Filing Bankruptcy In Colorado

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Colorado has no truly unique bankruptcy options. Filing will be more or less the same as most other states in the United States. Filing for bankruptcy is a major decision that should be made with the help of a bankruptcy lawyer. Unfortunately, the process can be strenuous no matter what help the debtor provides his or herself. Though there are many benefits to bankruptcy, it also has its pitfalls. Chapter 7 will remove most debts, but not all of them. Moreover, Chapter 13 will give the debtor some relief and more time for repayment, but the repayment process needs to occur still. A bankruptcy will stay on your financial records for at least ten records, but pursuing the Bankruptcy in Colorado may get one back to a financial freedom that otherwise was impossible.


Colorado Bankruptcy Topics

  1. Personal Bankruptcy Options
  2. Keep Your Home: Bankruptcy and Foreclosure
  3. Colorado Bankruptcy Exemptions
  4. Options for Filing Bankruptcy
  5. Local Bankruptcy Courts and Trustees


Personal Bankruptcy in Colorado

Individuals may file under one of several forms of bankruptcy. However, the decision to choose one should be made with a bankruptcy attorney’s counsel. In reality, the vast majority of filing falls under Chapter 7 or Chapter 13. Statistically, individuals across the country choose to file for Chapter 7 in nearly sixty percent of cases. In Colorado, individuals have the option to file for Chapter 7 liquidation or Chapter 13 reorganization.

  • Chapter 7 Bankruptcy - Often called ‘fresh start’ or ‘liquidation’ bankruptcy, Chapter 7 is the most commonly filed version of bankruptcy among individuals. This is because it truly can provide a fresh start for the debtor in many cases. However, it comes at the price of one’s non-exempt assets and possessions being liquidated. Aside from the exemptions, all possessions are put in control of the court assigned bankruptcy trustee, who liquidates and sells all available possessions to repay creditors. Before any of these proceedings will occur, however, debtors must pass a “means test” to ascertain if they are viable candidates for Chapter 7. A means test relies heavily on the figure that one’s income is under the median income of a given state. The median incomes or Colorado are $46,765 for households of one, $65,668 for two, $70,838 for three, $78,905 for four and $6,900 for each additional member.  Once bankruptcy is successfully filed, creditors may no longer pursue the debtor in order to gain back their debts, unless the debts held are non-dischargeable.
  • Chapter 13 Bankruptcy - Often called a “wage earner” bankruptcy, Chapter 13 bankruptcy is designed for people to repay their creditors in full. For people with consistent incomes, who have overwhelming debt to income ratio, this version is the right choice. With help of a bankruptcy court assigned trustee, the debtor will design a plan to repay the creditors over the course of three to five years. Once the bankruptcy is successfully filed, creditors may be at ease, and are even required by law to cease action towards the debtor to regain debts. If cleared by the bankruptcy court, amendments and or extensions to the repayment plan may be made for the debtor. To qualify for filing under Chapter 13, one must assess whether standard repayment plans and negotiations will prove more beneficial, and have no more than $1,010,650 in secured debt or $336,900 in unsecured debt.

Filing Bankruptcy during Foreclosure

When someone files for any variation of bankruptcy available, it is law that the court orders a relief to that individual under a provision known as “automatic stay”. This means that all creditors must refrain from any action they are taking to regain their debts from the debtor. This includes foreclosure on a home. This does not guarantee however, that the home will stay with the debtor. If the foreclosure was filed before the individual’s bankruptcy was filed, then the creditor may continue with the foreclosure with bankruptcy court approval.  Again, filing bankruptcy will only offer homeowner debtors with no solid plan temporary foreclosure relief.

Colorado Bankruptcy Exemptions

In the state of Colorado, debtors may claim exemptions under the state exemptions list exclusively, then any applicable federal supplemental exemptions.  Exemptions specifically allotted in the Colorado state exemptions list include:

Type of Asset(s)

Details on Applicable Exemption(s)

Household

Real estate property or mobile homes up to $60,000

Insurance

Disability benefits up to an average of $200/month, or entire amount if taken in lump sum

 

Life insurance benefits from parent, if individual claiming exemptions is child or spouse and policy contains clause not allowing funds to go to creditors

 

Homeowners insurance benefits for one year after received with no more than home value being involved

Pension Benefits

Pension benefits of law enforcement officers, judges, teachers, and other state servants are exempt.

 

ERISA-qualified benefits and veteran's pension if veteran served in armed conflict or war

 

Tax-exempt retirement accounts including both Traditional and Roth IRAs up to $1,095,000 per person

Public Benefits

Workers compensation benefits, veterans’ benefits to spouse, child, and veteran, disability benefits up to $3000, and unemployment benefits are exempt assets

Salary

Can be minimum seventy-five percent of earned but unpaid wages, insurance, and pension payments or 30 times the federal minimum wage, the greater of the two amounts will be used

Federal

All Federal Supplemental Exemptions are included in exempt assets in Colorado bankruptcy filings.

 

Colorado Bankruptcy Court Filing Options

Need Bankruptcy Advice?

  • Use a Bankruptcy Lawyer - Few people in America thoroughly understand all the bankruptcy laws for a given state or at the federal level. The best source of reference and support is found in bankruptcy lawyers. Hired for a bankruptcy, these professionals provide more than just legal advice and guidance. They are a source of emotional relief in the knowledge that one’s finances are being handled correctly.
  • Use a Filing Service -  Hired to file paperwork filing services are not often recommended. However, for those without time to file the paperwork, or for business owners with very large amounts of paper work, a filing service may be worth it. With a filing service, one saves some money in contrast to a bankruptcy lawyer’s fees, but they are left to assess their own possessions, represent themselves in court, and risking bankruptcy fraud if mistakes are made.
  • File “Pro Se” - Bankruptcy is an extremely difficult time in that one has reached the end of their financial freedom and left with little money, in addition to most likely needing lots of help. To file Pro Se is to file without aid of any sort. This will save a great deal of money, but will cost the individual in stress and uncertainty. It is not recommended.

Courts and Colorado Bankruptcy Trustee Information

Colorado Bankruptcy Court

United States Custom House
721 19th Street
Denver, CO 80202-2508

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