Making Sense of the Means Test

By Leo G. Spanos, Senior Staff Attorney to Martha G. Bronitsky, Chapter 13 Trustee, Northern District of California (Oakland Division)

1. Background & Purpose of Means Test

One of the most significant changes introduced BAPCPA is the requirement of a means test to determine whether a debtor qualifies for Chapter 7 relief or, if not, how much a debtor must pay to unsecured creditors in a Chapter 13 case. This article will summarize the statutory authority for the means test in Chapter 13 and analyze how the forms associated with the means test should be completed.

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