Louisiana State Bankruptcy Laws

What Are The Louisiana Bankruptcy Exemptions?

LouisianaLouisiana law protects all or a portion of your property from being seized by creditors or the bankruptcy trustee in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. In a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you are generally allowed to keep all of your assets and property. Certain exceptions may apply, so it’s wise to consult with a Louisiana bankruptcy attorney to find which of your assets will be protected in a bankruptcy filed in Louisiana. In general, the major Louisiana bankruptcy exemptions include:

GENERAL LOUISIANA EXEMPTIONS
Real Estate (the Homestead Exemption)
Up to $25,000 in value is protected.
Automobiles
One motor vehicle valuing up to $7,500 is protected.
Other Property
100 percent of the value of tools, instruments, and books used in a trade or business; 100 percent of the value clothing, furniture, appliances, and related household items; and $5,000 in the value of wedding and engagement rings.
View the complete list of Louisiana bankruptcy exemptions

Please remember that this page provides general information only, and is not intended to provide legal advice. The information is not a substitute for the advice of a qualified bankruptcy attorney. If you need legal assistance, consult an attorney.

Which state’s exemption laws apply in your bankruptcy?

LouisianaGenerally, the laws of the state in which you lived for the 730 days (2 years) prior to filing a bankruptcy petition will apply in your bankruptcy.

If you have not lived in the same state for the 2 years immediately prior to filing your bankruptcy petition, the laws of the state in which you lived for the majority of the 180-day period preceding the 2-year period will likely apply.

If application of the preceding general rules renders you ineligible for exemptions under any state’s laws, you may be allowed to choose the federal exemptions applicable in your bankruptcy.

Is Louisiana a community property state?

Yes, Louisiana is a community property state. Because it is a community property state, you are responsible for any debts that your spouse incurred while you were married. You are therefore equally liable for your spouse’s debts even if you did not voluntarily assume liability for them by, for example, cosigning for a loan given to your spouse.

How did your senator vote on the new bankruptcy laws?

Following years of intense lobbying by creditors, Congress passed the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005″ (BAPCPA). How did your Senators vote on these largely pro-creditor provisions?

Landrieu (D-LA) — YEA 
Vitter (R-LA) — NAY

Louisiana Bankruptcy Court Locations:

U.S. Bankruptcy Court
Hale Boggs Federal Building
500 Poydras Street, Suite B-601
New Orleans, LA 70130
(504) 589-7878

707 Florida Street
Room 119
Baton Rouge, LA 70801
(225) 389-0211

Western District of Louisiana Bankruptcy
300 Fannin Street Suite 2201
Shreveport, Louisiana 71101
(318) 676-4267

Note: You may not have to actually go to one of the above bankruptcy courts. Trustees often conduct your meeting at a local venue.

Although bankruptcy is federal law, the bankruptcy courts in each jurisdiction have local rules that must be followed. A local bankruptcy attorney will be familiar with the specific rules in your area.

Louisiana Bankruptcy Attorney Locations:

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Baton Rouge bankruptcy attorney
Lafayette bankruptcy attorney
Metairie bankruptcy attorney
Monroe bankruptcy attorney
New Orleans bankruptcy attorney?\ 
Shreveport bankruptcy attorney?
Thibodaux bankruptcy attorney

Personal Bankruptcy Information

Educating oneself on personal bankruptcy information is essential for anyone who is considering filing for personal bankruptcy. While statistics do show that the number of people filing for personal bankruptcy has surged due to the economic downturn of the past few years, it’s imprudent to file for bankruptcy without the adequate amount of personal bankruptcy information. Knowing enough personal bankruptcy information can help you avoid encountering potential problems with your bankruptcy filing, and can help you go through the bankruptcy process more smoothly. In all, acquiring as much personal bankruptcy information as possible is an excellent option if you’re considering filing for bankruptcy.

