Perhaps you are one of the many Americans who have found themselves literally buried in debt, wondering which way to turn. Although there can be a stigma attached to filing due to the stereotypes some people hold, in fact, people from all walks of life can find themselves in a difficult financial situation. The primary reasons people file bankruptcy relates to loss of a job and overwhelming medical bills—both issues that are most often beyond your control.

A study done at Harvard University found that the biggest cause of bankruptcy is medical expenses, accounting for more than 60 percent of personal bankruptcy filings. More than three-quarters of these people had health insurance, which crushes the myth that only the uninsured are vulnerable to medical expenses. Equally devastating is the unexpected loss of a job. Most Americans simply don’t have enough cash stashed away to cope with the financial loss of a job, ending up using credit cards to pay regular, monthly bills.

Losing a job also usually means losing your health insurance as well. If you are forced to pay COBRA to continue your insurance until you have a new job, you could find that any money you did have saved is gone in the blink of an eye. Other reasons people find themselves filing bankruptcy includes excessive use of credit, a divorce, or unexpected expenses. Whatever your reasons for considering a bankruptcy in Kuna, Idaho, having an experienced bankruptcy attorney by your side can ensure the outcome is as positive as possible.
Filing bankruptcy can certainly have significant, long-lasting effects, therefore it is always a good idea to consider potential alternatives before making your decisions. Perhaps you can take a second job, or borrow money from relatives or a close friend. (Obviously, borrowing more money is only a viable option if you believe you will be able to make extra money in the near future to pay the loan back, otherwise taking on more debt is probably not a good decision).

If you don’t have a good, workable budget, now is a good time to make one. When you actually know where your money goes, it is much easier to control your spending. Perhaps you could rent a smaller home, if you are a renter, or, even find a roommate in order to save on rent/mortgage and utilities. If you drive a pricey gas-guzzler, consider selling it, and buying a smaller, fuel-efficient vehicle. Ask yourself whether your financial situation is temporary, or unlikely to improve. The answer to that question is important in making the decision to file bankruptcy.

Have you considered negotiating directly with your lenders, asking them to lower your interest rate or your payments? If you tell them you are considering bankruptcy, they have every reason in the world to negotiate with you, because they stand to lose considerably if you do file. Finally, perhaps you should consider credit counseling, particularly if you are hesitant to negotiate with lenders on your own. These agencies can help you develop a workable budget, and determine whether you should file a Kuna, Idaho bankruptcy. One thing to remember if you choose this route—there are predatory credit counseling companies, so make sure the one you choose is legitimate by doing extensive research on the company that you choose to work with before signing any agreements.
After considering the alternatives, if you still feel bankruptcy is your best option, you should speak to a knowledgeable Caldwell, Idaho bankruptcy attorney, who can simplify the process for you. It is important to remember that bankruptcy laws in the United States were set up to give people a chance to start over, financially. Try to remember this, as well as the fact that filing bankruptcy is not a punishment, it is simply a financial option. Try your best not to worry too much about what others might think, should they find out. Your goal is a fresh financial start, and gaining the tools to help you keep your finances on track.
If you qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you will not be required to file a repayment plan as you would for Chapter 13. The trustee in your Chapter 7 bankruptcy will sell any assets you have which are not exempt, paying your creditors with the proceeds. Your first task is to determine whether you qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Individuals, partnerships, corporations and businesses are all eligible to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, so long as they fall below the income levels.

Your eligibility to file for a Caldwell, Idaho bankruptcy is determined by the Idaho Bankruptcy Means Test, which compares your income to a family/household the same size as yours. If your income is lower than the Idaho median, you automatically qualify. If your median income exceeds the Idaho median, you must continue with the Test, to determine whether you are financially able to pay some of your unsecured debt under Chapter 13.

Remember, even if you pass the Idaho Bankruptcy Means Test, you still have the choice to file for Chapter 13, and, if you have valuable properties you want to keep, Chapter 13 could certainly be the better choice. If, on the other hand, you have a large amount of unsecured debt, such as credit card debt, payday loans and/or medical bills, then Chapter 7 could totally eliminate all that debt. Under Chapter 13, you have to set up a repayment plan, which will repay your creditors over a period of 3-5 years.

If you are wondering what you will be allowed to keep should you file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, first know that Idaho is an “opt-out” state, which means you are not allowed to claim federal bankruptcy exemptions. Your exemptions are governed by Idaho law which allows exemptions for the following, among other, categories of property:

  • Up to $100,000 of equity in your home or mobile home;
  • Burial plots, necessary health aids, public assistance and unemployment compensation;
  • Insurance benefits, life insurance proceeds and group life benefits, so long as they are reasonably necessary for your support;
  • So long as the following are not commingled with any other funds, and are reasonably necessary for your support, the following are allowed exemptions: disability benefits, spousal support payments or any proceeds received from a bodily injury claim, or from the wrongful death of a person upon whom you are dependent.
  • The following personal property: up to $7,500 in household appliances, furnishings, pets, items of sentimental value, heirlooms and musical instruments ($15,000 for married couples); water rights for 160 inches of water, and crops cultivated on up to 50 acres; a firearm worth up to $750 (2 firearms for married couples; jewelry worth up to $1,000 ($2,000 for married couples); equity in your vehicle up to $7,000 (2 cars for married couples); certain pension and retirement benefits, and what is known as a “wild card” exemption—up to $800 in any personal property you own ($1,600 for married couples).
Once you have decided to file a Caldwell, Idaho bankruptcy, speaking to a knowledgeable Caldwell bankruptcy attorney can make the entire process go much smoother, while allowing you to get quick answers to any questions you may have.





Joe was born and raised in a small town in south east Kansas. After doing a short stint in college in Coffeyville, KS, Joe joined the United States Air Force and served for four years as an aircraft electrician on F-15’s. Joe was stationed in Mountain Home, AFB and was deployed to Afghanistan and South Korea. After leaving the service, Joe returned to Kansas to attend law school. After law school, Joe began practicing in Montana for several years until he made the decision to return to Idaho and open his own practice. Joe is dedicated to providing aggressive representation for the individuals of the treasure valley and the State of Idaho.