Currently Monthly Income (CMI) in St Louis Bankruptcy
In the world of St. Louis bankruptcy, your current monthly income is not necessarily what you earned this most recent month at your place of work. Current Monthly Income (or CMI) is actually described as the six month period of time directly preceding the filing of your bankruptcy petition. So if you file a Missouri or Illinois bankruptcy in July, your CMI period would be from January to June (i.e. the six months before the month you filed your case).
This period of time is vitally critical to the outcome of your case. In fact, so much hinges upon this six month period that it can determine whether or not you qualify for a St. Louis Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Here is why: the United States Trustee has calculated average/median income levels for every household size based on data compiled by the Internal Revenue Service. This data includes things like cost of living expenses, health care needs, and even information related to transportation costs. For instance, the median income for a household of two is $54,697 (as of August 2016). If your total household income from all sources (minus things like social security income, which is considered non-CMI) is less than this amount, then you generally qualify for a Chapter 7. In order to prove that you are in fact below this median income level, the court requires that you provide income verification for the last six months prior to filing to your St. Louis bankruptcy lawyer. For most people, this would come in the form of any and all paystubs received during this period of time (if you are self-employed, or a business owner, it is possible to submit profit-loss statements as verification). The gross amount you earned in the last six months is then annualized so that an accurate income level can be determined. If that amount proves to be below $54,697 (and you are a household of two), then you may file a Missouri or Illinois Chapter 7.
If you are above the median income level for your household size, it is still possible to file a Chapter 7 if there are enough exemptions and/or deductions that can be applied. These exemptions are offered by the government as a way to get inside a Chapter 7 when you are above median income, but unless you are using an experienced attorney, your chances of getting into this type of bankruptcy are slim.
But if the available exemptions are not enough to get you into a Chapter 7, there is always the possibility of a St. Louis Chapter 13 bankruptcy. A Missouri or Illinois Chapter 13 is described as a repayment plan over the course of three to five years in which certain debts are paid back (such as arrearage on a mortgage, can loans, tax debt, and back child support). There is also the opportunity to discharge a great deal of your unsecured debt as well.
The affordable St. Louis bankruptcy attorneys at The Law Office of Jennifer Alter-Rieken have been making sure that our clients are properly taken care of for years. Our goal is to get you on the path towards financial freedom, and the fresh start / clean slate that you deserve.