Be Careful Playing the System Skip to main content

You are here

Be Careful Playing the System


To supposedly keep bankruptcy filings from getting out of hand the federal government passed the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005, more commonly known as the Bankruptcy Abuse Reform Act (or BARF). BARF was supposed to help keep people that truly do not need to, from filing?

Unfortunately, BARF was passed upon the assumption that a lot of people were abusing the bankruptcy system. It was only more unfortunate that this assumption was thereafter proved to be totally incorrect.

Fortunately, BARF, as written, although adding lots of 'red tape' to the system, did not, for the most part, make unobtainable the kind of help that only filing bankruptcy can provide...given proper planning "pre-filing".

BARF did erect substantial obstacles to filing, and these must be dealt with.

The biggest obstacle arose from the implementation of what is known as the "Means Test". The idea was to filter out those people who would want to file bankruptcy, but who could really afford to keep paying.

As it turns out, most of the people who need to file really can't afford to keep paying. Still, however, the Means Test does remain a substantial obstacle to filing. And to make things worse, this test is extremely complicated to understand and absolutely full of landmines for the unaware.

For example, a high income in the last 6 months could make it too expensive to file, especially if you don't even have that income anymore. In this case, waiting to file for a number of months could be critical.

And, that's where a good bankruptcy attorney comes in.

There are many ways to work around this ill-conceived test, but only a seasoned bankruptcy will know what they are and how to successfully apply them.

If you are thinking of trying to circumvent the Means Test on your own, beware. Even mediocre bankruptcy attorneys screw this up, and tactics gone too far will either make it impossible to file or leave you with a bankruptcy plan payment you cannot afford, or worse, result in your case getting dismissed out of court.

If you believe you need to file bankruptcy, you most definitely want to be in the hands of a good bankruptcy attorney. A good bankruptcy attorney will know what to do, but also how far is too far.

If you want a bomb defused, you want an expert at defusing bombs. It's exactly the same in terms of defusing the "Means Test". You want an expert. Your financial life is riding on it.

The Law Offices of John T. Orcutt give you access to 7 good bankruptcy attorneys, with an 8th in training.

Need to make sure you get the help you need. Attorney John Orcutt offers a totally FREE initial consultation, and has offices located in Raleigh, Durham, Fayetteville and Wilson, North Carolina.

Just call toll free to +1-919-646-2654 during normal business hours, or visit their website at

Debts Hurt! Got debt? Need help? Get started below!

What North Carolina County Do You Reside In?