Filing bankruptcy in Wyoming is necessary for people that lost jobs and have no means of resolving debts. However, it is also for those individuals hit by unexpected expenses the budget will not allow. Restructuring payments make it possible to retain assets and still afford to repay creditors.
Personal Bankruptcy in Wyoming
Wyoming complies with U.S. Bankruptcy Code. Under title 11, citizens can file Chapter 7 straight bankruptcy or Chapter 13 restructuring bankruptcy.
Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
Not ever debtor qualifies for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Because so many people attempt to take advantage of the court, a means test determines eligibility. The average wage earner in Wyoming makes $46,265; a couple earns approximately $60,442 on average; and the median wage of a family of three is $68,568. To begin, the court trustee sells all applicable assets and distributes the funds among all of the creditors. Then, all eligible debts are erased, and the debtor has a chance to start over and create a better financial future.
Chapter 13 Bankruptcy
For debtors trying to save their home, family car, and other assets, Chapter 13 is designed to bring payments down to a more affordable level. The court consults with creditors to determine the least amount acceptable for resolving a debt. Then, the court compiles the amount and recalculates a payment schedule. The payments are sent to the trustee, and the creditors are paid. As long as the debtor keeps all other bills current, the debt will be resolved in 3-5 years and all property is retained. (See more on Filing Chapter 13 in Wyoming).
Filing Bankruptcy during Foreclosure
Debtors should never wait for notice of foreclosure and then file bankruptcy. Although creditors can no longer ask for money, it only delays the inevitable. In fact, the lien holder can request the court to lift the stay and allow the property to be sold. For any hope of keeping the property, debtors should consult a bankruptcy attorney and discuss financial options before the payments are three months behind schedule.
Wyoming Bankruptcy Exemptions
All state provide a list of exemptible assets the debtor can claim when filing for bankruptcy. The following chart lists some of the exemptions available to residents of Wyoming:
Type of Asset(s)
Details on Applicable Exemption(s)
Real property worth $10,000, trailer house worth $6000, widowed spouse or child may claim exemption, tenancy is exempt-if only one spouse owes the debt
Annuity payments up to $350; disability benefits exempt from debt repayment; group life or disability; life insurance benefits exempt from bankruptcy proceedings
Liquor licenses and malt beverage permits
Public employees, retirement benefits, game and fish wardens, criminal investigators and highway patrol, payments currently received by firefighters and police officers
$2000 per person for bedding and household items; prepaid funeral contracts and plots, $1000 of clothing and wedding rings, Bibles, books and pictures, vehicle worth no more than $2000
Worker’s, unemployment and victims compensation; general assistance
Wages of National Guard and prisoners on work release, minimum of 75% of unpaid wages
Wyoming Bankruptcy Court Filing Options
Use a Bankruptcy Lawyer
Debtors should never enter bankruptcy court without legal counsel. The attorney knows all of the nuances of the law, can answer any questions of the court, and provide invaluable legal advice. All pertinent documents will be filed and all applicable assets exemptions taken.
Use a Filing Service
A filing service is not dependable. No one will answer questions in court, or provide legal advice. Any mistakes in the paperwork or lack thereof, are the responsibility of the debtor, as are the legal and financial ramifications.
File “Pro Se”
Debtor can represent themselves and file pro se, but the practice is strongly discouraged. No layperson can learn all of the necessary Wyoming bankruptcy law before the court date. Any mistakes are costly. The legal and financial consequences last long after the bankruptcy is final, or thrown out of court.
Courts and Wyoming Bankruptcy Trustee Information
Wyoming District Court Main Office
2141 Joseph C. O'Mahoney
2120 Capitol Avenue
Cheyenne, WY 82001