my wife lost her job last week. we are in the process of filing bankruptcy papers. can we list her incom as zero on the means test?

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my wife lost her job last week. we are in the process of filing bankruptcy papers. can we list her incom as zero on the means test?

Asked on June 20, 2009 under Bankruptcy Law, Arizona

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

If your wife has no salary, then yes you can list her income as zero.  A severance package, however, would have to be included on the means test.  If this causes you to "fail" the means test, then you cannot file a Chapter 7.  However, the bankruptcy judge can make a determination that due to this one-time severance payment your current monthly income has been artificially inflated.   Under such special circumstances, the judge may allow you to remain in Chapter 7.  As for whether or not unemployment compensation has to be included, there is a split in opinion on this.  Your best bet is to speak with a bankruptcy attorney in your area.


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