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Bankruptcy Means Test Lawyers in North Texas

The History of the New Bankruptcy Laws

The new bankruptcy code written by the United States Congress went into effect on October 17, 2005. Big banks lobbied big government because they wanted taxpayers to be forced to pay them after the banks were kind enough to lend people money at interest rates that was "usurious" or illegal as recently as the early 2000's. Just like the economy, those banks failed. You are still eligible to file bankruptcy and obtain the relief you need. We know that you did not choose to be in this position. We also know that you were forced into your debt situation because of one of the following: Loss of job, reduction in income, death, divorce, someone became sick, interest rates, the bad economy, or some other similar life event. Life happens. Now you need to make the right decisions to get past these events and prepare for the future.

Pelley Law Office, L.L.P. recently did a study of whether the percentage of Chapter 7 bankruptcies versus Chapter 13 bankruptcies filed by our firm had decreased since the law changed in 2005. Results: it has not. In fact, the percentage of Chapter 7 versus Chapter 13 bankruptcies that we have filed has remained about the same. As you will read in our Bankruptcy FAQs, almost everyone is still eligible to file bankruptcy.

The 2005 Bankruptcy Code and the "Means Test"

The 2005 legislation requires debtors to undergo a Means Test Analysis. The intent of the Means Test was to give the appearance that you have the ability to pay your unsecured creditors (credit cards) who have charged you astronomical interest rates and penalties. Our job is to see that you pay nothing or as little as possible to them, so that you can start saving for your retirement and your children's future.

Practically speaking, there are two parts to the bankruptcy Means Test Analysis. The first half of the means test asks three questions of the debtor:

  • How big is your family?
  • In what state do you reside?
  • What is your income level or "Current Monthly Income"?

"Current monthly income" is a term of art and is an average of your gross pay from all sources in the six (6) months prior to the month in which you file the petition (with limited exceptions, like Social Security income).

At the free initial consultation, we will calculate what your "Current Monthly Income" (CMI) will be over the six months prior to the month in which you file the bankruptcy. Then, we will compare that to what the IRS's guidelines state the average income is for most families of your size in Texas. You may fail the first part of the means test, because most families make more in our community than what most other families make in other parts of Texas. Nevertheless, most of our clients pass the second part of the Means Test analysis here in North Texas. That means most of our clients pay back none of their credit card and other unsecured debt.

The second part of the test compares your "Local Housing, Utility, and Transportation Expenses" vis-à-vis the IRS's guidelines. This is how almost all of our clients pass the Means Test—on the second half.

Obviously, one of the things that we will discuss at length not only at the initial consultation but also at subsequent conferences prior to the bankruptcy filing is the timing of the filing of the bankruptcy. Just because you come to a conference today does not mean that you have to file immediately (However, it does probably mean you will stop wasting money immediately). Our attorneys will counsel you on the appropriate date to file and show you how to improve your credit score quickly.

You can easily lose thousands of dollars and/or unnecessarily repay dischargeable debt if you do not have an experienced bankruptcy lawyer.

IRS Debt

Who wants to owe the IRS? If you settle your debts with your creditors outside of bankruptcy then under the Internal Revenue Code the debt that is forgiven is included in gross income. In other words, you are probably going to be taxed on that settlement. Plus, your credit score will suffer greatly.

An exception to the gross income rule is discharge of indebtedness under the Bankruptcy Code. Plainly stated, if you discharge debt through a bankruptcy, it is not a taxable event! Plus, your credit score will have an opportunity to improve rapidly.

If you file either Chapter 7 or 13 and pass the Means Test, then you pay back none of your unsecured debt (credit cards, etc.) and pay only those things that you wish to keep (such as your house or your vehicles).

Learn Your Options and Quit Wasting Money Today

Many of our potential clients are skeptical as to whether they will pass the Means Test, so they delay scheduling an initial consultation. There is no charge for the initial appointment and Means Test analysis with an experienced bankruptcy attorney, so it is pointless to wait. Also, if you file we will tell you how to rehabilitate your credit score.

