New bankruptcy lawyers are often frustrated by the internal inconsistencies required by the “reformed” Bankruptcy Code.
Whether it’s rational or not, the means test income figure looks backward while the means test expenses set forth are prospective.
Some of those prospective expenses are actual (taxes ) while others are contractual (mortgage payments).
Social Security income is excluded from the means test, but included on schedule I.
Schedule I and J look forward. The immediate future may or may not match or even be consistent with the look back period.
Once you accept that the income and expense numbers in different places reflect different “realities” and serve different statutory purposes, the frustration (at some levels) subsides.
Where those numbers tell different stories, make sure that the two stories can be reconciled; new job, no job; cure arrears, surrender property.
Inquiring minds will want to know.