How to File Bankruptcy in North Carolina

Learn how to find some of the information you'll need when filing for bankruptcy in North Carolina.

When you can’t cover your obligations each month, you might consider filing for bankruptcy in North Carolina. If you’re not familiar with how each type of bankruptcy works, you’ll want to start by finding out about the differences between filing for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy.

When you’re ready to prepare your bankruptcy paperwork, this article can help by directing you to some of the information that can be harder to find. You’ll learn about official bankruptcy forms, North Carolina means test figures, credit counseling providers, your local bankruptcy court, and protecting property in a North Carolina bankruptcy.

Official Bankruptcy Forms

Before the North Carolina bankruptcy court eliminates (discharges) your qualifying debt, you’ll have to provide lists of your property, debts, income, expenses, and financial transactions. You’ll do so on official bankruptcy forms, which you can download from the U.S. Courts form page.

When they’re complete, you’ll file the paperwork in the North Carolina bankruptcy court. Along with the paperwork, you’ll include a filing fee or a request for a fee waiver and proof that you’ve completed a credit counseling course (additional information below).

North Carolina Bankruptcy Information

All bankruptcy cases fall under federal law, but you'll need some North Carolina information to complete the paperwork, too.

Means Testing and Credit Counseling Information

  • Means test. Eligibility for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy depends on your income. Specifically, you must pass the “means test.” An income lower than the median in North Carolina passes. By contrast, if your income exceeds the median, you might pass after you subtract certain standard expenses. You can find the income charts and expense figures on the trustee’s website. Chapter 13 bankruptcy has no means test, but a similar calculation will help you determine your monthly plan payment.
  • Credit counseling. Most filers are required to sit for a session with a credit counseling service before filing for bankruptcy. Once the case is filed, you’ll take a debt management course to qualify for your discharge. The Bankruptcy Administrator for each North Carolina district approves the agencies that can provide these courses. For the list of approved providers, visit the link listed below.

North Carolina Bankruptcy Exemptions

When you file for bankruptcy, you’ll probably be able to exempt (protect) most—but not necessarily all—of your property.

  • Exempt property. If the asset appears on the list of North Carolina exemptions or the list of federal nonbankruptcy exemptions, it’s safe as long as the value of the property doesn’t exceed the exemption amount.
  • Nonexempt property. If your property doesn’t appear on the exemption list, the Chapter 7 trustee can sell it for the benefit of your creditors. In a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you won’t have to give up the property. Instead, its value will be added to your Chapter 13 repayment plan.
  • Jointly-owned property. Spouses filing a joint bankruptcy in North Carolina can double the exemption amount as long as they both own the property. If only one spouse owns it, the couple can’t double the exemption.

For a list of available exemptions, visit North Carolina Bankruptcy Exemptions.

North Carolina Bankruptcy Court Locations and Websites

North Carolina has three separate federal judicial districts, each with a dedicated bankruptcy court. On each website you’ll find the court’s local rules and instructions for filing your paperwork (click on “Filing Without an Attorney”).

Each district has several divisions. To determine where to file your case, call the clerk’s office at one of the numbers listed below or visit the Federal Court Locator page, choose “Bankruptcy” in the drop-down box, then enter your location.

Eastern District of North Carolina

Middle District of North Carolina

Western District of North Carolina

Century Station Federal Building
300 Fayetteville Street, 4th Floor
Raleigh, NC 27601-1799
(919) 856-4752

U.S. Bankruptcy Courthouse
150 Reade Circle
Greenville, NC 27858
(919) 856-4752

Bankruptcy Administrator for the Eastern District of North Carolina (Scroll down and click on "List of Approved ... Agencies.")

U.S. Bankruptcy Court
101 S. Edgeworth Street
Greensboro, NC 27401
(336) 358-4000

U.S. Bankruptcy Court
226 S. Liberty Street
Winston-Salem, NC 27101
(336) 397-7787

Bankruptcy Administrator for the Middle District of North Carolina (Click on "Information.")

U.S. Bankruptcy Court
401 West Trade Street, Room 111
Charlotte, NC 28202
(704) 350-7500

U.S. Bankruptcy Court
100 Otis Street, Room 112
Asheville, NC 28801-2611
(828) 771-7300

U.S. Courthouse
200 West Broad Street, Rm 301
Statesville, NC 28677
(704) 871-4280

Bankruptcy Administrator for the Western District of North Carolina (Click on "Information.")

Filing for bankruptcy without an attorney can be difficult. You’ll need to understand how bankruptcy law will affect your case. This overview is not comprehensive. You can learn more about filing for bankruptcy by purchasing a how-to book like How to File Chapter 7 Bankruptcy by Attorney Cara O’Neill and Albin Renauer J.D.

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