Contact Pelley Law Office, L.L.P. Today

We invite you to call Pelley Law Office, L.L.P. at 972-608-0335 or 903-813-4778 to schedule a free confidential consultation with an experienced bankruptcy lawyer. You can also contact us by e-mail now to request an appointment to discuss your options. You will be under no obligation to hire us. We look forward to speaking with you and explaining how we can help.

Please view our Bankruptcy FAQs to learn more about our practice.

Client Testimonials

After struggling for years trying to pay off accumulating credit card debt we realized we were in too deep and had to find an alternate solution. We checked several resources and settled on Pelley Law as our choice to proceed with bankruptcy. From our initial meeting with Quintin to our final discharge, everything was organized and Pelley's staff was so helpful during the whole process. Sarah was especially helpful in giving us insight on our case and guiding us through the paperwork and the process.

We're so thankful to Pelley for making a very painful decision a little easier to bear. We're so happy to have a fresh start!
Thanks again for everything!


We were new to Texas and in a difficult financial position. We were embarrassed to have to make the decision to file bankruptcy, however it was necessary. We met with the attorney at Pelley Law and knew we had found the people who were going to help us through this trying time. Our attorney was available to us and explained the process step by step so that there were never any surprises. Our Paralegal was awesome! Sarah was responsive to our many emails and questions and did not ever make us feel like we were a bother. They even went above and beyond to helped us complete the sale on our home in California. They did not have to do that, but they did and they did it effectively and efficiently. I could not recommend a better law firm.

Thank you Quinton! You're the best attorney I know!!


We had a rather unique and difficult case. Sara and Richard were very helpful and went above and beyond in helping us win our case. I cannot say enough about the effort they put forth for us. Another great thing about them was they never charged more than the initial to take the case. These guys are great, if there is anything one would need when needing representation then I would not hesitate to contact this firm. A++++


Please express our sincerest appreciation to all those who participated in our Chapter 7 Bankruptcy case. We began our journey without guidance and doubtful that we would ever recover financially. After our initial consultation with Quinton Pelley, we felt assured that we would be led through the bankruptcy process and treated with the utmost consideration and respect. Throughout the entire process, we remained in close contact with Sarah and/or Quinton Pelley and we were informed of every decision that pertained to our case. It is such a relief to know that we can begin again financially, learn from our experience and know that we have such a wonderful team of professionals willing to represent us if ever needed. We have since referred the Pelley Law Office to several of our family members and friends with varying situations. We are grateful for everything that they have done for us.


We want to thank everyone at your office who worked with us to resolve our bankruptcy case. We felt we were with the right law firm from the first meeting. We felt the caring and knowledge of every person there. We were worried about losing our home and all our possessions, but after the first meeting, we felt assured we would not be homeless and ruined. Thanks for all of your help and encouragement through this seemingly impossible situation in which we found ourselves. We have and will continue to recommend your firm to family, friends and associates.

-S.O. and S.O

I was referred to Pelley Law Office by a friend. From the initial consultation with Quinton to the final meeting with Chip, I felt well informed and put at ease. They are a knowledgeable, trustworthy group that did not make empty promises and treated me with courtesy and respect throughout the process. I truly appreciate the hard work, patience and professionalism I received while working with Sarah. She is a great asset to the firm!!

I highly recommend Pelley Law Office. They are a caring, helpful group that made a seemingly bleak situation much brighter.


Dear Mr. Richard Pelley:

We wish to express our deepest appreciation for your professional guidance, compassion and representation for our bankruptcy proceedings. My wife and I were devastated with our financial position that resulted from job losses, which was further compounded with mounting charges that various creditors imposed during an extended period. We were at a loss and under a tremendous amount of stress, as to how to remedy our financial issues and sought your consultation. You were an answer to our prayers. During our darkest days, you gave us hope, and an unwavering commitment that this matter would be resolved. We are indebted to you, Quinton, and your highly gifted staff for your guidance and representation during our challenging bankruptcy process. We now have a fresh start and are very grateful for this gift.

We highly recommend the Pelley Law Office to anyone wants a highly reputable team of professionals who are intelligent, compassionate and highly effective in representing your legal matters.

Kindest regards,
-M.H. and C.H.

