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While the information presented below is accurate as of the date of publication, it should not be cited or relied upon as legal authority. It is highly recommended that legal advice be obtained from a bankruptcy attorney or legal association. For filing requirements, please refer to the United States Bankruptcy Code (title 11, United States Code), the Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure (Bankruptcy Rules), and the Local Rules for the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Arizona.
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What is the Chapter 7 "Means Test"?
As part of the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005 which became effective on October 17, 2005, a "means test" was instituted to determine whether or not a debtor is entitled to a Chapter 7 discharge, or whether such debtor must convert the case to one under another chapter of the Bankruptcy Code. The basic purpose of the means test is to compare monthly income and expenses to determine whether or not a Chapter 7 discharge would constitute an "abuse" of the provisions related to Chapter 7 in the Bankruptcy Code.
Official Form B122A-1, Chapter 7 Statement of Your Current Monthly Income, requests information regarding your gross monthly income for six months prior to the filing of your bankruptcy case. However, some types of income (social security benefits, etc.) are not included for the means test calculation. Generally, if your average gross monthly income is below the median income in Arizona for your family size, or if your debts are not primarily consumer debts, your case will not be presumed to be an abuse. Even if your case is not a presumed abuse, your case could be dismissed if the Court finds that it was filed in bad faith, or if your financial situation demonstrates abuse.
If your income is above the median for your family size and your debts are primarily consumer debts, you will need to complete Official Form B122A-2, Chapter 7 Means Test Calculation. Allowable expenses are primarily determined by IRS guidelines as opposed to actual spending. Your case may be presumed to be an abuse if you have a specified amount of income left over after expenses are deducted.
You may still be entitled to a Chapter 7 discharge even if your case is presumed to be an abuse, particularly if the figures in the "means test" form do not accurately represent your current circumstances (e.g., you lost your job or have a lower paying job). If a presumption of abuse exists, some party (usually the U.S. Trustee or a creditor) may file a motion seeking a dismissal of your case. If a motion is filed, and you are unable to rebut the presumption of abuse, the Court generally will enter an order allowing you a certain amount of time to convert your case to Chapter 13, or the case will be dismissed.
If your debts are not primarily consumer debts or you are exempt from the means test due to qualifying military service, you will need to complete Official Form B122A-1Supp, Statement of Exemption from Presumption of Abuse Under §707(b)(2).
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Where do I find Post Judgment Interest Rates?
Effective December 21, 2000, the post-judgment interest rate is the weekly average one-year constant maturity Treasury yield for the calendar week preceding the date of the entry of the judgment. Rates for judgments entered prior to December 21, 2000, are based on the auction of 52 week T-bills.
The current interest rate is provided by the Federal Reserve and published each Monday for the prior week (unless Monday is a holiday in which case the rate is published on the next business day.) The current rate may be found at following website. The rate is found in the table under the two columns headed Week Ending. The two dates under those two columns refer to the Friday averages of the last two weeks. Under those columns, go down to the row which states U.S. government securities, Treasury constant maturities, nominal 10, 1- year. Where the row and columns meet, that is the rate to use for judgments entered during the two weeks listed.
Historical rates for judgments entered since December 21, 2000, may be found at the following web site.
Historical rates for judgments entered prior to December 21, 2000, are listed in the attached table.
Judgment Interest Rates Prior to 12/21/2000
What if I don't agree with an Order entered in a case?
A Notice of Appeal may be filed after an Order or Judgment has been entered in a case. In a Notice of Appeal, the party filing the appeal, the appellant, wishes to reverse the Order or Judgment granted in favor of the other party, the appellee. When an Appeal is filed, the matter is referred to the Bankruptcy Appellate Panel (BAP) or possibly the United States District Court. The filing fee for a Notice of Appeal is $298.00. More information regarding appeals is available on our web site.
What is a Motion?
A motion is a written formal statement in which the party who is requesting an action, the movant, sets forth his grounds for the action requested. The party against whom the action is requested is the respondent.
Where do I get a copy of the Local Rules?
Local Rules may be downloaded from this site under the Court Info section.
How many copies do I need to file at the Court?
All petitions shall be filed electronically by the attorney for the debtor or petitioning parties. Please submit the original if you are not represented by an attorney. If you wish to have a conformed copy returned to you, an additional copy is required.