Chapter 7 - Personal Bankruptcy

Under the new bankruptcy laws, every prospective bankruptcy debtor needs to prepare and submit to the Court a “means test” statement to determine whether he or she (or they in the case of a married couple) can qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. The means test will consider a household’s total monthly gross income over the six months prior to filing in comparison to the state’s median household income. If an individual is eligible for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, his or her unsecured debts may be discharged. If a person is ineligible because of excess income, then filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy may be another option. The Means Test has two parts: the first is a simple comparison of the gross monthly income and household size compared to the median income for the same size household in Connecticut. If the prospective debtor’s income is in excess of the median, a second “long form” Means Test must be completed. This is very complex with over 50 line items which correlate to the Internal Revenue Service’s collection guidelines and relate to different allowed amounts depending on family income and County of residence. While in the vast majority of Chapter 7 consumer cases no property is liquidated or surrendered to the trustee, careful attention and legal application of the correct exemptions must precede the bankruptcy filing, or property may be at risk of forfeiture.

Chapter 13 - Bankruptcy

Chapter 13 is known as a “wage earner’s plan.” This is where the debtor agrees to make instalment payments over three to five years in adherence to a plan approved by the court. In most cases individuals or couples who are eligible for Chapter 13 bankruptcy are homeowners who are delinquent on mortgage payments, car payments, credit card bills, and other expenses. They file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy in order to save their home from foreclosure or to prevent foreclosure from beginning. Filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy allows homeowners to file a plan proposing to repay overdue mortgage payments and other debts over a several year period.

The unfortunate fact is that the majority of Chapter 13 cases are unsuccessful, but the Lenz Law Firm has a higher than average success rate. We provide experienced assistance to people interested in getting a fresh start on their finances and their lives.


Please get in touch with us if if you have any questions, or you’re feeling uncertain about your financial future . We’re available from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, except on legal holidays. In special circumstances, we can set up an appointment outside of our usual business hours or even on weekends.  We look forward to hearing from you.