This law office is amazing!!! The Pelley Law Office was a blessing for my husband and I. The very first day we arrived at this office, the employees were all very helpful. We felt like we were in great hands. No one wants to experience bankruptcy. It is very scary and we had no idea what to expect. Sarah was fabulous. She answered every email and any question that we ever had. We recommend this firm to anyone who is every experiencing financial difficulties.


I would like to thank everyone at Pelley Law Office, L.L.P. for handling our bankruptcy. I had spent years of sleepless nights worrying about how to pay our bills.The hardest thing to do was to walk into your office for that first visit but I came out feeling like a huge weight had been lifted off my shoulders. Everyone in your firm was very understanding but I really am thankful to Sarah for giving our case to Rick. Thank you, Rick, for your PATIENCE with us and for putting up with my tears. I wish we had of done this sooner. Thank you again.


Thank you so much for all that you have done for me and my family! I was beaten down before I came into your office and you wouldn't think one initial meeting could make a difference, but I walked out of there feeling better, like I wasn't a deadbeat. The people Pelley Law Office understood how good people get into a situation were filing bankruptcy is the only choice and that most of us did everything we could to avoid it. Quinton was so nice and made us feel instantly at ease at the initial meetings. He gave us some options and explained which one he thought was the best for us. Sarah basically held our hand the whole time and always had an answer for our many questions and knew our case back and forth. She always answered our emails and even sent random ones to check in on us. Chip met us for our day in court. He was comforting and explained exactly what was going to happen, and that we had nothing to be nervous about. He was right! I never thought I would find such caring people working in a law firm and I am thankful that I saw this advertisement and went there rather than to anyone else. Filing, and the place I chose to help me, was the best decision I could have made. Thank you again!


I couldn't be happier that I chose Pelley Law Office. From the moment I walked in, everyone was so friendly and knowledgeable. I walked in a nervous wreck and walked out feeling much better about the situation and the decision I made to file bankruptcy. I never felt like I was being judged and that was a wonderful feeling. They explained everything from start to finish and encouraged me to ask questions whenever I had them. The lawyers themselves were helpful throughout the whole process but the person that stood out the most to me and for me is Sarah. Sarah walked with me every step of the way and was there to answer ALL of my questions without ever making me feel like I was being bothersome. She is truly a great asset to this firm. I would definitely recommend The Pelley Law Office to anyone that is in need of a truly caring and competent firm.


We hesitated for so long about filing bankruptcy and after going through this process with the Pelley Law Firm and especially Sarah, we couldn't be happier. We had waited until the very end, but finally had no other recourse.

It was the best thing we could have done. We now have a fresh start and are breathing easier!


I highly recommend The Pelley Law Office . They handled my Bankruptcy and were with me every step of the way. Everyone at the office was so helpful, supportive, and very understanding. I really liked that someone always returned my call in a timely manner and was able to answer my questions!! Quinton, Sarah, and Christy were wonderful. Thank you so much for making this experience as painless as possible!


I found the people at Pelley Law Office to be very understanding and helpful regarding decisions related to bankruptcy. The free initial consultation was immensely helpful and gave us the comfort level we were looking for as we entered--what was for us--unfamiliar territory. Staff members were available throughout the legal process and answered our numerous questions with kindness and respect. I highly recommend Pelley Law Office


I just wanted to write you a quick note and let you know that I really appreciated you taking the time to look into the problem with my credit. It has all been fixed and that is a really big help for me.


Hi Mr. Pelley,

Wanted to first thank your office for helping my husband and me. Your office did a great job making our bankruptcy process go smoothly.

Wanted to extend a special thank you to Sara Linz in the Plano office for all her hard work and dedication to us. She was fabulous. She was with us the whole step of the way...We would definitely recommend your office and staff in the future.


Dear Mr. Richard Pelley,

Filing bankruptcy was the most difficult thing we have had to do as a married couple. Thank you for making the process more tolerable. It was worse thinking about it than actually going through it. You are indeed a professional and we are grateful for the respect and care that you gave us as your clients. Thank you again!


I would like to take this time to recommend the services of Pelley Law Office, L.L.P.... The staff, especially Sarah Linz, has been very helpful in advising me through this difficult time. I have received numerous follow-up e-mails and phone calls helping me step by step through this process. Thank you very much for all of your time and effort!


