Updated December 5, 2019
When your financial life needs an overhaul, filing for bankruptcy will often do the trick. But there’s much that you need to know, and it isn’t always easy to find—especially when it’s specific to a particular state. In this article, you’ll learn how to find the official bankruptcy forms, New Hampshire means testing information, approved credit counseling providers, and the New Hampshire bankruptcy court. You’ll also find out what property you can protect in your New Hampshire bankruptcy.
Federal law governs bankruptcy, and most procedures are the same in every state. For instance, you’ll find downloadable, fillable, official bankruptcy forms used by all filers on the U.S. Bankruptcy Court forms web page. (For a description of the information needed for each official form, read How to Fill Out Bankruptcy Forms.)
However, you’ll want to be sure to check the New Hampshire Court website for local forms (more instructions in the “About New Hampshire’s Bankruptcy Court” section below), and review other information particular to New Hampshire, as well.
You’ll find two types of information you’ll need on the U.S. Trustee website: means testing figures and approved credit counseling providers.
You’ll be able to protect some or all of your property in bankruptcy using New Hampshire’s bankruptcy exemptions. So what happens to any nonexempt property? The bankruptcy trustee appointed in a Chapter 7 case sells nonexempt property for the benefit of the creditors. In Chapter 13 bankruptcy, the filer will need to repay creditors an amount equal to the nonexempt property value (and possibly more).
Here’s more information you’ll need to know about exemptions:
Domicile requirements. You must be a New Hampshire resident for at least 730 days before filing the bankruptcy petition. If you weren’t living in any one state during the two years before filing for bankruptcy, you'd use the exemptions of the state you lived in for most of the 180 days before the two-year period that immediately preceded your filing. Learn more about filing for bankruptcy after moving to a new state.
Unless otherwise indicated, all exemption references below are to the New Hampshire Revised Statutes Annotated. Be aware that additional exemptions exist. Also, exemptions are periodically updated, so you’ll want to verify your exemptions independently. You can do so at the website of the New Hampshire Government website or by consulting with a local bankruptcy attorney.
You can protect up to $120,000 of equity in a residential property, including a house, condominium, or manufactured housing in which you live, as well as the land it’s on if you own it as well. In New Hampshire, the homestead exemption is automatic—you don’t have to file a declaration to claim the homestead exemption in bankruptcy. (N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 480:1.)
You can claim up to:
Additionally, you can protect:
(N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 511:2.)
You can protect any property of your choosing with a value up to $1,000, plus an additional $7,000 of unused exemptions for fuel, books, furniture, tools of the trade, a motor vehicle, and jewelry. (N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 511:2.)
New Hampshire has one bankruptcy court with Chief Judge Bruce A. Harwood sitting as the presiding judge. The location and contact number are:Warren B. Rudman U.S. Courthouse
You’ll file your paperwork in the clerk’s office located on the 10th floor, and you’ll attend the 341 meeting of creditors on the 7th floor in the U.S. Trustee’s meeting room.
The New Hampshire Bankruptcy Court website has additional information, including the court’s hours, mailing address, trustee information, and local forms (click “Rules and Forms” on the menu bar; scroll down to “Local Bankruptcy Forms.”)