The bankruptcy means test was created to aid in identifying debtors who have the ability to pay their unsecured debts. After being identified these debtors are encouraged to pay these debts through a repayment plan under a Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Those without the “means” to pay their debts under a Chapter 13 bankruptcy may qualify for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Talk to an experienced bankruptcy lawyer if you want to know whether you qualify for a Chapter 13 or a Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
The means test focuses both on your income and expenses. So if your income is more than the Texas median income then you cannot file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. If it’s less than the Texas median income, then you are eligible to file a Chapter 7 provided you meet other legal requirements. People who qualify for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy are people whose expenses and debts are more than they can afford to pay back. The following are the Texas median incomes according to household size for cases filed between November 1, 2019 and March 31, 2020:
Household of 1: $49,996
Household of 2: $65,708
Household of 3: $72,632
Household of 4: $84,724
There is an additional 9,000 for each individual in excess of 4.
What Happens If You Don’t Pass The Means Test
You are considered to have passed the means test if your family’s income is less than the Texas (or the state you reside in) median income for your household size. People with incomes that exceed the state’s median income are often people who have the means to pay a portion of their unsecured debts. That means that they have disposable income that is sufficient to pay 25% or more of their unsecured debt. Your disposable income is the amount that remains after you deduct certain expenses from your current monthly income based on IRS national standards.
If you should multiply your disposable income by 60 and the resulting amount is less than $7,475, then you have passed the means test and qualify for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. But if the resulting amount is more than $12,475 you cannot file for a Chapter 7. However, there are exceptions to this rule in situations where you recently lost your job or your income was reduced. An experienced bankruptcy lawyer can help you determine if such exceptions apply to your situation.
People who want most or all of their debts eliminated so that they can get a “fresh start” often file for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Under a Chapter 7 bankruptcy a trustee sells all your non exempt assets and the money is divided among your creditors. The remaining debt is discharged and creditors are not allowed to collect any debt that was discharged. If you only own property that is exempt, you get to keep all that property and your debts are discharged. However, just because you are eligible to file for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy does not mean that you should file. There could be other less drastic alternatives that may benefit you more than bankruptcy.
Immigration laws determine who becomes a U.S citizen or who gets allowed to enter the country to become a student, worker, refugee, or permanent resident. Immigration affects states differently in terms of economics and population. It may lead to a state having to adjust how it does public services and law enforcement. For example, in some counties in Texas police are involved in finger printing and checking the criminal status of immigrants that are in the country illegally. If you are arrested for being an illegal alien, you will need an experienced immigration lawyer that understands your desire to live, work and stay in the United States.
People arrested for being in the U.S. illegally are presented before an immigration judge in a formal court proceeding. The judge decides whether you are to be allowed to remain in the U.S., removed or deported. The judge may grant any type of immigration relief or benefit to a foreign national and that individual’s immediate family. The Houston Immigration court has nine judges and it falls under the Jurisdiction of the Office of the Chief Immigration judge, which is part of the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR).
Cases Immigration Lawyers Handle In Texas
The types of cases immigration lawyers in Texas can assist you with include:
You can immigrate through family, employment and on humanitarian grounds. For you to immigrate through family, you must have a family member that is either a citizen, holder of specific types of visas, or permanent resident of the United States. That family member can file a petition for their immediate family members that live in the U.S. or outside of the country.
To work in the United States you will need a high-skilled Visa such as the H-1B Visa. You can then apply to remain permanently in the United States. People who want to immigrate on humanitarian grounds include refugees or people that face persecution in their home countries. People who receive immigrant status have been granted permission to permanently reside in the United States. The immigration process is very complex, but an experienced immigration lawyer can help you to easily navigate the process by using different application strategies.
More than 1.1 million people were granted legal permanent residence (Green Card) in the 2018 fiscal year according to the Service Citizenship and US immigration Services (USCIS). A significant number of these new Green Card holders were awarded for the purpose of family reunification. Continue reading “Family Based Immigration Attorney”