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

The specific personal bankruptcy information you need varies on a case-to-case basis and depends on your subjective situation. Most people have the mindset that bankruptcy should provide them a fresh start – that it will wipe out debts they owe. This complete type of bankruptcy is known as Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Also referred to as the “liquidation bankruptcy,” Chapter 7 bankruptcy clears you of all dischargeable debts, like credit cards and medical bills, but also may force you to surrender some of your possessions or property so they can be sold to repay your creditors. A bankruptcy attorney can assist with understanding this concept further. Because of this provision, Chapter 7 bankruptcy doesn’t always flow as smoothly as originally planned, but it is by far the most efficient way for most people to get a clean slate and a fresh start. Many people have the misconception that their debts are immediately cleared after the filing of a Chapter 7, which is not the case. One’s debts aren’t officially forgiven until a discharge is entered by the bankruptcy court.

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

Chapter 13 bankruptcy is the second most commonly filed chapter of bankruptcy by consumers. Also known as the “reorganization bankruptcy”, Chapter 13 reorganizes your unresolved debt at the time of filing into one affordable monthly payment. It’s used by many to help save their homes from foreclosure. personal bankruptcy information on Chapter 13 is much more detailed and complex than Chapter 7. Most bankruptcy judges will not let you file a Chapter 13 without the assistance and representation of a lawyer, and the repayment plan must las five years in most instances. As mentioned above, the advantage to filing Chapter 13 is that you’re given the privilege to retain certain assets and property, such as your home, but still receive the protection of the bankruptcy court from your creditors.

Is Filing Bankruptcy Right for You?

Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy typically the only two options available to those to those who want to declare personal bankruptcy to deal with their financial problems. Once a bankruptcy has been filed, individuals are then protected by law from collection lawsuits and any other actions that creditors may take against them, such as wage garnishments. However, bankruptcy comes with a price – it’s commonly known to all that bankruptcy is a major dent to your credit report. It can remain on your credit report for seven to ten years, depending on the credit bureau.

Credit Counseling Sessions

To properly complete a personal bankruptcy, a pre-bankruptcy credit counseling session and pre-discharge debtor education session is required. These can typically be done online. The first course (pre-bankruptcy) is basically required to inform interested parties that they may have other options besides filing for bankruptcy.The sessions are helpful and also a great way to garner basic personal bankruptcy information and other financial advice, providing people information on the best ways to handle their finances post-bankruptcy completion.

Rates for both sessions are around $50 each, and if you plan on having the fee waived due to financial hardship – you must secure a fee waiver before sessions start. Both credit counseling sessions are required for all individuals and married couples filing for bankruptcy, and certificates are issued as proof that the counselings were completed.

After your bankruptcy has been filed, you must then obtain your post-bankruptcy “debtor education” counseling certificate. These sessions can also be done in person as well as online or possibly over the phone. The purpose of the post-bankruptcy session is to help you work on developing budgets and managing money. While you may not have sterling credit after filing a bankruptcy, you’ll still be educated on using credit wisely.

Knowing the proper information when deciding whether to file for personal bankruptcy can help you make the right decision. For more personal bankruptcy information, be sure to explore bankruptcyhq.com.

New Jersey State Bankruptcy Laws

What Are The New Jersey Bankruptcy Exemptions?

New JerseyNew Jersey law protects all or a portion of your property from being seized by creditors or the bankruptcy trustee in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. In a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you are generally allowed to keep all of your assets and property. Certain exceptions may apply, so it’s wise to consult with a New Jersey bankruptcy attorney to find which of your assets will be protected in a bankruptcy filed in New Jersey. In general, the major New Jersey bankruptcy exemptions include:

GENERAL NEW JERSEY EXEMPTIONS
Real Estate (the Homestead Exemption)
No specific homestead exemption.
Automobiles
No specific automobile exemption.
Other Property
Furniture and household goods up to $1,000 in value; burial plots; clothing; other personal property up to $1,000 in value.In New Jersey, you have the choice of electing the federal exemption statutes rather than the New Jersey state exemptions. Consult with a New Jersey bankruptcy attorney for more details.
View the complete list of New Jersey bankruptcy exemptions

Please remember that this page provides general information only, and is not intended to provide legal advice. The information is not a substitute for the advice of a qualified bankruptcy attorney. If you need legal assistance, consult an attorney.

