Because I will be earning that income and it will eventually put us over the median income for Chapter 7, can we still qualify and file for Chapter 7? 7 Answers as of July 18, 2016

My wife and I qualify for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy. She earns $53,100 a year and over the last 6 months and I have not earned any income. I am about to start working a job where I will earn approximately $800 a month which over 1 year period of time will put us a little over the $59,000 (close to $62,000) median income to file for Chapter 7. If we can file for Chapter 7 and before the creditors meeting or after the creditors meeting I get a 2nd job (which I need to pay for bills, etc.) which will be even more income, will we still qualify for Chapter 7? I am referring to a job that will add income of another $700-1000 a month. Is the look back period just in reference to what you have earned over the last 6 months? When you file for Chapter 7 whatever you earn after that does not count or does not have any bearing on whether we/a person can still qualify for Chapter 7 or not? My wife and I are in a position right now where we cannot even afford the retainer fee to file with a lawyer. Does anyone know how we can find an attorney who will offer us payment plans or how we can find a pro bono lawyer?

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Richard B. Jacobson & Associates, LLC | Richard B. Jacobson
You may not be aware that the official forms, and some of the Bankruptcy Rules, changed significantly about seven months ago. You would do yourself a favor by retaining a skilled bankruptcy lawyer which is almost always a good investment. Don't look back six months; look back 12 months. Most of the US Trustees do not seem to care about your future earnings just what the situation was as of the day you filed.
Answer Applies to: Wisconsin
Replied: 7/18/2016
Stephens Gourley & Bywater | David A. Stephens
For chapter 7, the trustee looks back at the last six months before you file, rather than after. The exception would be if you had contingent income earned before filing, but paid after filing.
Answer Applies to: Nevada
Replied: 7/14/2016
A Fresh Start
A Fresh Start | Dorothy G Bunce
You are making a lot of assumptions about being eligible for Chapter 7 that are misplaced. The Means Test is only one of the requirements to being eligible for Chapter 7. The other issue is called the ?"GOOD FAITH test, and it is based on the relationship of your budget numbers and the size of your debt. A pro bono attorney might be appropriate for someone who was indigent, but not for someone right at the median income level. If you want to file Chapter 7 now with competent representation, you need to pay for both legal fees and court costs now. If you want to make payments on the legal fees and court costs, your case will not be filed. PERIOD! The courts have expressly ruled that in Chapter 7 it is an unethical conflict of interest for you to owe your attorney money.
Answer Applies to: Nevada
Replied: 7/13/2016
Ronald K. Nims LLC | Ronald K. Nims
The income test for Chapter 7 is entirely retrospective - it only looks back at the debtors' income for the six months before the filing. People with seasonal income - say a teacher that is paid for during a 9 month school year with -0- summer income - can often qualify for Chapter 7 when the 0- months are included but can't the rest of the year. So, the new job won't affect your Chapter 7 eligibility.
Answer Applies to: Ohio
Replied: 7/13/2016
The Salas Firm
The Salas Firm | Ron Salas
The means test is based on the actual prior 6 months? earnings, so you should probably file sooner rather than later. The longer you what the higher the income will be.
Answer Applies to: Colorado
Replied: 7/13/2016
    Goldsmith & Guymon
    Goldsmith & Guymon | Marjorie Guymon
    Income is based upon what you make at the time of filing and the six months prior. If you are over median income you don't have to take the means test but it doesn't mean you are automatically qualified for a 7. The key is what is your disposable income.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 7/13/2016
    Scott Goldstein | Scott Goldstein
    With an income of nearly $60,000 there is no way you will find pro bono assistance. Most attorneys will do a payment plan but they will not file a case unless you have paid your fee in full. As your remaining questions, they are far too complicated to answer by a brief email and would require that you really consult with an actual attorney rather than rely on something like this.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 7/13/2016
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