Filing for Bankruptcy in Idaho
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Bankruptcy is a creature of federal law, so the process to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy or to file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy is nearly identical in every state, including Idaho. However, Idaho law still plays a major role, especially in setting property exemptions, which determine what property you get to keep (if you file for Chapter 7) and how much you have to repay your creditors (if you file for Chapter 13). There are also important resources available to you by state.
Credit Counseling in Idaho
Before you file for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy in Hawaii, you will have to complete mandatory credit counseling with an agency that’s been approved by the United States Trustee’s Office. Here’s a list of agencies that have been approved to provide this counseling in Idaho.
Where to File for Bankruptcy
Idaho’s main bankruptcy court is in Boise. You can find information on forms, local rules, and more at the court’s website.
Idaho Property Exemptions
Like every other state, Idaho has a set of property exemptions. (To learn more about how property exemptions work generally and which exemptions you may use, see Bankruptcy Exemptions: What Do I Keep When I File for Bankruptcy?)
Some states let bankruptcy filers choose between the state’s list of exemptions and a list of federal exemptions, but Idaho isn’t one of them.
Idaho filers may protect up to $100,000 of equity in a home; $7,000 of equity in a car; and up to $1,000 worth of jewelry. Here is a detailed list of exemptions for Idaho.
The Means Test
When you file for bankruptcy, you must compare your income to the median Idaho income for a household of your size. If your income is less than the state median in Idaho, you will be eligible to file for Chapter 7 and, if you choose to file for Chapter 13, you can use a three-year repayment plan (rather than five years).
Currently, the median income for a one-person household in Idaho is just over $39,000; these figures change periodically. You can find the most recent amounts on the website of the U.S. Trustee at www.justice.gov/ust. Click on “Bankruptcy Reform,” and then “Means Testing Information.” Or go directly to the Census Bureau table here.
Debtor Education in Idaho
After you file for bankruptcy but before you receive your discharge, you must take a debtor education course. Like the mandatory credit counseling you must take before filing your forms, you must receive debtor education from an agency approved by the U.S. Trustee’s Office. Here’s a list of Idaho agencies that are approved to provide this counseling.
Finding a Bankruptcy Lawyer
If you're considering bankruptcy, you may want to talk to an experienced Idaho bankruptcy lawyer.