April 11, 2017
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).
Before you file for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, 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.
Idaho’s main bankruptcy court is in Boise. You can find information on forms, local rules, and more at the court’s website.
Like every other state, Idaho has a set of property exemptions. 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.
As of April 2017, Idaho filers can 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's a detailed list of exemptions for Idaho.
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 Idaho's state median, you'll be eligible to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, and, if you choose to file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you can use a three-year repayment plan (rather than a five-year plan).
The median income figures change frequently. You can find the most recent amounts on the website of the U.S. Trustee. Click on “Means Testing Information.”
After you file for bankruptcy but before you receive your discharge, you must take a debtor education course. Like the mandatory credit counseling you'll take before filing your case, 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.
If you're considering bankruptcy, you may want to talk to an experienced Idaho bankruptcy lawyer.