How to File for Bankruptcy in Nash County
When you file for bankruptcy in Nash County, you can expect the following stages in the process:
- Contacting a bankruptcy lawyer – A lawyer can handle some of the nuances and detailed aspects of your case. However, hiring a lawyer does not eliminate the time and effort you have to devote to a case.
- Determining the right chapter to file under – Each chapter has different advantages and eligibility requirements. Most individuals will file under Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code, while businesses and some individuals file for Chapter 11. Farmers can utilize the provisions of chapter 12 bankruptcy. It’s important to determine which is right for you.
- Gathering necessary documents– You will need to collect all relevant financial documentation, including proof of your current assets, bank account statements, outstanding debts, and expenses.
- Completing and filing paperwork – Once you have all the basics figured out, you will need to complete and file the appropriate bankruptcy forms with a bankruptcy court in the Eastern District of North Carolina.
- Attending meetings and hearings – You must participate in a video meeting with your creditors. Sometimes a court hearing(s) is required depending on the case and situation.
- Participating in credit counseling – In most cases, you will need to participate in a credit counseling course before you file the case. This is generally done on the internet and takes 45-90 minutes to complete.
Who Can File for Bankruptcy in North Carolina?
You can file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy but if your debts are primarily consumer in nature and your income exceeds the means test amount for presumptive abuse then your case can be dismissed by the bankruptcy judge after a hearing. The means test calculates your current income, debts, and expenses to decide whether you have enough money to afford a debt repayment plan under Chapter 13. If your situation is one where the means test is a problem in chapter 7 then you may want to review the possibility of a chapter 13.
If you can afford to make some payments toward your outstanding debts during bankruptcy, you might want to file under Chapter 13. A Chapter 13 bankruptcy allows you to keep your assets and repay some debt over time. This is unlike a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, where there is a chance non-exempt property will be liquidated and you receive an immediate discharge. However, you only qualify for Chapter 13 if your outstanding debts equal less than $2,750,000.
Businesses may file under Chapter 11 bankruptcy. This involves a reorganization of the business to provide relief from debt. Individuals may also file chapter 11 and this is most common where they are not eligible for chapter 13.
Types of Bankruptcies Our Attorneys Can Help With
Here at Sasser Law Firm, our North Carolina bankruptcy lawyers can help with all types of bankruptcy cases, including those involving:
Does Filing for Bankruptcy Eliminate Debt?
Filing for bankruptcy eliminates many, but not all, types of debt. It’s essential to examine the types of debt in your name to determine whether bankruptcy is the right choice for you. The most common examples of debts that you cannot discharge during bankruptcy include the following:
- Alimony and child support back payments
- Some types of unpaid taxes and tax liens
- Debts for malicious injury or property damage
- Debts for DUI crash-related deaths or injuries
- Debts obtained through fraud
It is possible but very challenging to discharge student loan debts through bankruptcy. In the Fourth Circuit (South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia, and Maryland) you can generally only eliminate outstanding student loan debts if you can prove that continuing to pay the debts will make you unable to maintain a reasonable standard of living and that you have made a good faith effort to repay and that your difficulties will remain for the foreseeable future.
Debts That Can Often Be Cleared in Bankruptcy
On the other hand, the following types of debts are dischargeable in bankruptcy:
- Credit card debts
- Medical debts
- Personal loan debts
- Past-due utility bills
- Unpaid phone bills
- Judgments from unpaid debts where the judgment is not a lien or related to fraud, defalcation of fiduciary duty, or willful/malicious injury.
- Foreclosure deficiency balances
North Carolina Bankruptcy Exemptions
If you file for bankruptcy in North Carolina, you could take advantage of the following common exemptions to protect your assets:
- Homestead exemption – You can use this exemption to protect up to $35,000 in the property you use as your residence. In some instances, you could be entitled to exempt up to $60,000 in equity.
- Motor vehicle exemption – You can use this exemption to protect up to $3,500 in equity you hold in a motor vehicle as long as you did not purchase the vehicle within 90 days of filing for bankruptcy.
- Household goods exemption – This exemption protects up to $5,000 in household goods, including furniture, clothing, appliances, books, animals, crops, and other household items you purchased more than 90 days before you filed. You are also allowed an extra $1,000 for each dependent in your house up to four.
- Wildcard exemption – This exemption allows you to protect up to $5,000 in any assets you choose, as long as you didn’t purchase them within the past 90 days. The Wildcard exemption is subtracted from the homestead exemption.
There are many other exemptions that apply other than the ones set forth above. Also, if you have lived in North Carolina for less than two years then you may need to claim exemptions from another state or the Bankruptcy Code.
Talk to Our Bankruptcy Attorneys Serving in Nash County, NC Today
Do you still have questions about filing for bankruptcy in North Carolina? Contact Sasser Law Firm by calling us at (919) 319-7400 or filling out an online contact form. We can try to provide answers and evaluate your case for free during your initial consultation session. In addition to phone conversations, we offer video consultations and in-person meetings at our office in Cary.