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Bankruptcy in Tennessee

Are there any income requirements for filing bankruptcy in Tennessee?

There are separate requirements in effect for Chapter 13 bankruptcy and Chapter 7 bankruptcy in the State of Tennessee.  The following requirements apply to both Chapter 13 and Chapter 7 bankruptcy:

-A residency of at least 40 months

-A term of at least 6 years since your last bankruptcy

-Participation in a credit counseling course

Chapter 7 bankruptcy has an income requirement which is in addition to the requirements listed above.  This income requirement states that only persons who had an annual income of less than the average income in the state of Tennessee for the year prior to filing for bankruptcy will be eligible to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

If I am married, do I have to file with my spouse Tennessee?

Married couples in the State of Tennessee have the option to either file their petition jointly or on their own.  Since Tennessee is not a community property state, your spouse is only responsible for your debts which they voluntarily assumed.  This includes any loans which they may have co-signed on, or applications in which they were listed as a co-applicant.  If your spouse has not taken these actions to voluntarily assume your debts, they are not responsible for the payment of those debts.  For this reason, it is not required that they file bankruptcy with you.

What are the property exemption rules in Tennessee?

The property exemption rules in Tennessee are as follows:

-Homestead exemption of up to $5,000

-Up to $4,000 in personal property

Will all of my debts be discharged as part of a Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Tennessee?

Only a portion of your total debts can be discharged as part of your bankruptcy settlement.  This portion of your debt is known as unsecured debt.  This includes any debts which did not require you to put up collateral in order to obtain the loan or product in question.  The most common examples of debts which cannot be discharged during a bankruptcy proceeding are mortgages and car loans.  This is because both of these debts are secured with collateral.  In the case of a mortgage, the collateral which was used is the house.  In the case of a car loan, the vehicle is used for collateral.

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