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Navigating the Process of Filing Bankruptcy in New Hampshire: A Step-by-Step Guide

filing bankruptcy in new hampshire

Imagine yourself in a financial storm, where debts loom like dark clouds overhead. You’re searching for a way out, a way to find relief and start anew.

Filing for bankruptcy in New Hampshire may be the beacon of hope that guides you through this tempest. But how exactly do you navigate this complex process, where every decision can have a lasting impact on your financial future?

In this discussion, we will explore the key steps and considerations involved in filing bankruptcy in NH, empowering you with the knowledge to make informed choices and find the calm after the storm.

Key Takeaways

  • Understanding the specific bankruptcy laws and exemptions in New Hampshire is crucial before filing for bankruptcy.
  • Chapter 7 is a preferred option for individuals with little to no disposable income, while Chapter 13 is suitable for those with a regular income who want to repay debts over time.
  • Qualifying for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy involves meeting certain eligibility criteria, such as passing the means test or demonstrating the ability to repay debts over a specified period.
  • Utilizing bankruptcy exemptions in New Hampshire, such as the Homestead Exemption, Motor Vehicle Exemption, and Tools of the Trade Exemption, can protect certain assets from being taken by the bankruptcy trustee.

Understanding Bankruptcy Laws in NH

If you’re considering filing for bankruptcy in New Hampshire, it’s crucial to have a thorough understanding of the state’s bankruptcy laws. Bankruptcy is governed by federal law, but each state has its own specific laws and exemptions that determine how bankruptcy cases are handled within their jurisdiction. In New Hampshire, these laws determine the property you can keep in your bankruptcy case.

When filing for bankruptcy in New Hampshire, it’s important to be aware of the exemptions that are available to you. Exemptions are laws that allow you to protect certain types of property from being taken by the bankruptcy trustee to pay your creditors. Understanding these exemptions can help you decide which type of bankruptcy to file and what property you can keep.

To gain a comprehensive understanding of New Hampshire’s bankruptcy laws, it’s advisable to seek information and resources from reputable sources such as the Consumer Law Council or consult with an experienced bankruptcy attorney. These resources can provide you with the necessary guidance and expertise to navigate the complex bankruptcy process.

In addition to bankruptcy law, it’s also essential to be aware of other legal options that may be available to you in New Hampshire. For example, if you have a criminal record, you may be eligible for a Criminal Annulment, which can help you clear your record and improve your future prospects.

Choosing the Right Bankruptcy Chapter

When choosing the right bankruptcy chapter in New Hampshire, it’s important to consider the unique advantages and limitations of both Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Here is some information that can help you make an informed decision:

  • Chapter 7 Bankruptcy:
  • This chapter is often preferred by individuals who’ve little to no disposable income.
  • It’s a quicker and less expensive process compared to Chapter 13.
  • However, in Chapter 7, you may need to give up certain assets, although there are exemptions that can protect some of your property.
  • Chapter 13 Bankruptcy:
  • This chapter is suitable for individuals who’ve a regular income and want to repay their debts over time.
  • It can help save assets from foreclosure or repossession.
  • Under Chapter 13, you’ll need to create a repayment plan that lasts three to five years.

To determine which chapter is right for you, it’s recommended to seek professional advice. The New Hampshire Consumer Law Council provides information on the different types of bankruptcy and can help you understand the bankruptcy process. They can also assist you in applying for bankruptcy and provide guidance on the specific requirements for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy in New Hampshire.

Qualifying for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

To determine if you qualify for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy in New Hampshire, it’s important to meet certain eligibility requirements based on your income, expenses, and financial situation. The National Consumer Law Council suggests that you consider filing for bankruptcy if you’re struggling to pay your debts and your current income isn’t enough to cover your expenses.

For Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you must pass the means test, which compares your current income to the median income in New Hampshire. If your income falls below the median, you may qualify for Chapter 7. However, if your income is above the median, you may still be able to file Chapter 7 if you can demonstrate that you have limited disposable income after deducting certain expenses.

Chapter 13 bankruptcy, on the other hand, doesn’t have a means test. Instead, it focuses on your ability to repay your debts over a three to five-year period. You must have a regular income and your debts mustn’t exceed certain limits set by the New Hampshire Bankruptcy Court.

In addition to meeting income requirements, you’ll also need to consider New Hampshire exemptions. These exemptions determine the amount of property you can keep when filing for bankruptcy. It’s important to consult with a bankruptcy attorney to understand the exemption amounts and how they apply to your specific situation.

