Filing Bankruptcy In Alaska

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Bankruptcy in Alaska follows closely to federal laws, unlike other states, which have created bankruptcy laws to augment federal bankruptcy provisions. Filing chapter 7 bankruptcy in particular, is more advantageous in Alaska than other states. Filing other all forms of bankruptcy in Alaska aside from Chapter 7 will be a similar experience as with most other states. No form of bankruptcy can remove all of an individual’s debts. However, filing for bankruptcy will always halt creditor actions trying to recoup debts, allow for financial reorganization, and provide much needed credit and financial counseling to debtors. In addition, after bankruptcy, one can be on their way to renewed financial status quicker.

Bankruptcy in Alaska

In all states, as well as Alaska, the most filed versions of personal bankruptcy are Chapter 7 liquidations and Chapter 13 reorganizations under the Federal Bankruptcy Code.

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

Chapter 7 bankruptcy is what is commonly referred to as “liquidation” or “fresh start”. This is because this form of bankruptcy removes nearly all of the debtors’ debts. However, the debtor must surrender nearly all of his assets. The amount of assets is dependent on the states regulation of exemptions. After Chapter 7 bankruptcy is filed, a bankruptcy trustee takes control of all the available assets. The trustee will then liquidate them, and repay as much as possible to the debtor’s creditors in a pre-appointed order of importance. To be able to file for this type of bankruptcy, all filers must pass the means test, which tests the sincerity of the bankruptcy claims and prevents bankruptcy abuse by individuals.

To pass the means test in Alaska, individual or family income must be under the median income in the state, along with a close analysis of one’s debt to income ratio. In Alaska, the median income for a single person is $49,325, $71,550 for couples, $72,079 for a homestead of three, and $91,754 households of four members, with an additional $6,900 for each dependant or household member over four. It is important to note that Chapter 7 bankruptcy will not automatically remove all debt obligations, which will include mandates to pay child support, taxes, criminal restitution, and secured loans among others.

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

 “Wage earner” bankruptcy is another common term for Chapter 13 bankruptcy. This alternative name gained favor, because it accurately describes the process of Chapter 13 for individuals who maintain a steady income and an overwhelming debt to income ratio.  Chapter 13 bankruptcy is radically different from Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Chapter 13 does not alleviate any debts for the individual outright; however, the process is to develop a debt repayment plan to be enacted over the next three to five years.  In some cases, some outstanding debts may be reduced, negotiated, or written off in the course of Chapter 13 arrangements.  The entire process is accomplished with the help of a court-appointed bankruptcy trustee, who communicates back and forth with the creditors, your attorney, and a bankruptcy court judge.  Those with deep attachment to their possessions may also choose this option, because they will keep control of all of their assets, albeit briefly if terms are not met, unlike in Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Additionally, amendments can be made to the stated plans, but must be confirmed with the bankruptcy court with due cause.

Filing Bankruptcy during Foreclosure

If an individual is fearful of foreclosure on their home, bankruptcy can be a major aid in delaying or completely stopping the process. Filing for any form of bankruptcy automatically puts a temporary stay on the collections actions creditors.  This will include foreclosure on homes in most cases. However, foreclosure filing and paperwork takes a very long time. If it had been filed before the individual filed their bankruptcy, it voids the ability to keep the home in ownership of the debtor. Chapter 13 bankruptcy, in some cases, can also remove successive multiple mortgage payments on a home into a consolidated arrangement.

Alaska Bankruptcy Exemptions

In the state of Alaska, Alaska closely adheres to federal exemption guidelines:

Type of Asset(s)

Details on Applicable Exemption(s)


Real estate property or mobile homes up to $54,000, which remains the same for married couples.


Disability benefits, fraternal society benefits, insurance proceeds, and medical benefits are all exempt.


Life insurance benefits from parent, if individual claiming exemptions is child or spouse.


Annuity benefits up to $10,000.


Property of joint business ventures are exempt, as well as liquor licenses.

Pension Benefits

Pension benefits of law enforcement officers, judges, teachers, and other state servants are exempt from up to 120 days before filing the bankruptcy claim.


Tax-exempt retirement accounts; traditional and Roth IRAs up to $1,095,000 per person are exempt in Alaska bankruptcy filings.

Public Benefits

Workers compensation benefits, AFDC, and unemployment benefits are exempt assets.


Weekly net earnings may not exceed $350 for individuals. If you do not receive weekly, monthly, or semi-monthly pay, you can claim $1750 in cash or liquid assets paid in any month; for sole wage earner in household, $2,750.

Personal Property

A total of $3,750 worth of clothing, household items, heirlooms, and other family goods is exempt in Alaska.


Building materials, motor vehicles up to $3,750 with market value no more than $25,000, and jewellery up to $1,250 are exempt. 


Burial plots are exempt in Alaska.


Alaska Bankruptcy Filing Options

  • Use a Bankruptcy Lawyer - Bankruptcy lawyers are vital assets to most individuals and businesses filing for bankruptcy. They provide more than just bankruptcy advice, but a sort of moral and strategic support in the courtroom and various meetings. These lawyers are experts in their field, and one can be assured they are doing all they can do help your current financial situation.
  • Use a Filing Service - For individuals and businesses filing bankruptcy, obviously money is tight. Filing services offer help at a much lower cost than a bankruptcy lawyer; however, all these service providers can do is assist with the paperwork. For businesses, this can be much more helpful than an individual can, because businesses often have much more financial paperwork to deal with, but in all cases, debtors still must assess their property on their own, and face the bankruptcy court process on their own.
  • File “Pro Se” - Pro Se is filing on one’s own. For individuals and businesses, sometimes this is a necessity, because of the money shortages. However, this can be a very risky process. Bankruptcy is very detailed and complex, with differences from state to state. In order to do this effectively, the debtor must be ready for lots of research, and in some instances of grievous mistakes, bankruptcy fraud, whether intentional or not will be determined later, can lead to federal criminal charges.

Courts and Alaska Bankruptcy Trustee Information

Alaska Bankruptcy Court Main Office

Dr. Old Federal Bldg, Suite 138                                                                                                                                  
605 West Fourth Avenue
Anchorage, AK 99501-2248

Alaska Bankruptcy Court Ketchikan Office

507 Federal Bldg                                                                                                                                                              
648 Mission Street
Ketchikan, AK 99901-6534