Are you considering a bankruptcy filing to get out of debt? If so, filing Chapter 13 bankruptcy in Idaho may be an affordable way for you to get back on track financially. However, before you file for bankruptcy relief, you may want to learn more about filing Chapter 13 bankruptcy in Idaho.
The goal of this article is to equip you with everything you need to know about a Chapter 13 bankruptcy in Idaho through the following things:
- Chapter 7 vs. Chapter 13 Bankruptcy in Idaho
- Calculating Chapter 13 Plan Payments in Idaho
- Means Testing in Idaho
- Idaho Credit Counseling and Debtor Education Courses
- Idaho Bankruptcy Exemptions
- Bankruptcy Courts and Trustees for Idaho
- Alternatives to Filing Bankruptcy in Idaho
Chapter 13 vs Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in Idaho
Chapter 7 bankruptcy cases are for individuals who cannot afford to repay their debts. However, the Chapter 7 process is not available to all debtors (individuals who file for bankruptcy relief). You must meet income requirements to obtain debt forgiveness (bankruptcy discharge) through Chapter 7. Also, you could risk losing property in a bankruptcy auction. If the Idaho bankruptcy exemptions do not cover the equity in your property, a Chapter 7 trustee could sell the property to pay your creditors.
However, in a Chapter 13 bankruptcy case, you could keep your property, even though it has equity above the allowable bankruptcy exemptions. The only impact might be a slightly higher Chapter 13 plan payment.
Chapter 13 bankruptcy cases combine your debts into an affordable monthly repayment plan. The Chapter 13 process allows you to avoid foreclosure, wage garnishments, levies, debt collection lawsuits, and repossessions. It also gives you the fresh start you need to recover after a financial crisis.
Calculating Chapter 13 Plan Payments in Idaho
Your Chapter 13 plan payment is based on your specific financial situation. There are rules and laws that govern how a Chapter 13 plan is calculated. Debts are also treated differently in a Chapter 13 plan, depending on the type of debt.
When calculating a Chapter 13 plan, it is essential to have several pieces of information gathered. You need to complete the Chapter 13 Means Test, have proof of income, a list of your monthly expenses, and a list of your debts. Other factors that could impact your Chapter 13 plan payment include non-exempt equity in property and certain recent financial transactions.
Calculating a Chapter 13 plan can be complicated. If you want to know about how much you would pay in a Chapter 13 case, try our free Chapter 13 calculator. You can estimate your Chapter 13 plan payment to get an idea if a bankruptcy repayment plan is something you want to explore in more detail as a debt relief option.
Means Testing in Idaho
As mentioned above, the Chapter 13 Means Test can impact the amount you pay for a Chapter 13 bankruptcy in Idaho. The Means Test is a bankruptcy form that helps you calculate your current monthly income, median income, and disposable income.
Calculating Current Monthly Income (CMI) and Median Income
Before you begin the Chapter 13 Means Test, you need copies of all pay stubs or pay advices for the past six months. You also need evidence of all other income for your household. Income that is included in CMI includes, but is not limited to:
- Wages, salaries, commissions, overtime, and bonuses
- Net income from the operation of a business
- Net income from rental properties
- Retirement and pension income
- Interest and dividends
- Unemployment compensation
- State disability income
- Contributions to household income from your spouse, other individuals in your home, or from outside sources
The only income not included in current monthly income is Social Security income and Social Security disability income (SSI and SSDI) and certain payments to crime victims. Most sources of income must be included in your household income.
CMI is calculated by dividing the total of all income during the six months before filing a bankruptcy case by six. Median income is your CMI multiplied by twelve.
Median income is important in a Chapter 13 bankruptcy in Idaho. If your median income exceeds the median income in Idaho for a household the same size as your household, your Chapter 13 plan is a 60-month repayment plan. If your median income is below the state median income level, you may be able to file a 36-month bankruptcy repayment plan.
The median income levels are adjusted every few months for inflation. You can view the median income figures of Idaho for cases filed on or after May 1, 2020 by viewing the table below. Please note that it’s an additional $9,000 for each individual in a household over the largest number below.
|# of People||Annual Income|
Calculating Disposable Income for a Chapter 13 Plan
Disposable income is calculated in the second section of the Means Test. You subtract payroll deductions and allowable monthly expenses from CMI to determine your disposable income. Disposable income is the income you have each month to contribute to your unsecured debts. Therefore, higher amounts of disposable income could result in higher Chapter 13 plan payments.
