Median Family Income in California

The determination of whether the debtor’s “current family income” is below the “median income” of the state depends on the number of individuals in the debtor’s household. If the debtor is “in a household of one,” the median family income in California is $42,012. [See, Census Bureau Median Family Income By Family Size(in 2004 inflation adjusted dollars), which can be found at median_ income_ table.htm] After four persons in the household, add $6,300 for each individual in the household to determine the annual median income.

Since the debtor’s gross income for means testing purposes is the debtor’s actual income for the six months prior to the filing [11 U.S.C. §101(10A)], that six months of income would presumably be compared to one-half of the annual median family income for California residents.
Potential Award of Costs, Fees, and Civil Penalties Under Section 707(b)

The court may award reasonable costs, including attorney fees, and an “appropriate civil penalty” “in accordance with the procedures described in rule 9011 of the Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure” in favor of the chapter 7 trustee and against the debtor’s attorney if a motion to dismiss under Section 707(b) is filed by the chapter 7 trustee and is granted. [11 U.S.C. §707(b)(4)] Similarly, the court may award sanctions to the debtor if a Section 707(b) motion, filed by a party in interest, other than the United States trustee or chapter 7 trustee, is denied. [11 U.S.C. §707(b)(5)]

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