How to File for Bankruptcy in New Hampshire
Filing for bankruptcy in New Hampshire is a process that is based mostly on federal laws and requirements. However, becoming familiar with the details that are specific to the process for those filing in the state of New Hampshire can be helpful. The first step to beginning the process of filing for bankruptcy in any state is to determine the form of bankruptcy that is appropriate for your specific situation. Almost everyone filing will file for either Chapter 7 bankruptcy or Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Chapter 7 bankruptcy allows for a debtor’s debts to be discharged. Chapter 13 bankruptcy allows a debtor to set up a structured payment plan to pay back outstanding debt over a period of time. There is an option to file for a special form of bankruptcy called Chapter 12 bankruptcy if you are a farmer or fisherman. There is also the option to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy if you have large amounts of debt or certain types of business-related debt. You may need to speak with a lawyer before you can determine which form of bankruptcy you can actually qualify for based on your debt type and amount.
The Basics of Filing for Bankruptcy in New Hampshire
The United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of New Hampshire is located in Manchester. This is the location that all people filing for bankruptcy will deal with regardless of where they live in the state. A list of forms that are needed to file for bankruptcy in New Hampshire can be found here. The cost to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in New Hampshire is $335. New petition filing fees in Chapter 7 cases may be waived with the approval of a judge. The cost to file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy is $310. A list of complete fees can be found here.
How to Begin the Process of Filing for Bankruptcy in New Hampshire
It is required that debtors complete credit counseling before filing a petition for bankruptcy. A credit counseling course must be administered by an agency that is approved in New Hampshire. The list of approved agencies to choose from can be found here. It will also be necessary to take a debtor education course once your debt is discharged at the end of the bankruptcy process. The list of approved debtor education agencies in the New Hampshire can be found here.
You will be required to submit multiple tiers of paperwork documenting your assets, expenses, income and more during the process of filing. It is advised that you work with a lawyer when completing this paperwork because of the level of complexity involved. Failure to fill out paperwork accurately or file in accordance with court rules could cause your case to be thrown out of court. What's more, you can incur extra fees if you file improperly initially and are forced to switch bankruptcy categories or make other adjustments. The information you submit regarding income, assets and property will be used as part of a means test to determine if you qualify for a Chapter 7 discharge or if you will be required to pay back debts under a Chapter 13 payment plan. One of the final steps of the process is something called a meeting of creditors. You will need to show up to this meeting to face creditors and provide them with one last chance to dispute your inability to pay back debts. Creditors may also challenge aspects of a payment plan if a debtor is filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy. It is possible that you may be required to forfeit nonexempt assets or property if it’s proven that you have the means to pay back some or all debt.