist that the new bankruptcy laws make it impossible to file individual bankruptcies.
We tell our clients that these commercials aren’t true. These companies are simply trying to gain new business. In reality, individual bankruptcy filings in Las Vegas and throughout the U.S. are steadily on the rise. Every day, we successfully navigate our Las Vegas clients through individual bankruptcies and help them make a fresh start.
Here are the facts:
In 2005, Congress passed the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act, which introduced a “means test” for people seeking to file Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
What does this mean to you, a Las Vegas resident thinking about filing for bankruptcy? Now, in order to qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, your income must be lower than the state’s median income for a family the same size as yours. Here are the median income thresholds for Nevada, according to the U.S. Department of Justice website.
Household size of 1 – $48,194 median income
Household size of 2 – $60,557 median income
Household size of 3 – $65,783 median income
Household size of 4 – $74,735 median income
If your income is below these figures, you are eligible for Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
If not, you will still be eligible if you can pass the second part of the means test. This part takes your monthly income, and subtracts secured debt, such as car payments, mortgages or back taxes. It also subtracts certain expenses for food, clothing, utilities, transportation and housing. The amount remaining is called “disposable income.” If it’s less than a certain amount, you will still be eligible to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
If you live in Las Vegas and are contemplating filing an individual bankruptcy, call us at 702-903-1208. If you are calling from within Nevada, you can also reach us at 702-903-1208. We’ll advise you on whether you are eligible to file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. If we determine that you’re not, we’ll present you with other options to help you get your financial life back on track.