Bankruptcy in New Hampshire
Are you contemplating bankruptcy or hiring a bankruptcy attorney in New Hampshire? Are you tired of creditors calling for payments you can’t make? Maybe looking for a way to get out of debt and have you exhausted all other options? Then bankruptcy might be the solution you seek. It is a legal option that can erase a portion or all of your debts.
Types of Bankruptcy in New Hampshire
Bankruptcy is a legal process that helps individuals and businesses get a fresh financial start. It eliminates a portion of or all of their debts or financial liabilities. In New Hampshire, to be approved, individuals must prove they have a hardship that prevents them from staying current on their financial obligations. Keep in mind that not all debts qualify. Some liabilities, such as child support arrears, delinquent taxes, alimony, and student loans generally do not qualify for discharge. Consumers who find themselves falling behind in debt can file either Chapter 7, 11 or 13. To determine which option is right for you, you’ll need to assess your goals, assets, and income. You should also consider working with an experienced bankruptcy attorney.
In New Hampshire, a bankruptcy filing will occur in the US Bankruptcy Court, District of New Hampshire.
Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
Many people find Chapter 7 to be the right solution for their circumstances because it provides them with the opportunity to start over financially. However, before filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you should thoroughly assess your income and ability to repay what you owe. You should also speak with a bankruptcy attorney in New Hampshire who can help you to decide if a liquidation plan is right for you.
Typically, individuals approved for Chapter 7 lack stable income or have experienced a change in circumstances that has resulted in an inability to manage their debts. Though Chapter 7 erases debts, the tradeoff is you may have to give up certain possessions, such as your home, car or some other assets. However, once you file your petition, an automatic stay goes into effect that requires all collection activity against you like foreclosures and garnishments, to stop temporarily. However, the automatic stay does not prevent all collection attempts. For example, if you owe child support or restitution for a criminal case, you are still liable for those payments.
If the New Hampshire debtor’s current monthly income is more than the New Hampshire median, the debtor must take a Means Test to qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. As well, individual debtors must file a Certificate of Credit Counseling and complete a Debtor Education course prior to bankruptcy filing. The United States Courts provide a list of these courses that have been approved by the US Trustee Program for use in New Hampshire.
Chapter 11 Bankruptcy
Chapter 11 bankruptcy is more complex than other types of bankruptcy. It is often used by businesses and certain types of people. It allows petitioners to restructure their debts with a reorganization plan, so they are easier to manage over a determined length of time, usually four to 18 months. The main benefit of Chapter 11 bankruptcy is that it does not require petitioners to sell off or liquidate their assets to pay what they owe. It does allow debtors to negotiate with their creditors a reorganization plan that enables them to stay current on their debts moving forward.
According to the District of New Hampshire US Bankruptcy Court, a Chapter 11 case can begin with the filing of a Voluntary Petition for Individuals Filing for Bankruptcy. Currently, Filing Fees of $1,738 should accompany the Petition. However, if you are reopening a Chapter 11 case, the filing fees are currently only $1,167.
Other forms to file with the Court include:
- Declaration About an Individual Debtor’s Schedules
- Statement About Your Social Security Numbers
- Certificate of Credit Counseling
Chapter 13 Bankruptcy
Chapter 13 Bankruptcy is a debt restructuring or wage earners plan. In New Hampshire after you file, the courts will assign a trustee to examine your liabilities and assets and ability to pay bills. Unlike other types of bankruptcy, Chapter 13 involves you restructuring your debt with a three to five-year repayment plan. The flexibility of this repayment plan will depend on what property you want to keep and how steady your income is. It may also give you the opportunity to have some or most of your debts discharged.
When you file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy in New Hampshire, required documents are due either at the time of filing or within 14 days of filing. Failure to file the required documents on the required timeline may result in the dismissal of your case. Keep in mind, you can pay your filing fee all at once, or the court may allow you to pay the fee in installments.
Filing Requirements for Chapter 13 include:
- Voluntary Petition for Individuals Filing for Bankruptcy
- Declaration About an Individual Debtor’s Schedules
- Chapter 13 Plan
- Statement of Financial Affairs
The Bankruptcy Process in New Hampshire
There is never an ideal time to declare bankruptcy. However, if you are unable to pay off what you owe within five years, filing for bankruptcy can help you to lessen the negative impact on your situation and help you get back on track.
In New Hampshire to begin the filing process, gather all of your financial records, including monthly expenses, debts, assets and annual income. This information is crucial to give the courts an accurate picture of your circumstances. Failure to provide all necessary information can result in your petition being denied.
In some cases, New Hampshire property owners can find exemptions from bankruptcy. Under New Hampshire law, you can protect up to $120,000 of equity in a residential property including a house, condominium, or manufactured housing in which you live. This also includes the land your residence is on if you own the land as well. Fortunately, New Hampshire’s homestead exemption is automatic. This means you don’t have to file a declaration to claim the exemption in bankruptcy.
At least six months before you file for bankruptcy, eliminate unnecessary spending. Do not run up the balances on your credit accounts. You’ll also need to complete an approved credit counseling course, usually online or over the phone. Credit counseling is necessary to help you learn financial literacy and help you learn better financial habits. Once you complete the course, you’ll receive a certificate of completion to include in your filing. If you don’t have the certificate of completion from the credit counseling course that you took, the courts will reject your bankruptcy petition.
Work With an Experienced New Hampshire Lawyer
Hiring a local bankruptcy lawyer in New Hampshire during this process can help reduce the costly risks of self-representation in court. An experienced bankruptcy lawyer understands state and federal bankruptcy laws. He or she can help you understand which laws apply to your case, especially which debts that can be discharged or can’t be discharged. An experienced New Hampshire attorney can also offer you guidance to improve the outcome of your case.
Keep in mind that there are debt management alternatives and financial resources that may benefit you more than bankruptcy, such as debt consolidation. Though bankruptcy is an attractive solution, it is best as a last resort. Do you need immediate help? Then one of our experienced lawyers in New Hampshire can guide you through the entire bankruptcy process. We can even help you connect with an attorney across New Hampshire state lines.
Submit a request online or call us today at (866) 345-6784 to get in touch with an experienced lawyer in your area!