Our heartfelt thanks to everybody at the Pelley Law Office, L.L.P. for helping us through one of the more difficult and embarrassing times in our life. We procrastinated on entering the program way too long for fear of the unknown. Unemployment, medical costs and mounting credit card debt has us completely beaten down. From the first initial consultation we knew we had made the right choice. The professionalism and the compassion from all at the firm was reassuring to both my wife and me. Chip, Quinton, and Richard are fantastic at their craft but, Sarah without a doubt, is one of the most valuable assets of the Pelley Law Office, L.L.P.. She was always there to guide us through the process and make the total experience seamless. We highly recommend the Pelley Law Office, L.L.P. to anyone that is contemplating this action. They are truly professional and ease the experience.


When I came to the realization that I may have to consider a bankruptcy, I was overwhelmed and scared. I went for a free consultation to see what I could do and was surprised by the compassion and help that was waiting for me from Quinton and Sarah. They both have helped me get through this complicated process easily. I would not hesitate to recommend Pelley Law to anyone looking for help with bankruptcy. I am extremely thankful and appreciative for the help I received from their office. Thank you again Quinton and Sarah.


Just a brief note to tell you how appreciative I am of how effective you were. I was never worried because I knew I was being represented by the best. Thank you!

-F. B.

Making the decision to file for Bankruptcy is not an easy decision. There is so much to consider.

With this kind of decision, finding the best attorney that works in your best interest can take some time. After meeting with several attorneys, we finally found Pelley Law Office, L.L.P. in Plano. My husband's first meeting was with Quinton G. Pelley. He was able to address all his questions and concerns with just a consultation. He was attentive to our needs and gave us several options, including his opinion of our best option.

Anything their office did on our behalf, we were immediately notified. The relationship became personal which made the whole process easier to go through. They all especially Sarah, worked very hard for us.
Pelley Law Office, L.L.P. worked hard to help us start over. We would gladly recommend them to anyone looking for help.


I will highly recommend your law firm to anyone who may be in need of a great attorney.


Sarah, again thank you for all your hard work and patience!!!!!!!!!! We couldn't have done it without you! Fyi...love Quinton...very sharp attorney!!!!!!!!!!


I am writing to thank you and the Pelley Law Office, L.L.P. for helping me through one of the more difficult times in my life. I thought things could not get worse. Mounting debt and job set backs proved me wrong. When I decided I just could not continue as I had been, I contacted your office after being recommended by a friend who had recently gone through bankruptcy. From the initial meeting with Quinton to the hearing with Chip, everyone in your office treated me with the utmost respect and care. I especially want to thank you, Sarah. You went above and beyond. You were always available to answer my questions and basically hold my hand through the entire process. Deciding to file bankruptcy is not an easy decision, but if and when others find themselves in this situation, they would be hard pressed to find a more compassionate or professional firm than the entire staff at Pelley Law Office, L.L.P..


Thank you for getting us through a difficult time. Your assurance and guidance made it more tolerable for us. You are exceptional at trust-building. We truly appreciate all you did for us!


I will definitely recommend Pelley Law Office, L.L.P. to my friends and family that may need legal representation.


I appreciate everything. I consider you my friend more than just my lawyer. I just wanted to say thanks for everything. God Bless You.


We just want you to know how much we appreciated your help and patience. You have saved us so much from making very bad errors and answered ALL our questions (and we called you a lot) with patience and all the right answers, not to mention the dignity you showed us...that was so important to us. Working with you has been such a delight...you have literally saved our life. Thank you, thank you so very much for making such a bad situation go so smoothly and NOT the degrading thing we thought it would be. It has been our pleasure that we could work with you and thank you again for being so pleasant and patience with us.


Hallelujah! Its over! I am over-joyed, at peace, free at last—a second chance on life! Blessings to you.


I want to express my sincere appreciation for the professional services provided to me during the bankruptcy meetings and the trustee meeting. The courtesy and respect each of you have given me was very comforting because I was very frightened. Your office staff is remarkable…they were always professional and courteous in answering my questions; also very considerate of my fears.


I was faced with a first degree felony, which meant 5-99 years behind bars. It was terrifying. You are not only a great attorney but a very honest man with integrity…you saved my life.