Before filing for bankruptcy, you should also be aware of the meeting of creditors. This is a mandatory meeting where you’ll be asked questions about your financial affairs. It’s essential to be prepared and provide accurate information.

It is important to note that bankruptcy doesn’t discharge certain debts, such as child support, alimony, and most student loans. Additionally, if you have a criminal annulment, it may impact your ability to file for bankruptcy. Consulting with a bankruptcy attorney can help you navigate through these complexities and determine the best course of action for your situation.

Utilizing Bankruptcy Exemptions in NH

Now that you understand the eligibility requirements for filing bankruptcy in New Hampshire, it’s important to explore how you can utilize bankruptcy exemptions to protect your assets and property. By taking advantage of these exemptions, you can shield certain items from debt collection and safeguard your financial future.

Here’s a breakdown of the key exemptions available in New Hampshire:

  • Homestead Exemption: Under New Hampshire’s exemption laws, you can protect up to $120,000 of equity in your residential property. This exemption provides a crucial safeguard for your family home.
  • Motor Vehicle Exemption: You can utilize the New Hampshire Motor Vehicle Exemption to safeguard up to $10,000 in equity in one vehicle. This exemption ensures that you can keep reliable transportation during and after your bankruptcy case.
  • Tools of the Trade Exemption: If you use tools in your occupation, the Tools of the Trade Exemption allows you to protect up to $5,000 worth of these tools. This exemption recognizes the importance of preserving your ability to earn a living.
  • Other Personal Property Exemptions: New Hampshire’s exemption laws also provide specific amounts for furniture, fuel, books, jewelry, and more. These exemptions allow you to retain essential personal belongings.

It’s important to note that while these exemptions are available under New Hampshire state law, they may be subject to limitations and conditions imposed by federal bankruptcy laws. To ensure you navigate the bankruptcy process successfully, consult with a knowledgeable bankruptcy attorney who can guide you through the intricacies of exemption planning, the Chapter 13 plan, and the role of the bankruptcy trustee.

Filing for Bankruptcy in NH: DIY or Hiring a Lawyer?

Considering the complexities and potential implications of filing for bankruptcy in New Hampshire, it’s highly recommended that you seek the guidance and expertise of a qualified bankruptcy lawyer. Filing bankruptcy can be a daunting process, and having a lawyer by your side can ensure that you navigate through it smoothly. Bankruptcy law is intricate, and a lawyer can provide you with invaluable advice and assistance throughout the entire process.

When filing for bankruptcy in New Hampshire, you have the option to do it yourself (DIY) or hire a lawyer. While it may be tempting to save money by handling the process on your own, it’s important to understand that bankruptcy filing involves numerous legal requirements and complexities. A small mistake or oversight can have serious consequences and may result in your case being dismissed or debts not being discharged.

A bankruptcy lawyer is well-versed in bankruptcy law and can guide you through the entire process. They can help you determine the appropriate chapter to file under, whether it be Chapter 7 or Chapter 13, based on your specific financial situation. They’ll ensure that you meet all the necessary qualifications and requirements for filing bankruptcy in New Hampshire.

Additionally, a lawyer can assist you in completing the necessary paperwork accurately and on time. They can also represent you in court and negotiate with creditors on your behalf. Hiring a lawyer provides you with the peace of mind and reassurance that your case is being handled by a professional with expertise in bankruptcy law.

In New Hampshire, you can find qualified bankruptcy lawyers by conducting research online or seeking recommendations from trusted sources. Most bankruptcy lawyers offer initial consultations, where you can discuss your financial situation and determine the best course of action. It’s important to choose a lawyer who specializes in bankruptcy law and has experience handling cases similar to yours.

While DIY bankruptcy filing may seem like a cost-effective option initially, the potential risks and complications involved make hiring a lawyer the wiser choice. A bankruptcy lawyer can provide you with the necessary guidance, support, and expertise to ensure that your bankruptcy filing process in New Hampshire is successful.


In conclusion, filing for bankruptcy in New Hampshire requires a thorough understanding of federal and state laws, as well as meeting specific requirements.

It’s important to choose the right bankruptcy chapter, such as Chapter 7 or Chapter 13, and utilize the exemptions available in New Hampshire.

Whether you decide to file on your own or hire a lawyer, remember that the bankruptcy process involves credit counseling, completing a financial management course, and attending the 341 meeting of creditors.

Seek professional advice to ensure a successful bankruptcy filing.