I Found Myself in Debt Again and Back in a DMP. Should I File Bankruptcy? – Carol

“Dear Michael,

I filed BK in 2003 (April/discharged Nov 2003). I’ve found myself in debt again and I am thinking about filing again. I have been in a DMP for the past few months but I am so tight against I don’t know if I will make it through. Since I filed pre-2005, the laws were different than now and I don’t understand the means test and if my husbands income will cause me not to be able to file a Chapter 7. All the debt is mine and I live in PA. I didn’t have to include him in 2003 (tenants by entirety) saved everything we jointly owned.

I can’t afford a lawyer to file at this time. I would be filing alone without my husband. How is husbands income counted in means test? I think I will fail by including his income even though the debt is in my name alone. I live in PA (tenants by entirety). Do I have any other choices? What are your thoughts on continuing (even though extremely strapped) with DMP.


Hi Carol,

The means test applies to household income. If your husband contributes to the bills of the household, it would be unlikely that his income would not be considered part of the household.

Do You Have a Question You'd Like Help With? Contact Debt Coach Damon Day. Click here to reach Damon.

It sounds like the DMP was a stretch for you to agree to if you are only 2 to 3 months in and having trouble. Who are you enrolled in the DMP through?

Who are the debts you have in the DMP owed to?

What are the balances on each account?

If you can answer those questions in the comment section below, you will get some additional feedback that may be worth considering.

Also, you should be able to speak with a local bankruptcy attorney near you at no cost in order to establish where you are at with the means test qualification when considering all income and allowable exemptions that may apply to you (children, medical etc.). You may learn that you have access to discharge through chapter 7. Your DMP payments could be saved up for a few months to pay for the bankruptcy.

Michael Bovee has worked with financially challenged consumers for the past 17 years and is a recognized expert in his field. Michael founded Consumer Recovery Network (CRN) in 2006. CRN offers debt settlement services and educational resources nationwide. He has served as its president since 2006.

If you have a debt related question you’d like to ask, just use the online form.

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