I read all of the testimonials and I cannot agree more! I was so impressed with how calm and professionally you handled our case and how comfortable and confident and well represented I felt. I am so very glad that we chose to use you and should I ever need a lawyer again there is no doubt who I would contact. I really appreciate the friendly courteous staff who was always very polite and helpful as well. Thank you.




Quinton was amazing, extremely helpful, answered all of my questions, and was able to save me from mistakes I would have made if I worked directly with the mortgage company. I have recommended several friends and family members.


I cannot think of the words that would fully express my appreciation for all you have done for me. I treasure your kindness and friendship, & pray that you will be blessed immensely in return. Thank you so very much!


You are good lawyers. You did exactly what you said you were going to do. You always told me the truth, and never made my situation seem better or worse than it was. You are my friends.


We were in very bad shape... and then things got worse. We had countless sleepless nights not knowing where to turn. Words cannot describe our anxiety. Then we came and met with you and got valuable advice and support... to us, it meant having a second chance in life. We wish to convey our gratitude to all of your excellent staff and our very best to you. We are doing fine now, thanks to you. We are mentally stress-free and working towards improving our health. We owe all this to you.


I deeply appreciate all you and the firm did for me in making me feel confident and at ease in this matter.


I would like to thank you for taking my case. I would recommend you very highly to anyone.


From the first moment I met Mr. Pelley, he made me feel at ease. I was always updated, whether via mail or phone call of court dates and information concerning my case. He did a remarkable job and went above and beyond all my expectations. I wouldn't have to think twice about recommending Mr. Pelley to represent any of my family members or closest friends.


The Pelley Law firm was so very helpful to us. My husband and I are both senior citizens and do not have any retirement except for social security. Because of medical and other financial difficulties and the lay off from his company we were at a loss of what to do. Quinton, Sarah and everyone at the Pelley firm was so understanding and helpful and set our mind at ease through out our bankruptcy. It is such a relief for us to be able to have a new fresh start at this stage of our lives. Thanks to all of you at the Pelley Law Firm.

-S.B. and J.B.

After struggling for years trying to pay off accumulating credit card debt we realized we were in too deep and had to find an alternate solution. We checked several resources and settled on Pelley Law as our choice to proceed with bankruptcy. From our initial meeting with Quintin to our final discharge, everything was organized and Pelley's staff was so helpful during the whole process. Sarah was especially helpful in giving us insight on our case and guiding us through the paperwork and the process.

We're so thankful to Pelley for making a very painful decision a little easier to bear. We're so happy to have a fresh start!

Thanks again for everything!


Member of the National Trial Lawyers | Top 100 Trial Lawyers

Pelley Law Office, L.L.P.
1312 14th Street
Plano, TX 75074

Phone: 972-608-0335
Fax: 972-424-1309
Plano Law Office

Pelley Law Office, L.L.P.
905 North Travis Street
Sherman, TX 75090

Phone: 903-813-4778
Fax: 903-813-0586
Sherman Law Office

Pelley Law Office, L.L.P.
100 Crescent Court, 7th Floor
Dallas, TX 75201

Phone: 214-799-6441
Dallas Law Office

Pelley Law Office, L.L.P.
5309 Sandstone Lane
McKinney, TX 75070

Phone: 214-733-1775
McKinney Law Office

Pelley Law Office, L.L.P.
8918 N 5th St
Frisco, TX 75034

Phone: 972-423-5596
Frisco Law Office

Pelley Law Office, L.L.P.
825 Market Street
Building M, Ste. 250
Allen, TX 75013

Phone: 214-504-8179
Allen Law Office

Pelley Law Office, L.L.P.
15305 Dallas Parkway, Ste. 300
Addison, Texas 75001
Phone: 214-504-8958
Addison Law Office

Pelley Law Office, L.L.P.
2435 North Central Expressway
12 th Floor
Richardson, Texas 75080
Phone: 972-423-6075
Richardson Law Office

Pelley Law Office, L.L.P.
545 East John Carpenter Freeway
Suite 300
Irving, Texas 75062
Phone: 214-799-3315
Irving Law Office

Pelley Law Office, L.L.P.
5601 Bridge St., Ste. 300
Fort Worth, Texas 76112
Phone: 817-205-1490
Fort Worth Law Office