With respect to assets, an individual is allowed to protect certain basic assets from their creditors. This is called exempt property, or exemptions. So long as the value of your assets do not exceed the statutory limitations, you have met this criteria.
With respect to income, under the Bankruptcy law, most individuals or couples filing for protection must now meet certain eligibility requirements under a “Means Test.”
Under the Means Test, you must first determine if your average monthly income, from all sources, for the six month period prior to filing is below the median income for your state, based upon the size of your household. If your average monthly income for the six month period prior to filing is below the median income for your state, you have passed the first hurdle, and so long as you meet the other eligibility requirements, you can file for protection under Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
If your average monthly income for the past six months is above the median income for your state, you must proceed to the second hurdle – do you have the ability to repay a portion of your debt?