Maine 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 Maine bankruptcy attorney to find which of your assets will be protected in a bankruptcy filed in Maine. In general, the major Maine bankruptcy exemptions include:
|GENERAL MAINE EXEMPTIONS|
|Real Estate (the Homestead Exemption)
Up to $35,000 in value of real or personal property that the debtor or a dependent of the debtor uses as a residence, or in a burial plot for the debtor or a dependent of the debtor can be protected. If minor dependents live with the debtor, the debtor’s aggregate interest may not exceed $ 70,000.
The debtor’s interest in one motor vehicle, valuing up to $5,000, can be protected.
The debtor’s interest, not to exceed $5,000 in value, in clothing; furniture; appliances; and similar items. the debtor’s interest, not to exceed $200 in value in any particular item; 100 percent of household furnishings, household goods, wearing apparel, appliances, books, animals, crops or musical instruments; jewelry not to exceed $750 in value; tools of the trade not to exceed $5,000 in value; and 100 percent of the value of furnaces, stoves and fuel, food, farming and fishing equipment.
|View the complete list of Maine 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.
Generally, 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.
No, Maine 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.
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?
Collins (R-ME) — YEA
Snowe (R-ME) — YEA
USBC, District of Maine
537 Congress Street, 2nd Floor
Portland, ME 04101 Bangor
USBC, District of Maine
202 Harlow Street, 3rd Floor
Bangor, ME 04401
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.