Debt does not discriminate. Whether your income is $25,000 or $125,000, you may still find yourself struggling to make ends meet. People whose income exceeds $100,000 often worry that they will not be eligible to file for bankruptcy. The good news is there are options. Understanding how bankruptcy works and what alternatives are available is the first step.
Bankruptcy options and the means test
There are two types of bankruptcy available to most consumers, Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. Chapter 7 bankruptcy is used for individuals who do not have the ability to pay back any debts and whose income satisfies the means test. Chapter 13, by contrast is available for individuals or spouses whose income exceeds the threshold laid out in the means test as well as for those who have disposable income available at the end of the month to pay back some creditors.
The means test is an estimate of average income for households of a certain size based on U.S. census reports. It also factors in certain expenses of a household. Individuals curious about whether they would qualify for either a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy should talk with an experienced bankruptcy attorney. Often, individuals and spouses whose income exceeds $100,000 qualify for Chapter 13 bankruptcy.
Alternatives to bankruptcy
Bankruptcy may not be the right option, either because your individual income is too high or because there is a way to resolve your debt using a bankruptcy alternative. Wisconsin residents have the option of resolving their debt using Chapter 128. Chapter 128 plans give people great flexibility than bankruptcy and are not dependent on income.
High-income Wisconsin residents with who are overwhelmed by debt should consult with bankruptcy attorney about their individual circumstances and which option will best meet their needs.