How to File Bankruptcy in Idaho

Find out about information you'll need for your Idaho bankruptcy case.

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.

Official Bankruptcy Forms

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.

Idaho Bankruptcy Information

Federal law governs bankruptcy filings, but parts of Idaho law and procedure also come into play.

Idaho Means Testing Figures and Bankruptcy Courses

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.

  • Means test figures. When you file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you’ll need to demonstrate that your income is within guidelines by passing the “means test.” If the family income is lower the median income of Idaho, you pass. If it exceeds the median, you can subtract certain standard expenses to see if you fall within guideline amounts. You’ll find the income guidelines and expense figures under “Means Testing Information.”. If you file a Chapter 13 bankruptcy instead, a calculation similar to the means test will help you determine your monthly payment.
  • Credit counseling providers. Most filers must complete a session with a credit counseling service before filing for bankruptcy and a debt management course before receiving a discharge. You’ll find approved providers under “Credit Counseling & Debtor Education.” Scroll down to the District of Idaho.

Idaho Bankruptcy Court Locations

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.


Coeur d’Alene


550 W. Fort Street, St. 400

Boise, ID 83724

(208) 334-1361

(866) 496-1250

6450 North Mineral Drive

Coeur d'Alene, ID 83815

(208) 665-6850

(866) 299-5515

801 E. Sherman Street, Rm 119

Pocatello, ID 83201

(208) 478-4123

(866) 444-6086

Idaho Bankruptcy Exemptions

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.)

  • Homestead or residential property. Up to $100,000 in a home or mobile home. This amount cannot be doubled. The exemption amount covers sales proceeds and insurance proceeds from the destruction of your home (conditions apply). (§§ 55-1001, 55-1002, 55-1003, §55-1008, 55-1113)
  • Property exempt without limitation. You can exempt an unlimited amount of the following: burial plot, health aids that allow you or a family member to work and maintain your health, public assistance, and unemployment compensation. (§ 11-603)
  • Property reasonably necessary for support. You can exempt the following property as long as it is reasonably necessary for your support (conditions might apply): proceeds received as the result of bodily injury or wrongful death of a person upon whom you’re dependent (§ 11-604(1)(c)); disability benefits (§ 41-1834); alimony or support payments (§ 11-604(1)(b)); insurance benefits (§§ 41-1833(1), 41-1930); group life insurance benefits (§ 41-1835); life insurance proceeds (§ 41-1930).
  • Personal property. Up to $7,500 ($750 per item) of household appliances and furnishings, pets, instruments, heirlooms, and items of sentimental value (§§ 11-605(1)(a),(b),(c)); crops cultivated on up to 50 acres and water rights for 160 inches of water (§ 11-605(7)); up to $1,000 of jewelry (§ 11-605(2)); a firearm up to $750 in value (§ 11-605(8)).
  • Motor vehicles. Up to $7,000 in a motor vehicle. (§ 11-605(3))
  • Pension and retirement benefits. ERISA-qualified benefits (§§ 50-1011, 11-604A); public employees’ retirement benefits (§§ 59-1317, 59-1325); firefighter's fund retirement benefits (§ 72-1422); employee plan benefits (§§ 11-604(1), 11-604A, 41-1834). (Additional exemptions might also be available for retirement benefits. See Your Retirement Plan in Bankruptcy.)
  • Wildcard exemption. Up to $800 of any personal property (not real estate). (§11-605(10))
  • Tools of the trade. Up to $2,500 of tools used in a trade or business. (§11-605(2))

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.

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