December 18, 2017
Filing for bankruptcy provides the fresh start you need when you’re behind on your bills and learning about the differences between a Chapter 7 and a Chapter 13 bankruptcy is a good place to start. This article will explain other information you’ll need to know, such as how to protect property in your Idaho bankruptcy, and where to find the official bankruptcy forms, Idaho means test figures, bankruptcy course providers, and your local bankruptcy court.
Before the Idaho bankruptcy court discharges (wipes out) your qualifying debt, you must first describe all aspects of your financial circumstances on official forms. The court will require details about the property you own, your debts, how much money you make, and any financial transactions you’ve made recently, such as selling a car or closing a bank account. The U.S. Courts form page has all of the official bankruptcy forms that you’ll need.
Next, you’ll file your paperwork with the local bankruptcy court. When you do so, you’ll need to pay a filing fee or request a fee waiver and submit proof that you’ve completed the required credit course (more below). You can find out more about the forms you’ll need to complete in How to Fill Out Bankruptcy Forms.
Federal law governs bankruptcy filings, but parts of Idaho law and procedure also come into play.
Two types of information you’ll need is found on the U.S. Trustee website: means testing figures (for qualification purposes) and approved credit counseling and debt education providers.
When you file for bankruptcy, your local court will have its own rules you must follow, as well as forms that you must file. On the Idaho bankruptcy court website, you’ll find the court’s local rules and filing instructions by selecting “Self Representation” on the navbar.
The District of Idaho has three offices. Your case gets assigned to a court based on your county of residence. Please contact one of the offices below for further guidance.
550 W. Fort Street, St. 400
Boise, ID 83724
6450 North Mineral Drive
Coeur d'Alene, ID 83815
801 E. Sherman Street, Rm 119
Pocatello, ID 83201
You won’t lose everything when you file for bankruptcy, but you might not be able to protect (exempt) all of your property, either. The asset must appear in Idaho’s exemptions (or fall under one of the federal nonbankruptcy exemptions).
If an asset isn’t exempt, the Chapter 7 trustee appointed to your case can sell it and distribute the funds to your creditors. Your property gets treated differently in a Chapter 13 bankruptcy. You’ll be able to keep nonexempt property if you can afford to pay for it in the Chapter 13 repayment plan.
Below are some common exemptions available under Idaho law. For most exemptions, spouses filing a joint bankruptcy in Idaho can double the exemption amount if they both own the property. (Citations are to the Idaho Code found on the Idaho Legislature website.)
Idaho adjusts amounts periodically, and additional exemptions exist. To be sure that you’re protecting your property, check the Idaho statutes on the Idaho Legislature’s website (above) or consult with a bankruptcy lawyer.
This overview cannot address all information you’ll need to file a bankruptcy case. For more detailed information that can help you make important bankruptcy decisions, consider purchasing a book such as How to File Chapter 7 Bankruptcy by Attorney Cara O’Neill and Albin Renauer J.D.