Filing Bankruptcy In Maryland

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Filing for public bankruptcy is a decision to be made with utmost precaution. In Maryland it is no different as it will provide various positives and negatives depending on the given situation and type of bankruptcy chosen by the debtor. Bankruptcy for some may be the perfect choice to get back to financial security, and for others it may be more trouble that it is worth in the end. One must remember that no matter what, bankruptcy will never relieve all debts from the individual.

Maryland Bankruptcy Topics

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

Personal Bankruptcy in Maryland

Though several forms of bankruptcy exist, most bankruptcy cases involved Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 of U.S. Code Title 11. Furthermore, most individuals inevitably choose to file Chapter 7 bankruptcy over Chapter 13.

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

Before filing for what is often referred to as 'liquidation' or 'fresh start' bankruptcy, the debtor must pass a government mandated 'means test'. This test determines whether the debtor is below the given state's median income. In Maryland, the median income figure used is $55,543 for an individual, $73,947 for couples, $84,952 for three person households, $103,719 for four person households, and an additional $6,900 for each addition family member. This method of bankruptcy results in the liquidation of all of the debtor's assets except for 'exemptions.' It can provide a fresh start in that nearly all of the debtors’ debts will be alleviated through the process.

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

For those who realize they are falling into a financial rut, but maintain a consistent wage, Chapter 13 bankruptcy may be a good course of action. It is often called 'wage earner' bankruptcy, as the debtor does earn a wage. This wage is kept, along with all the debtors’ possessions. However, none of the debts owed are actually dropped. They are to be repaid through a bankruptcy court designed 3 to 5 year payment plan. Amendments or extensions to the plan can be granted through the bankruptcy court. A private individual can have no more than $1,010,650 in secured debts or $336,900 in unsecured debts to qualify for this form of bankruptcy.

Filing Bankruptcy during Foreclosure

Bankruptcy laws mandate relief from creditor actions, including foreclosure proceeding, after an individual files for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy. This lasts until the courts can sort the financial situation out thoroughly.  However, this is not a full guarantee of protection from foreclosure. If the individual’s bankruptcy was filed after the foreclosure procedure began, then the lender may continue with the foreclosure. In addition, Chapter 13 bankruptcy specifically addresses the repayment of mortgage obligations and may allow debtors to keep their homes regardless of impending foreclosure.

Maryland Bankruptcy Exemptions

In the state of Maryland, debtors may claim exemptions under the state exemptions list, as well as the federal supplemental exemptions list. Maryland state exemptions list include:

Type of Asset(s)

Details on Applicable Exemption(s)


Disability, Fraternal Benefit Society, Life annuity proceeds


Property of business


ERISA, State employees, State police

Personal Property

Household items to $1,000, Burial plot, Medical equipment, Future earnings recoveries losses

Public benefits

AFDC, Crime victims, Unemployment, Workers' comp

Tools of trade

Up to $5,000


Judge determined

Wild Card

to $6,000 anything, up to $5,000 real or personal property


Maryland Bankruptcy Court Filing Options

Use a Bankruptcy Lawyer

For most individuals the expertise of a trained Bankruptcy lawyer is invaluable. They will know the debtor's state specific laws and federal law nuances. In hiring a Bankruptcy lawyer, one will relieve major stress. They provide aid in all aspects of the bankruptcy process.

Use a Filing Service

Providing no actual legal advice for a debtor's bankruptcy, a filing service may seem useless. However, they too can relieve stress from the debtor by doing all the paperwork, and at a much lower cost than a bankruptcy lawyer can. However, these services are still not recommended.

File “Pro Se”

To file pro se is to file without help of any legal or filing service. During a bankruptcy, this may be the only choice for some, as lawyers and other services cost money. However, this is a dangerous endeavor as most people are unfamiliar with all federal and state laws involved in filing bankruptcy.

Courts and Maryland Bankruptcy Trustee Information

Maryland Bankruptcy Court Main Office

Street Address:

Edward A. Garmatz Federal Bldg and
United States Courthouse, Suite 8530
101 West Lombard Street
Baltimore, MD 21201-2605

Phone: 401-962-2688

Maryland Bankruptcy Court Greenbelt Divisional Office

Street Address:

United States Courthouse, Suite 300
6500 Cherrywood Lane
Greenbelt, MD 20770

Phone: 301-344-8018