Which state’s exemption laws apply in your bankruptcy?

New JerseyGenerally, the laws of the state in which you lived for the 730 days (2 years) prior to filing a bankruptcy petition will apply in your bankruptcy.

If you have not lived in the same state for the 2 years immediately prior to filing your bankruptcy petition, the laws of the state in which you lived for the majority of the 180-day period preceding the 2-year period will likely apply.

If application of the preceding general rules renders you ineligible for exemptions under any states laws, you may be allowed to choose the federal exemptions applicable in your bankruptcy.

Is New Jersey a Community Property State?

No, New Jersey is not a community property state. Because it is not a community property state, you will be responsible for your spouses debts only if you voluntarily assumed those debts by, for example, co-signing on a loan given to your spouse. In a non-community property state, one spouse can file for bankruptcy and be eligible to eliminate all of their unsecured debts without the involvement of the other spouse.

How did your senator vote on the new bankruptcy laws?

Following years of intense lobbying by creditors, Congress passed the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005 (BAPCPA). How did your Senators vote on these largely pro-creditor provisions?

Corzine (D-NJ) – NAY
Lautenberg (D-NJ) – NAY

New Jersey Bankruptcy Court Locations:

US Bankruptcy Court,
District of New Jersey

401 Market Street
Camden, NJ 08101
Phone (856) 757-5485

US Bankruptcy Court,
District of New Jersey
Martin Luther King, Jr. Federal Building

50 Walnut Street
Newark, NJ 07102
Phone (973) 645-4764

Clarkson S. Fisher US Courthouse
402 East State Street
Trenton, NJ 08608
Phone (609) 989-2129

Note: You may not have to actually go to one of the above bankruptcy courts. Trustees often conduct your meeting at a local venue.

Although bankruptcy is federal law, the bankruptcy courts in each jurisdiction have local rules that must be followed. A local bankruptcy attorney will be familiar with the specific rules in your area.

New Jersey Bankruptcy Attorney Locations:

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Watch That Holiday Spending

This past weekend I read a great article by Diane Loupe in Atlanta’s Sunday Paper titled “Bankruptcy’s Back.”

The article states that while national bankruptcy filings plummeted this past year after the law change of October, 2005 — experts are now predicting that consumer bankruptcy filings will again surge after the upcoming holiday season.  The article reasons that after the holidays many consumers will struggle to make their mortgage payments as adjustable rate mortgages interest rates (ARMs) continue to rise and Christmas-season credit card bills start to kick in.Â

Having practiced consumer bankruptcy law myself for many years, I whole-heartedly agree with the opinions of the experts mentioned in this article.  The 1st Quarter of any year (January-March) is always the busiest time of year for bankruptcy lawyers and the Bankruptcy Court.  Overzealous holiday spending is often the cause of this surge of filings, but there are also a couple of other reasons that I believe contribute to this phenomenon.  First, many people use the changing of the calendar as an impetus to address their deteriorating financial situation or make a “New Year’s Resolution” to get themselves out of debt and get their finances on track.  Secondly, the 1st Quarter is usually the time of year that people receive their Holiday bonuses and/or tax returns.  Often people will use this recieved lump sum of money to pay for bankruptcy attorney fees and court costs so they can get their cases filed right away.

So, the moral of the story here is to try to exercise some forethought and not overdo it while you are out holiday shopping this season. I know it can be difficult, but remember that those credit card bills will come due in January!

What to Expect in Bankruptcy Court

Many of my bankruptcy clients would be very anxious about having to “go to court” during their bankruptcy proceeding. Most of these fears were based on misconceptions and horror stories that simply aren’t true.

