DO NOT let the false rumors on the Internet about the Means Test deter you!

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, an illness, interest rates, the bad economy, or some other similar life event. Life happens. Now you need to make the right decisions to prepare you 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, everyone is still eligible to file bankruptcy.

The Means Test

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 "Current Monthly Income"?

"Current Monthly Income" is a term of art and is an average of your gross pay 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. That means most of our clients pay back none of their credit card and other unsecured debts.

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.


Let our experts who deal with the Means Test everyday determine if you pass. We know all the deductions for you to claim, which you probably would fail to use since you have no experience with this issue.

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

We invite you to call us at 972-608-0335 to schedule a free confidential consultation with an experienced bankruptcy lawyer. You can also contact us by email 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.

The most accurate way of predicting attorneys' performance in the future is to examine the results they have achieved in the past.