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  • Writer's pictureJason Couey

DO YOU EARN TOO MUCH INCOME TO FILE A CHAPTER 7? Amounts Effective as of 11/01/2023.

Updated: Dec 19, 2023

How much income can you earn and still for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy? Read the blog post below to find out.


The amount of income you can earn on average per year has increased under the bankruptcy "means-test." In order to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, your gross income (income earned before taxes and deductions) must be under a certain amount. The bankruptcy court looks at the gross income you have received the 6 months prior to the month you intend to file for bankruptcy to determine whether you qualify to file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. For example, if you intend to file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy in December, the court wants to know how much gross income you received from the month of June through the month of November. Below are the types of income that are included in the means-test and the types of income that are not included in the means-test equation.

Income that is NOT calculated in the means-test:

  • Payments you receive from Social Security (including Social Security Retirement, SSI, SSDI, and TANF)

  • VA Disability Income.

  • Federal Stimulus Payments

Income that is calculated in the means-test:

  • wages, salary, tips, bonuses, overtime, and commissions

  • interest, dividends, and royalties

  • net income from rents and other real property income

  • pension and retirement income

  • regular contributions to the household expenses of the debtor or the debtor’s dependents, including child or spousal support

  • regular contributions by the debtor’s spouse (unless you are legally separated)

  • unemployment compensation

  • workers’ compensation income

  • state disability insurance, and

  • annuity payments.

Below are the amounts of gross income each household size can receive in the State of Washington and still qualify to file a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy under the means-test. Each state has a different amount you can receive, so be sure to check what your state's numbers are. The amounts below are for the 6 months X 2 for the average of one year. The amounts are different for each state.

Washington State Gross Income by Household Size as of November 1, 2023

Household Size of One: $83,136.00

Household Size of Two: $96,815.00

Household Size of Three: $113,759.00

Household Size of Four: $134,300.00

* Add $9,900.00 for each individual in excess of 4 people.

If you are currently over the above income levels for your household size, you still have options and may still be able to qualify to file a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy. It is important to know where you stand on income before you file for bankruptcy. There are a variety of options. Call our office and find out whether you qualify for a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy or make an appointment for a FREE Consultation with Jason Couey.

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