Chapter 7 Bankruptcy New Hampshire: 3 Things You Need to Know

If you're grappling with financial difficulties and need guidance, this article aims to assist individuals facing similar challenges. Explicitly focusing on Chapter 7 bankruptcy in New Hampshire, here are some crucial points to consider before proceeding:
Information in this article does not constitute legal advice, it is for informational purposes only, and may not constitute the most up-to-date information. Readers should contact their attorney for advice on any particular legal matter.
  1. Determining eligibility and understanding the costs of filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in New Hampshire.
  2. Exploring alternative options that may better suit your financial circumstances.
  3. Delving into specific details pertinent to Chapter 7 bankruptcy in New Hampshire to ensure a comprehensive understanding of the process.

If you prefer visual aids, you can utilize the New Hampshire Chapter 7 Calculator provided below to estimate your eligibility and associated costs.

1) How Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Works in New Hampshire

How Fast Do You Get Relief in A Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in New Hampshire

In New Hampshire, a "no-asset" Chapter 7 bankruptcy typically concludes within about 120 days, provided no valuable assets exceed the state's bankruptcy exemptions. This swift resolution means that individuals without substantial assets can expect a relatively speedy process for their bankruptcy case.

How Much Does It Cost To File Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in New Hampshire?

When considering filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, understanding what determines the cost is crucial. Nationally, the price tag typically falls between $500 and $3000. However, in New Hampshire, the fees can vary based on location. For instance, if you file in Concord, you might pay around $900; in Manchester, the cost could be closer to $1,200.

Fortunately, there are situations where you may qualify for a reduced filing fee through a fee waiver. Eligibility criteria for fee waivers vary, so exploring the specifics of the New Hampshire filing fee waiver is best to determine if you qualify.

How Do I Qualify For Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in New Hampshire?

When assessing your eligibility for Chapter 7, it's essential to consider the Chapter 7 Bankruptcy New Hampshire Income Limits. This test helps determine if you qualify for a bankruptcy discharge, which means your debts will be forgiven. By passing the means test, which you can estimate below, Chapter 7 can address most of your unsecured debts. Unsecured debts, like medical bills, personal loans, certain old income tax debts, old utility bills, credit card debts, and most personal judgments, don't have any collateral.

What about secured debts in Chapter 7?

If you aim to eliminate secured debts like car loans and mortgages, Chapter 7 bankruptcy could be a solution. However, the trade-off is that you must surrender the asset to the creditor, who will consider it full payment for your debt.

IMPORTANT: Chapter 7 Qualification via New Hampshire Means Test

You can use the Bankruptcy Means Test to assess your eligibility for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in New Hampshire. This form calculates your average annual income using your gross income from the last six months. Then, it compares this figure to the median income of other households in New Hampshire. If your income falls below the New Hampshire median income, you may qualify for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy discharge. Feel free to utilize the calculator below for assistance.

My Income Exceeded The Chapter 7 Means Test Allowable in New Hampshire

If your income exceeds the median income in your state, you may need to delve into part 2 of the means test or consider alternative options. We encourage you to explore this helpful resource: passing the Chapter 7 means test when income exceeds the median.

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy New Hampshire Income Limits

If you're filing for bankruptcy in New Hampshire on or after November 1, 2023, here are the income limitations based on household size:

# of PeopleAnnual Income
1$80,695
2$95,861
3$125,236
4$147,670
5$157,570
6$167,470
7$177,370
8$187,270
9$197,170
  • 10+: add $9,000 for each additional individual

Will I lose my belongings if I file Chapter 7 bankruptcy? Understand New Hampshire Bankruptcy Exemptions

Bankruptcy exemptions ensure that certain assets remain protected from liquidation to satisfy debts. In New Hampshire, individuals are granted a homestead exemption of $120,000 regardless of age or marital status.

It's vital for individuals navigating bankruptcy to review all available exemptions to determine the best strategy for protecting their assets. Federal bankruptcy exemptions outlined in the 11 U.S. Code §522 provide additional options, which is vital as New Hampshire law permits the use of both state and federal exemptions. Staying informed about current bankruptcy laws and exemptions is essential to make well-informed decisions throughout the bankruptcy process.

