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Prior to October 17, 2005, filing bankruptcy primarily involved your ability to compile your financial data and complete the required forms properly. Since then, much as filing bankruptcy was prior to the late 1970's, there are other requirements. The most important of which is the “means test” which compares your regular income with your debt level. Failing the means test will prohibit you from filing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, leaving a Chapter 13 filing as your only choice.
How does the means test work? If your average monthly income for six months prior to your filing bankruptcy is less than the median income from your state, which happens around 85% of the time, you will be allowed to file under Chapter 7. Should your income be higher, you may or may not be permitted to file for liquidation. Your attorney will help you determine your status.