In a typical bankruptcy case, you don’t ever actually see the bankruptcy judge or “go to court”, you simply meet with a court appointed trustee at a “341 Meeting of the Creditors”, named after section 341 of the bankruptcy code. The trustee’s job it is to oversee the bankruptcy process and represent your unsecured creditors.

Your Meeting of the Creditors will typically take place 30-45 days after the bankruptcy is filed. In the majority of bankruptcies, these meetings are relatively simple and painless for the debtor and most meetings in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy last as little as 5-10 minutes. In a Chapter 13 bankruptcy , the trustee also has to go over your budget to ensure that the proposed payment plan is feasible, so they can take a little longer to complete, but usually aren’t more than 20 minutes.

The trustee will swear you in under oath, ask some questions to make sure that you are eligible to file bankruptcy, verify your social security number, and examine your bankruptcy schedules for any irregularities. If you hired an experienced bankruptcy attorney to prepare your paperwork and fully disclosed all relevant information, then there shouldn’t be any surprises. Each State has exemptions that allow you to protect all or a portion of your assets and the majority of bankruptcy cases end in a finding of “No-Assets”, meaning that all of your property is protected from your creditors.

Although it is referred to as the “Meeting of the Creditors”, it is unlikely that any of your creditors will actually attend the Meeting. Sometimes your secured creditors will attend the Meeting to offer a Reaffirmation Agreement on your secured debts. By signing a reaffirmation agreement, you are able to keep any property that you pledged as collateral for the loan by agreeing to repay the debt even though you’ve filed bankruptcy. You’re under no obligation to reaffirm any debts, and you should consult with your bankruptcy attorney before signing any reaffirmation agreements.

Many clients ask “Was that it?” after the completion of their Meeting and can’t believe how dignified and simple “going to bankruptcy court” was.

How to Avoid Having Your Bankruptcy Dismissed

No matter which way you look at it, filing bankruptcy is a legal process. It involves following the requirements from the bankruptcy law as established by our legislature, and if the requirements are not met there are consequences. Many people may assume that if you make a mistake during your personal bankruptcy the court will give you a bit of leeway and help you fix it, but that is not always the case. There are mistakes that debtors can make that can lead to automatic dismissal of the bankruptcy case and in some rare cases even limit when the debtor can file again. Here are some ways to make sure that doesn’t happen to you:

1. Be honest

Declaring bankruptcy may be a sensitive subject for you, but no matter how worried you are don’t hide anything from your attorney or the court. You will need to be completely upfront with your attorney about your entire financial situation from day one. If you are worried about losing any of your property the way to keep it safe is not by hiding it from your attorney, but by being forthright so that your attorney can find a way to protect it. If at any time during your case the bankruptcy court believes you may have committed fraud they can dismiss your case, this is just one of the reasons honesty is vital.

2. Attend your hearing

Everyone who files bankruptcy is required to attend a court hearing known as the “meeting of creditors”. Although all of your creditors will be notified of the date and time of the hearing it is rare that any of them show up. You will receive sufficient notice of your hearing through the US mail and should make whatever plans necessary in order to attend. Your bankruptcy lawyer can prepare you with questions you may be asked at this hearing, but it is nothing to be intimidated of. The hearing will last anywhere from 8-15 minutes and will consist of questions regarding your case. If you miss this hearing the bankruptcy court could dismiss your case. If you think you will be unable to attend notify your attorney immediately to see if you can request a continuance from the court.

3. Follow directions

This may seem like a simple task, but it is one that can really save you a lot of headaches. Listen to your bankruptcy attorney and the bankruptcy judge very carefully and be sure to do whatever they say. If your bankruptcy attorney needs paperwork from you then make sure you get it to them in a timely manner. If the bankruptcy court needs you to take a required debtor education course before your hearing, make sure you do that so there will be no reason for the court to dismiss or continue your case to a later date.

