Bankruptcy cases for the Western District of New York continue their three year decline. For the first three months of 2012, only 1,615 cases were filed in the court, which includes Rochester, Buffalo and the Southern Tier. This represents a 8.7% drop from the first three months of 2011. In the Rochester Division alone, cases were off 11% this year compared to January - March 2011. Cases filed by Monroe County residents were down 11.8%.
New income and expenses figures are now available for bankruptcy Means Test calculations, effective May 1, 2012. In New York, median incomes and expenses are generally up.Under the means test, a debtor's household income for the previous six months is compared with the median income for a similar size family in the debtor's state. Median incomes in New York had actually dropped in New York the last time these figures were adjusted (see my Oct. 17, 2011 blog); now they have gone back up.Median incomes in New York, for cases filed now and for cases filed after May 1, 2012:Family of 1: $45,931 goes up to $47,381
Family of 2: $56,113 goes up to $57,884
Family of 3: $66,953 goes up to $69,066
Family of 4: $81,212 goes up to $83,775National expense standards also rise. For example, the National expense for food, clothing etc. for a single person household rises from $534 to $565 per month; for a family of four, the rise is from $1,377 to $1,450.Regional housing and utility expenses are almost unchanged (for Monroe County, NY, the figures adjust a dollar or two up or down.) The regional operating cost for a motor vehicle, $278 p/m, remains unchanged. But the ownership cost for a vehicle in the North East Region (outside the major metro areas) rises from $496 to $517.Higher income debtors, especially single debtors or small families, need to have their means test situation reviewed very carefully before filing bankruptcy. If you are considering a bankruptcy and wish a free phone consultation, please see the contact page of my web site.