Can I be forced into a 100% repayment plan when my income is less than 20k annually ifmy wife makes 80K?

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Can I be forced into a 100% repayment plan when my income is less than 20k annually ifmy wife makes 80K?

I have been told that I have to file 100% plan due to total household income. My debts are mine, not my wife’s. She pays all household expenses out of her paycheck. Court says I must pay $700 per month repayment for 5 years. This leaves me nothing to live off of and forces my wife to support me by paying all household expenses herself. Is this legal and accurate?

Asked on September 24, 2011 under Bankruptcy Law, Pennsylvania

Answers:

Mark J. Markus / Mark J. Markus, Law Offices of

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

First of all, nobody can be forced to pay anything.  That would be involuntary servitude and was made unconstitutional (in the United States anyway) by the Thirteenth Amendment.

If you wish to voluntarily file a bankruptcy case, you may be ineligible for a Chapter 7 case due to your income, and may need to do a 100% repayment plan, depending on what your household income and, of course, the amount of your debts are.

If your question is whether your wife's income gets included in the analysis, the answer is yes.  This has always been the case in community property states (I have no idea whether Pennsylvania is or not), but since the amendments to the Bankruptcy Code signed by President George W. Bush in 2005, both spouse's income factor into the means test analysis.

Mark J. Markus, Attorney at Law

Handling exclusively bankruptcy law cases in California since 1991.

http://www.bklaw.com/

bankruptcy blog: http://bklaw.com/bankruptcy-blog/

Follow Me on Twitter:  @bklawr

Mark J. Markus / Mark J. Markus, Law Offices of

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

First of all, nobody can be forced to pay anything.  That would be involuntary servitude and was made unconstitutional (in the United States anyway) by the Thirteenth Amendment.

If you wish to voluntarily file a bankruptcy case, you may be ineligible for a Chapter 7 case due to your income, and may need to do a 100% repayment plan, depending on what your household income and, of course, the amount of your debts are.

If your question is whether your wife's income gets included in the analysis, the answer is yes.  This has always been the case in community property states (I have no idea whether Pennsylvania is or not), but since the amendments to the Bankruptcy Code signed by President George W. Bush in 2005, both spouse's income factor into the means test analysis.

Mark J. Markus, Attorney at Law

Handling exclusively bankruptcy law cases in California since 1991.

http://www.bklaw.com/

bankruptcy blog: http://bklaw.com/bankruptcy-blog/

Follow Me on Twitter:  @bklawr


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