Allowable monthly expenses include, but are not limited to:
- Required payroll deductions, including retirement plans, payroll taxes, union dues, and uniforms
- Rent or mortgage payments
- Car loan payments
- Utilities, food, and household supplies
- Childcare expenses
- Health care expenses
- Disability insurance and life insurance premiums
- Transportation costs
- Ongoing charitable contributions
- Miscellaneous personal expenses
Some expenses are based on the number of people in your home. The figures for the National Standards are available on the website for the United States Trustee’s Office. The figures are updated at the same time as the figures for the median income levels.
Other expenses may not be allowed. In some cases, you may need to provide proof if an expense is higher than the average amount paid by other households.
Idaho Credit Counseling and Debtor Education Courses
When you file Chapter 13 bankruptcy in Idaho, you must complete two bankruptcy courses. A Credit Counseling Course must be completed before you file your Chapter 13 petition. A Debtor Education Course is completed after your case is filed, and you have your bankruptcy case number.
Both courses are available by telephone or online for a small fee. Each course takes about two hours to complete. If you fail to take the first bankruptcy course, your Chapter 13 case is dismissed. If you don’t complete the second bankruptcy course, you don’t receive a bankruptcy discharge.
Idaho Bankruptcy Exemptions
A debtor is allowed to keep certain property when filing for bankruptcy relief. In a Chapter 13 case, using bankruptcy exemptions helps keep your bankruptcy plan payment as low as possible. Most of the federal bankruptcy exemptions can be found in 11 U.S.C. §562 of the Bankruptcy Code. You can also review a list of the federal bankruptcy exemptions gathered by NCLC.
However, Idaho requires that debtors who have resided in Idaho for 730 days or longer to use state bankruptcy exemptions instead of federal bankruptcy exemptions.
Idaho has numerous bankruptcy exemptions you can use to protect the equity in your property from being used to repay your debts. Equity is calculated by subtracting the amount of a bankruptcy exemption and the amount due on any valid lien from the property’s fair market value. If the result is anything above zero, it could impact your Chapter 13 bankruptcy plan payment.
The amounts of bankruptcy exemptions can be adjusted. You must check for the most recent figures when preparing your Chapter 13 bankruptcy forms.
Some of the most common Idaho bankruptcy exemptions used include:
- Homestead exemption
- Motor vehicle
- Retirement benefits and accounts
- Tools of the trade
- Household goods and furnishings
- Alimony and child support
- Disability insurance
- Life insurance
- Burial plot
- Health aids
- Personal injury and wrongful death claims
- Crops on 50 acres of land
Bankruptcy Courts in Idaho
Idaho has one bankruptcy district, but the district is divided into four divisions – Southern, Northern, Central, and Eastern Divisions. Each division handles cases filed in the counties assigned to that specific division. There are three bankruptcy courts throughout the state. Bankruptcy courts are located in Boise, Coeur d’Alene, and Pocatello.
Each bankruptcy court has its own local rules and forms. For example, if you are filing Chapter 13 bankruptcy in Idaho without an attorney, you are expected to know and understand these local rules, in addition to understanding the Bankruptcy Code and Bankruptcy Rules.
Chapter 13 Trustees in Idaho
The Chapter 13 trustees in Idaho are:
|Kathleen Ann McCallister||(208) 922-5100|
|C. Barry Zimmerman||(208) 664-6100|
The Chapter 13 trustee assigned to your case has numerous duties and responsibilities. The Chapter 13 trustee reviews all documents filed in your case including your Chapter 13 plan and may object to certain portions of the plan. If you cannot settle the objection, a judge hears from both sides and decides how to settle the objection.
The Chapter 13 trustee also receives your payments and uses the money to pay your creditors according to the plan. During your case, the Chapter 13 trustee may request copies of tax returns to verify your current income.
Alternatives to Filing Bankruptcy in Idaho
You may not be convinced that filing a Chapter 13 bankruptcy in Idaho is the best way for you to tackle your debt problem. It is good to review all debt-relief options before choosing an option.
For example, you may want to explore debt settlement and financial management as ways to get out of debt. You may also want to explore debt consolidation loans as a way to eliminate debts.
Each debt-relief option has positives and negatives. Ascend has several resources that make it easier to explore debt relief options. You may want to review our:
- Debt Settlement Guide
- Debt Management vs. Settlement Article
- FAQs About Debt Settlement
- Comparison Tool for Debt Consolidation vs. Debt Settlement
- Savvy Debt Payoff app
Our goal is to give you the tools, resources, and information needed to make an informed decision about debt relief.
Should I Pursue A Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Case in Idaho?
Are you still unsure about Chapter 13 bankruptcy in Idaho? If so, don’t worry. We are here to help. Contact Ascend by texting or calling us at 833-272-3631 to speak with someone regarding ways you can get out of debt efficiently and affordably.