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Bankruptcy in Maine

Who Can File Bankruptcy in Maine?

Contrary to popular belief, there are no current income limits which apply to the eligibility for bankruptcy relief.  In order to be eligible to file bankruptcy in Maine, you simply need to meet the following qualifications.

-Live, work, or own property in the state of Maine

-Have not filed bankruptcy in the last 6 years

-Be willing to disclose all financial information honestly

-Be willing to participate in credit counseling

What Do I Need To Know Before Filing For Bankruptcy in Maine?

There are two different types of bankruptcy relief which are available to the residents of Maine.  The first type of bankruptcy is known as Chapter 7 bankruptcy.  The second is known as Chapter 13 bankruptcy.  While each of these types of bankruptcy has a unique set of benefits and drawbacks, not everyone may be eligible to file Chapter 7 bankruptcy.  In order to be eligible for Chapter 7 bankruptcy your income must be found to be lower than the average income in your state using a federally approved means test.

What Type of Debts Can Be Discharged As Part of a Bankruptcy Proceeding in Maine?

Only unsecured debts can be discharged as part of a bankruptcy proceeding in Maine.  An unsecured debt is any debt that is not secured by a specific piece of collateral such as a home or vehicle.  All debts which are incurred after your original filing date are not eligible for discharge as part of your bankruptcy, even if these debts are unsecured.  Additionally any persons who have assumed responsibility for your debts as a co-applicant or co-signer will not be relieved of their responsibility to pay that debt even if your responsibility is discharged by the court.

Will I lose my house and car if I file for bankruptcy in Maine?

There are state and federal laws in place which allow you to protect a certain amount of assets from being effected by your bankruptcy proceeding.  In the state of Maine, you can choose to either protect your assets using the federal standards or the state standards however, you can not use both.  The current laws regarding exemptions using the state standards are as follows:

-A homestead exemption of up to $35,000 (this exemption is increased to $70,000 for people who have minor dependents living with them)

-Up to $5,000 in motor vehicles

-100% of all essential household furnishings and apparel

-Up to $5,000 in personal property with no one item exceeding $200 in value

-Up to $750 in jewelry

-Up to $5,000 in professional books or tools of your trade

Do I really need to hire a Maine bankruptcy attorney to represent me?

In order to achieve the maximum chance of a successful outcome in your case, it is strongly recommended that you hire a Maine bankruptcy attorney to represent you throughout your case.  Most bankruptcy attorneys charge a flat rate for their services in order to help you cope with your current financial situation.

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