If you live in Idaho and want to file for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, there are a number of steps you must take, including participating in credit counseling and debtor education, completing the bankruptcy petition and other required forms, and filing those forms in an Idaho bankruptcy court.
Because bankruptcy is mostly governed by federal bankruptcy laws, the general bankruptcy filing process in Idaho is similar to other states. However, there is some Idaho-specific information you will need to include on your bankruptcy forms. You’ll also have to know about the Idaho bankruptcy exemptions and find an approved credit and debt counselor in Idaho.
(For more articles on the filing process, see Filing for Bankruptcy.)
Here's how to get started.
Pre-Bankruptcy Credit Counseling and Pre-Discharge Debtor Education in Idaho
In order to qualify for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you must show that you received credit counseling from an agency approved by the U.S. Trustee in Idaho within the six month period before you file for bankruptcy. You’ll also have to take a debtor education course before you get a bankruptcy discharge. (To learn more about this requirement, including the rare exceptions, see Credit Counseling & Debtor Education Requirements in Bankruptcy.)
You can find the list of approved Idaho credit counseling agencies here.
You can find the list of approved Idaho debtor education agencies here.
Idaho Bankruptcy Exemptions
Idaho has a set of bankruptcy exemptions which help determine what property you get to keep in Chapter 7 bankruptcy, and play a role in how much you repay unsecured creditors in Chapter 13 bankruptcy. (To learn more, see our Bankruptcy Exemptions area.)
Unlike in some states, Idaho does not allow you to use the federal bankruptcy exemptions. You must use the Idaho state exemptions.
To learn about Idaho’s exemptions for your home and car, see The Homestead Exemption in Idaho and The Motor Vehicle Exemption in Idaho. To find other Idaho exemptions, see Idaho Bankruptcy Exemptions.
Completing the Bankruptcy Forms in Idaho
When you file for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you must complete a bankruptcy petition, a number of schedules containing detailed information about your finances, and several other forms, including a lengthy form known as the “means test” (for Chapter 7) and a similar form for Chapter 13.
(For a list of the forms you must complete, see The Bankruptcy Forms: Getting Started.)
Getting and Completing the Official Bankruptcy Forms
For more information about each of the official forms, including how to find them and fill them out, see Completing the Bankruptcy Forms.
Finding Means Test Information for Idaho
When you file for bankruptcy in Idaho, you must compare your income to the median income for a household of your size in Idaho. If your income is less than the median, you will be eligible to file for Chapter 7 and, if you choose to file for Chapter 13, you can use a three-year repayment plan (rather than five years). This is called the means test.
If your income is above Idaho’s median income, you still might qualify for Chapter 7, but you’ll have to provide detailed information about your expenses and payments on secured debts in order to find out. Most Chapter 13 filers also have to provide this information.
For information about each of these forms, see:
Form 22A – Statement of Current Monthly Income and Means Test Calculation (for Chapter 7), and
Form 22C – Statement of Current Monthly Income and Calculation of Commitment Period and Disposable Income (for Chapter 13).
Here’s how to find the Idaho-specific figures for the means test forms:
Idaho median income figures. For a one-person household in Idaho, the median income is $39,120. For a family of three, the Idaho median income is $52,077. These figures change periodically. You can find the most current figures for each household size here.
Example. Bill’s annual income is $35,000. He lives alone. He will automatically pass the means test because his income is below $39,120.
Standard deductions. Forms 22A and 22C have a comprehensive list of expense categories, such as housing, transportation, food, and childcare. For some of those categories (like childcare), you provide the actual amount you spend. For others, you plug in a predetermined amount -- sometimes that figure is standard for the whole country, other times it varies by county or region.
You can find Idaho’s state, county, and region-specific figures for Forms 22A and 22C on the U.S. Trustee’s website at www.justice.gov/ust. Click on “Bankruptcy Reform” and then “Means Testing Information.”
Example. In Idaho, the standard amount you list on your bankruptcy papers for housing varies by county. For example, if you live in Ada County, your mortgage or rent deduction is $968 for a one-person household. But if you live in Canyon County, the deduction is $761. You can find housing expense standards for each Idaho county here.
Getting Local Bankruptcy Forms
Some judicial districts and bankruptcy courts require bankruptcy filers to complete additional “local forms.” To find out if your court requires additional forms, contact the bankruptcy filing clerk. Some courts post these forms online on the court’s website. (Below you’ll find a link to Idaho’s bankruptcy courts.)
Filing in the Idaho Bankruptcy Courts
Since there is only one judicial district in Idaho (see below for the link), you don’t need to worry about the rules for filing in the correct judicial district.
You can use the Court Locator tool on the U.S. Trustee’s website to find bankruptcy court locations and websites. Idaho has a combined website for its Federal Courts (which includes the Bankruptcy Court and District Court) located at www.id.uscourts.gov.
The main office is in Boise, but there are also bankruptcy courts in Coeur d’Alene and Pocatello.