DEFINITIONS

DEFINITIONS

  1. Discharge
  2. Exemptions 
  3. Household Income
  4. Means Test 
  5. Median Income 
  6. Median 

  1. Discharge is the legal word used to describe the court order permanently ending collection efforts against you.
  2. Exemptions are laws created by each state that protect certain property in certain amounts from seizure by creditors inside and outside of bakruptcy.  These laws can varry widely between states and one such example is the laws that protect a person's home.  A home's equity is protected up to $250,000.00 per homeowner in Montana, whereas Wyoming only protects $20,000.00 in equity per homeowner.  Lor a loist of other laws that protect property click the following:  Montana or Wyoming 
  3. Household Income is defined as income from all members of the household and from all sources including wages, unemployment, worker's compensation, gifts, interest, investments, rental income, child support, etc.  The only source of income excluded from Household Income is money received from the Social Security Administration.  Example: Husband, wife and child live together and only hsuband is filing bankruptcy.  Child delivers pizza after school and both spouses work outside the home.  Their Household Income would include husband's wages, wife's wages and child's wages.  
  4. Means Test is a test designed by the federal government to balance the needs of consumers to purge crushing debt and the needs of the creditors to get paid for their services rendered.  The Means Test was designed to identify those consumers that earn enough money to pay back some of their debts before receiving a Discharge.  So, if your Household Income is above the Median Income and you have enough income to repay a portion of your debts, then you can file a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, but you are precluded from filing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy.  If your debt is primarily business debt and in a few other limited situations, you are excluded from Means Test and you can generally choose what type of bankruptcy to file.
  5. Median Income is an income value desigend to represent the median income of the households in your state.  The federal government determines the Median Income and it increases as your household size increases.  That means a household of one will have a much lower median income than a household of six.  This number is regularly changing.
  6. Median in a number used in statistics to represent the numerical center of a group.  If a sencus determines that your income is the median income for Montana that means half of all Montanans exceed your income levels and the other half earn less than you.  Median is not the same as average.