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New Means Test numbers are out for bankruptcies filed on or after 11/1/2020. All of the median income numbers are going up for Wisconsin as follows:

  • 1 person household goes up from $52,730 to $54,660;

  • 2 person household goes up from $68,363 to $72,171;

  • 3 person household goes up from $83,607 to $87,353; and

  • 4 person household goes up from $100,098 to $103,708.

  • (Add $9,000 for each household member above 4.)

These are significant increases. The last time these numbers were changed we saw an average increase of $1,356 for the households of 1 through 4. This time they average a change of $3,273.50. This will make those Debtors who were just missing out on being able to file a Chapter 7 because of Means Test issues now able to do so. For Chapter 13 Debtors it may significantly reduce the amount required to be paid on unsecured nonpriority debts in their Chapter 13 Plan. If you are considering bankruptcy, call us to find out if these new numbers will be beneficial to you.

If you are considering filing a bankruptcy, you may wonder, “Am I alone?” Certainly not. As you can see from the statistics below, in just a one year period over 90,000 Chapter 7 consumer bankruptcy cases were filed in the Upper Midwest. The following is based on bankruptcy filings from April 1, 2019 to March 31, 2020 according to statista.com and from state population figures from worldpopulationreview.com.


STATE CH. 7 FILINGS (Non-Bus.) POPULATION CASES AS % OF POPULATION

Illinois 30,107 12,659,700 .00237 Michigan 22,599 10,045,000 .00225 Indiana 14,657 6,745,350 .00217 Wisconsin 11,228 5,851,750 .00192 Iowa 4,192 3,179,850 .00132 Minnesota 7,381 5,700,670 .00129


How does Wisconsin compare to other Upper Midwest states when it comes to filing for bankruptcy? Compared to other Upper Midwest states in our vicinity, Wisconsin is in the middle of the pack for non-business Chapter 7 bankruptcy filings as a percentage of the population. The number of Debtors is actually much higher because many of the cases include two debtors when they involve a married couple filing a joint case.

  • Carl Rolsma

Median income numbers for the bankruptcy Means Test in Wisconsin will go up on 4/1/2020 as follows:

  • 1 person household: $52,730

  • 2 person household: $68,363

  • 3 person household: $83,607

  • 4 person household: $100,098

  • Add $9,000 for each individual in excess of 4.

If your gross income is under those amounts you will almost always pass the Means Test and be able to file a Chapter 7 case. If you are over those amounts, you may or may not pass the Means Test, but it becomes a lot more complicated. When you are over those median amounts, the kinds and amounts of your debts become very important. For example, having large amounts of tax debt or child support debt can allow an above-median income earner to pass the Means Test. Also, deductions from your paycheck for health, disability and life insurance, union dues, child support and taxes can help you pass the Means Test. To know for sure, your pay stubs from the past 6 calendar months need to be examined by a bankruptcy attorney.


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