CALDWELL BANKRUPTCY ATTORNEY
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.
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.
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).