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy New Hampshire Pros and Cons

Pros

  • The discharge process is quick: Within approximately 120 days, you could attain debt relief.
  • Property exemptions offer protection: Meeting exemption criteria under Chapter 7 bankruptcy may enable you to retain a significant portion of your assets.
  • Legal protection against debt collection: Upon filing, an automatic stay is initiated by the court, halting creditor actions such as lawsuits, calls, and collection letters.
  • Alleviation of loan deficiencies: Bankruptcy has the potential to relieve you from the burden of owing more on a loan than the collateral's value.

Cons

  1. Income eligibility criteria: Meeting specific income thresholds is essential to qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
  2. Risk of asset loss: Exceeding exemption limits may lead to relinquishing specific properties.
  3. Credit report implications: Filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy can adversely affect your credit report for up to ten years, potentially hindering access to future loans or favorable interest rates.
  4. Non-dischargeable debts: Certain obligations, such as student loans and child support payments, typically cannot be discharged through Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

2) Alternatives to Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in New Hampshire

a) Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

If your income surpasses the Chapter 7 bankruptcy threshold, Chapter 13 bankruptcy offers an alternative for debt relief in New Hampshire. Through Chapter 13, you can reorganize your debts into a feasible monthly repayment plan, aiding in retaining your home and vehicles and averting foreclosure or repossession. Additionally, it may enable reductions in outstanding child support, alimony, and car loan payments.

Can you afford Chapter 13 bankruptcy?

With this calculator, you can determine whether you can afford the monthly payments if you are considering filing for Chapter 13.

b) Debt Settlement/Relief

In addition to Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy, there may be another choice: debt settlement. If you choose this course of action, the debt settlement business will negotiate a reduced sum for your entire debt, ultimately saving you money. To select a trustworthy and open debt settlement company, consider how it will affect your credit score and conduct thorough research.

c) Debt Management

Debt management is an additional choice. Debt management companies aim to reduce your interest rates, while debt settlement companies try to reduce the total debt you owe. These programs are generally more expensive than debt settlement and have three to five years duration. It is possible that some creditors will not cooperate with a debt management business.

However, this option may lower your interest rate by roughly 10–20% if you have a lot of high-interest credit card debt. This could ultimately result in 30-50% percent savings on the debt you currently owe, enabling you to pay it off more quickly. Evaluating your circumstances and deciding which course of action makes the most financial sense is crucial.

d) Debt Payoff Planning

Finally, we will discuss debt payoff planning as a possible option. In order to pay off as much debt as possible, this strategy does require some work. You will need to reduce your spending and save any extra money. However, you can advance each month by selecting the best debt repayment strategy. Another thing to remember is that you will be able to compound your payments as you start to pay off your debts, enabling you to pay off your debts more quickly.

3) Specific New Hampshire Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Information:

New Hampshire Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Credit Counseling and Debtor Education Courses

You must finish a few courses to receive a bankruptcy discharge during the Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing process. These will assist you in assessing your financial status and looking into non-bankruptcy options. The debtor education course is another requirement after filing your case. This one will equip you with the know-how and resources to handle your money more wisely.

Some New Hampshire businesses that provide these bankruptcy courses have received approval from the United States Trustee's Office. The UST website has a list of these approved businesses.

New Hampshire Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Court Locations

Another essential factor is the 341 meeting of creditors. Because of the pandemic, many meetings now occur over the phone or on Zoom. Yet, being aware of the nearest courthouse is crucial if you must attend in person. To make things easier, we're offering a list of court locations based on the bankruptcy districts in New Hampshire.

District of New Hampshire

  • 55 Pleasant Street, Room 110, in Concord, NH 03301

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Trustees New Hampshire

Here are the names and phone numbers of Chapter 7 bankruptcy trustees in New Hampshire:

NamePhone
Michael S. Askenaizer(603) 594-0300
Victor W. Dahar(603) 622-6595
Edmond J. Ford(603) 433-2002
Olga L. Gordon(617) 457-4000
Steven M. Notinger(603) 417-2158
Timothy P. Smith(603) 623-0036

Conclusion

After absorbing the information on Chapter 7 bankruptcy in New Hampshire, you likely feel more knowledgeable about the criteria and potential alternatives. For a swift assessment of your eligibility and estimated associated costs, consider utilizing the Chapter 7 bankruptcy means test calculator below.

To understand the ins and outs of filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy, look at our comprehensive Chapter 7 bankruptcy process guide.

Additionally, we've got an informative article on filing bankruptcy without an attorney for those looking to cut down on attorney fees and are open to taking on some tasks independently. You can find that article here: filing bankruptcy without an attorney.

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