By using these simple tools you can put your best foot forward and be confident that instead of having your bankruptcy dismissed, it will be completed and successful and you will be on your way to a debt free life.

Florida State Bankruptcy Laws

What are the Florida Bankruptcy Exemptions?

FloridaFlorida law protects all or a portion of your property from being seized by creditors or the bankruptcy trustee in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. In a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you are generally allowed to keep all of your assets and property. Certain exceptions may apply, so it’s wise to consult with a Florida bankruptcy attorney to find which of your assets will be protected in a bankruptcy filed in Florida. In general, the major Florida bankruptcy exemptions include:

GENERAL FLORIDA EXEMPTIONS
Real Estate (the Homestead Exemption)
Up to $50,000 of equity in your principal residence can be protected. 160 acres of land and improvements if located outside a municipality or ½ acre of land and improvements for a residence located in a municipality may be protected. Also, Florida has a 100% exemption for a leased dwelling place (including mobile homes).A provision in the new bankruptcy law caps the homestead exemption at $125,000 if you have not lived in the state for at least 40 months prior to the time you file a bankruptcy petition. In some situations, the cap may be permanent. You should consult with a Florida bankruptcy attorney for specific information.
Automobiles
Up to $1,000 of equity in one motor vehicle can be protected.
Other Property
Any type of personal property valuing up to $1,000 and 100% of the value of hearing aids are protected.
Go to the complete list of Florida bankruptcy exemptions

Please remember that this page provides general information only, and is not intended to provide legal advice. The information is not a substitute for the advice of a qualified bankruptcy attorney. If you need legal assistance, consult an attorney.

Which state’s exemption laws apply in your bankruptcy?

FloridaGenerally, the laws of the state in which you lived for the 730 days (2 years) prior to filing a bankruptcy petition will apply in your bankruptcy.

If you have not lived in the same state for the 2 years immediately prior to filing your bankruptcy petition, the laws of the state in which you lived for the majority of the 180-day period preceding the 2-year period will likely apply.

If application of the preceding general rules renders you ineligible for exemptions under any state’s laws, you may be allowed to choose the federal exemptions applicable in your bankruptcy.

Is Florida a community property state?

No, Florida is not a community property state. Because it is not a community property state, you will be responsible for your spouse’s debts only if you voluntarily assumed those debts by, for example, co-signing on a loan given to your spouse. In a non-community property state, one spouse can file for bankruptcy and be eligible to eliminate all of their unsecured debts without the involvement of the other spouse.

How did your senator vote on the new bankruptcy laws?

Following years of intense lobbying by creditors, Congress passed the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005 (BAPCPA). How did your Senators vote on these largely pro-creditor provisions?

Martinez (R-FL) — YEA
Nelson (D-FL) — YEA

Florida Bankruptcy Court Locations:

Tampa Courthouse
801 N. Florida Avenue
Tampa, Florida 33602

Orlando Courthouse
135 West Central Boulevard
Orlando, Florida 32801

Jacksonville Courthouse
300 North Hogan Street
Jacksonville, Florida 32202

Fort Myers Courthouse
2110 First Street
Fort Myers, Florida 33901

110 East Park Avenue
Suite 100
Tallahassee, FL 32301
(850) 521-5001

220 West Garden Street
Suite 700
Pensacola, FL 32502-5745
(850) 435-8475

Claude Pepper Federal Building
51 S.W. 1st Avenue,
Room 1517
Miami, FL 33130
(305) 714-1800

U.S. Courthouse
299 E. Broward Blvd.,
Room 112
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301
(954) 769-5700

Forum Complex Building
1675 Palm Beach Lakes Boulevard
8th Floor
West Palm Beach, FL 33401
(561) 514-4100

Note: You may not have to actually go to one of the above bankruptcy courts. Trustees often conduct your meeting at a local venue.

Although bankruptcy is federal law, the bankruptcy courts in each jurisdiction have local rules that must be followed. A local bankruptcy attorney will be familiar with the specific rules in your area.

