Idaho Bankruptcy Attorneys Answer Frequently Asked Questions
Foley Freeman provides legal counsel to individuals and businesses during the bankruptcy process, helping clients to stop creditor harassment, obtain a fresh start, and begin rebuilding their credit. Below are answers to some questions frequently encountered by our bankruptcy attorneys, provided to lend some clarity to certain issues.
To schedule an appointment with a Boise bankruptcy lawyer from Foley Freeman, please contact our firm today. With offices in Meridian, we represent clients throughout southern Idaho, including the cities of D’Alene and Pocatello.
- Can I keep my guns if I file bankruptcy?
- If I file bankruptcy, can I keep my wedding ring?
- If I file bankruptcy, can I keep my car?
- Are taxes ever dischargeable in bankruptcy?
- If I am behind on my house payment, is there any way to keep it if I file bankruptcy?
- When should I file for bankruptcy?
- Will filing for bankruptcy ruin my credit?
- Will bankruptcy get rid of all my debts?
- What is an “automatic stay?”
Can I keep my guns if I file bankruptcy?
Yes. Idaho specifically has a gun exemption. If you have a firearm for your employment, it is exempt under Idaho Code § 11-605. Also, if you do not need a firearm for your work, you can still exempt a firearm to the value of $750.00 or less.
If I file bankruptcy, can I keep my wedding ring?
Yes. Under Idaho law, you can exempt your wedding ring to the extent of $1,000.00 of value, pursuant to Idaho Code § 11-605(2).
If I file bankruptcy, can I keep my car?
Yes. Under Idaho law, you can exempt one motor vehicle not exceeding $7,000.00 in equity. In short, what this means is if you have a $15,000.00 car, you can protect up to $7,000.00 equity in it. If you have more than $7,000.00 equity, the bankruptcy court will require that the vehicle be sold and you will receive $7,000.00 to purchase a new vehicle.
Are taxes ever dischargeable in bankruptcy?
Yes. There are several criteria that must be met in order for taxes to be discharged. See the blog post on this topic for more information.
If I am behind on my house payment, is there any way to keep it if I file bankruptcy?
Yes. You could file a chapter 13 bankruptcy, wherein you would pay the arrearage over a 60 month period.
When should I file for bankruptcy?
Many people think of bankruptcy as a last resort, but for people with large amounts of high-interest debt, filing for bankruptcy can provide much needed relief. Bankruptcy may be a viable and desirable option for people facing:
- Home foreclosure
- Vehicle repossession
- Loss of a business
- Lost income due to wage garnishment
- Inability to pay monthly bills
- Creditor harassment and threats of lawsuits
At Foley Freeman, we will make sure that you understand your options under bankruptcy law and help you map the best route toward debt relief and financial recovery.
Will filing for bankruptcy ruin my credit?
Your credit will be affected if you decide to file for bankruptcy. However, bankruptcy can be an effective way to regain control of your finances, and many debtors find that their credit scores begin to improve not long after they file for bankruptcy. It is important to note that most types of bankruptcy will stay on your credit report for a period of up to seven to ten years. In some cases, the time period can be reduced.
Will bankruptcy get rid of all my debts?
Chapter 7 bankruptcy discharges most unsecured debts, including credit card bills, medical bills, and loans not backed by collateral. However, some debts are not subject to discharge for public policy reasons and must still be repaid after bankruptcy, including:
- Child support and spousal maintenance (alimony)
- Most tax liability, although there are some exceptions
- Government-backed student loans
- Debts incurred by fraud or intentional wrongdoing
- Criminal fines and restitution
If a debtor has many obligations that cannot be discharged under Chapter 7, Chapter 13 reorganization bankruptcy may be a better option for regaining financial stability.
What is an “automatic stay?”
Once a petition for bankruptcy is filed, the bankruptcy court will issue an “automatic stay,” which places all creditors on notice of the bankruptcy, and requires them to immediately stop any attempts at bill or debt collection. This includes actions involving credit cards, medical bills, tax debt, repossessions, wage garnishments, and foreclosures. The automatic stay provides a period of respite from creditors, and allows for some room to formulate a workable plan for debt relief.