Filing Bankruptcy In New Hampshire

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Filing bankruptcy in the state of New Hampshire can be beneficial, as well as harmful, as any other state. The outcome of a bankruptcy depends on the unique circumstances of the case at hand.  While bankruptcy may offer relief, protection, the recent updates to bankruptcy laws make discharging many debts impossible.  Deciding whether bankruptcy is right for each specific situation requires detailed research, consultation and analysis of financial outlook. 

New Hampshire Bankruptcy Topics

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


Options for Personal Bankruptcy in New Hampshire

The majority of individuals, if opting to declare bankruptcy will file under Chapter 7 or Chapter 13. These are laws of U.S. Code Title 11, but can have specific state regulations.

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

Chapter 7 bankruptcy is often referred to as ‘liquidation’ bankruptcy. This is because the debtor’s assets, aside from 'exemptions,' are placed in the control of a bankruptcy trustee who liquidates the possessions. In addition, applicable outstanding liens and debt obligations are removed from the debtor. To qualify for filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy, individuals must take a 'means test' to prevent bankruptcy abuse. This determines if the debtor's income is below the median income of their given state. In New Hampshire, the median income figure used is $55,766 for an individual, $65,751 for couples, $77,008 for three person households, $93,186 for four person households, and an additional $6,900 for each addition family member.

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

Chapter 13 bankruptcy is often called ‘wage earner’ bankruptcy because this form of bankruptcy is designed for individuals or sole proprietors who earn a steady wage. With a steady wage, one may ask why bankruptcy is needed. This form of bankruptcy is used to reorganize one’s debts and plan repayment. 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. After filing, the collections process ceases, but individuals must follow closely to the repayment plan. It is created with the bankruptcy trustee who communicates between the debtor and creditors. Amendments to the Chapter 13 repayment plan can be made, but must be cleared by the bankruptcy court.

Filing Bankruptcy during Foreclosure

When Chapter 13 or Chapter 7 bankruptcy is filed, bankruptcy laws mandate relief from creditor actions, including foreclosure proceeding. However, this does not guarantee the home will stay with the debtor. If foreclosure actions occurred before the individual’s bankruptcy was filed the bankruptcy court may allow the foreclosure to continue. There are parts of Chapter 13 bankruptcy law specifically addresses the repayment of mortgage obligations. This also, may allow debtors to keep their homes despite foreclosures.

New Hampshire Bankruptcy Exemptions

New Hampshire allows debtors to claim exemptions under the state exemptions list as well as the federal supplemental exemptions list.  Exemptions specifically allotted in the New Hampshire state exemptions list include:

Type of Asset(s)

Details on Applicable Exemption(s)

Homestead

Property or manufactured housing (if land owned) to $50,000

Insurance

Firefighters’ aid insurance, Fraternal benefit society benefits, and Homeowners’ to $5000

Pensions

Child support, Jury, witness fees, Property of business, and Wages of minor child

Pensions

Firefighters, Police officers, and Public employee pensions

Personal Property

Automobile to $4000, Beds, bedsteads, bedding & cooking utensils needed, Books to &800, Burial plot, Church pew, Clothing, Stoves, refrigerator, Cow, 6 sheep or fleece; 4 tons of hay, Domestic fowl to $300, Food and fuel to $400, Furniture to $3500, Hog, pig or pork (if already slaughtered), Jewelry to $500, Proceeds for lost or destroyed exempt property, and Sewing machine

Public Benefits

Aid to blind, aged, disabled, AFDC, Unemployment, and Workers’ benefits

Tools of Trade

Up to $5000, Uniforms, Military equipment, Yoke of oxen or horse needed for farming or teaming

Wages

Earned but unpaid wages; judge's discretion, Earned but unpaid wages of spouse

New Hampshire Bankruptcy Court Filing Options

Need Bankruptcy Advice?

Use a Bankruptcy Lawyer

A bankruptcy lawyer will provide precise legal advice throughout the entire bankruptcy process. They will be present with you in stressful meetings and court dates. They will know all state specific rules, regulations, and most importantly, exemptions and protected assets. However, they are costly.

Use a Filing Service

With minimal finances available, a debtor may not be able to afford a bankruptcy lawyer. A filing service is not an alternative, as they do not provide any legal advice. However, they will help relieve stress by filing all paperwork accurately.  A filing service is not highly recommended though.

File “Pro Se”

During this time of financial struggle, debtors may not be able to afford any aid at all. To file in this manner is to file pro se. To file pro se is a dangerous method as most people are unfamiliar with all federal and state laws involved in filing bankruptcy. Nevertheless, of course, it may be necessity.

Courts and New Hampshire Bankruptcy Trustee Information

New Hampshire Bankruptcy Court Main Office

Street Address:

Suite 1001

1000 Elm Street

Manchester, NH 03101-1708

Phone:

603-222-2600

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