Florida Bankruptcy Attorney Locations:

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New Mexico State Bankruptcy Laws

What Are The New Mexico Bankruptcy Exemptions?

New MexicoNew Mexico law protects all or a portion of your property from being seized by creditors or the bankruptcy trustee in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. In a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you are generally allowed to keep all of your assets and property. Certain exceptions may apply, so its wise to consult with a New Mexico bankruptcy attorney to find which of your assets will be protected in a bankruptcy filed in New Mexico. In general, the major New Mexico bankruptcy exemptions include:

GENERAL NEW MEXICO EXEMPTIONS
Real Estate (the Homestead Exemption)
Up to $30,000 of equity in your homestead is protected.
Automobiles
Up to $4,000 of equity in one motor vehicle can be protected.
Other Property
Personal property in the amount of $500; tools of the trade in the amount of $1,500; jewelry in the amount of $2,500; clothing, furniture, books, medical-health equipment and any interest in or proceeds from a pension or retirement fund. Also, individuals who cannot claim a homestead exemption have an additional “wild card” exemption of $2,000.In New Mexico, you have the choice of electing the federal exemption statutes rather than the New Mexico state exemptions. Consult with a New Mexico bankruptcy attorney for more details.
View the complete list of New Mexico bankruptcy exemptions

Please remember that this page provides general information only, and is not intended to provide legal advice. The information is not a substitute for the advice of a qualified bankruptcy attorney. If you need legal assistance, consult an attorney.

Which state’s exemption laws apply in your bankruptcy?

New MexicoGenerally, the laws of the state in which you lived for the 730 days (2 years) prior to filing a bankruptcy petition will apply in your bankruptcy.

If you have not lived in the same state for the 2 years immediately prior to filing your bankruptcy petition, the laws of the state in which you lived for the majority of the 180-day period preceding the 2-year period will likely apply.

If application of the preceding general rules renders you ineligible for exemptions under any states laws, you may be allowed to choose the federal exemptions applicable in your bankruptcy.

Is New Mexico a community property state?

Yes, New Mexico is a community property state. Because it is a community property state, you are responsible for any debts that your spouse incurred while you were married. You are therefore equally liable for your spouses debts even if you did not voluntarily assume liability for them by, for example, cosigning for a loan given to your spouse.

How did your senator vote on the new bankruptcy laws?

Following years of intense lobbying by creditors, Congress passed the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005 (BAPCPA). How did your Senators vote on these largely pro-creditor provisions?

Bingaman (D-NM) – NAY 
Domenici (R-NM) – YEA

New Mexico Bankruptcy Court Locations:

U.S. Bankruptcy Court
421 Gold Avenue SW, Room 316
Albuquerque, NM 87102
505-348-2500

Note: You may not have to actually go to one of the above bankruptcy courts. Trustees often conduct your meeting at a local venue.

Although bankruptcy is federal law, the bankruptcy courts in each jurisdiction have local rules that must be followed. A local bankruptcy attorney will be familiar with the specific rules in your area.

New Mexico Bankruptcy Attorney Locations:

Looking for a New Mexico bankruptcy attorney?
Looking for an Albuquerque, New Mexico bankruptcy atto

Hawaii State Bankruptcy Laws

What are the Hawaii bankruptcy exemptions?

HawaiiHawaii law protects all or a portion of your property from being seized by creditors or the bankruptcy trustee in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. In a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you are generally allowed to keep all of your assets and property. Certain exceptions may apply, so it’s wise to consult with a Hawaii bankruptcy attorney to find which of your assets will be protected in a bankruptcy filed in Hawaii. In general, the major Hawaii bankruptcy exemptions include:

GENERAL HAWAII EXEMPTIONS
Real Estate (the Homestead Exemption)
Up to $30,000 of equity in real or personal property can be protected if you are at least 65 years old and head of family; $20,000 for all other debtors.
Automobiles
Up to $2,575 of equity in one motor vehicle can be protected.
Other Property
100 percent of necessary household furnishings and appliances, books and wearing apparel personally used by a debtor or the debtor’s family residing with the debtor; jewelry, watches, and items of personal adornment up to an aggregate cash value not exceeding $1,000; and 100 percent of all tools, equipment, and furnishings used in a trade, business, or profession.In Hawaii, you have the choice of electing the federal exemption statutes rather than the Hawaii state exemptions. Consult with a Hawaii bankruptcy attorney for more details.
View the complete list of Hawaii bankruptcy exemptions

Please remember that this page provides general information only, and is not intended to provide legal advice. The information is not a substitute for the advice of a qualified bankruptcy attorney. If you need legal assistance, consult an attorney.

Which state’s exemption laws apply in your bankruptcy?

HawaiiGenerally, the laws of the state in which you lived for the 730 days (2 years) prior to filing a bankruptcy petition will apply in your bankruptcy.

If you have not lived in the same state for the 2 years immediately prior to filing your bankruptcy petition, the laws of the state in which you lived for the majority of the 180-day period preceding the 2-year period will likely apply.

If application of the preceding general rules renders you ineligible for exemptions under any state’s laws, you may be allowed to choose the federal exemptions applicable in your bankruptcy.

Is Hawaii a community property state?

No, Hawaii is not a community property state. Because it is not a community property state, you will be responsible for your spouse’s debts only if you voluntarily assumed those debts by, for example, co-signing on a loan given to your spouse. In a non-community property state, one spouse can file for bankruptcy and be eligible to eliminate all of their unsecured debts without the involvement of the other spouse.

How did your senator vote on the new bankruptcy laws?

Following years of intense lobbying by creditors, Congress passed the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005 (BAPCPA). How did your Senators vote on these largely pro-creditor provisions?

Akaka (D-HI) — YEA
Inouye (D-HI) — YEA

Hawaii Bankruptcy Court Locations:

United States Bankruptcy Court
District of Hawaii

1132 Bishop Street, Suite 250-L
Honolulu, HI 96813 Phone
(808) 522-8100

Note: You may not have to actually go to one of the above bankruptcy courts. Trustees often conduct your meeting at a local venue.

Although bankruptcy is federal law, the bankruptcy courts in each jurisdiction have local rules that must be followed. A local bankruptcy attorney will be familiar with the specific rules in your area.

Hawaii Bankruptcy Attorney Locations:

Hawaii bankruptcy attorney
Honolulu, Hawaii bankruptcy attorney

2005 Law Changes Haven't Affected Majority

Writer Jeanne Sahadi from cnnmoney.com recently wrote an article about how the 2005 law changes to the Bankruptcy Code have not affected bankruptcy filings as drastically as some experts initially predicted. Now one year since the new bankruptcy laws went into effect, this also seems to be the same concurrent opinion of many consumer bankruptcy attorneys from around the country.Â

It’s true that many of us bankruptcy lawyers were fearful that the law changes would legally prevent a certain percentage of our population from filing bankruptcy and leave those people no opportunity to get a fresh start financially.   However, most of us attorneys have now found a year later that a large majority of our new clientele who would have qualified for bankruptcy relief under the old law without any hassle, also still qualify for bankruptcy relief under the new current law as well.Â

The calendar year of 2005 saw a huge surge in bankruptcy filings nationwide as people rushed to get their cases filed before the law change went into effect.  This of course helps to explain why bankruptcy filings are significantly down nationally this year compared to last year or even 2004. Contributing to this decrease in filings has also been a widely spread rumor that bankruptcy was not available any longer and/or that our government did away with the bankruptcy law.  This of course is far from the truth and reminds one not to believe everything they hear.   Â

So while it may not be fair or accurate to compare the number of clients coming into our doors from last year (2005) to this year (2006), we as attorneys are still finding that a steady stream of people are still in need of some sort of financial assistance and that bankruptcy is still available to a vast majority of them.Â

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