If you are going to declare bankruptcy in Pennsylvania, it will benefit you to learn a bit about how the process works before filing. For example, you need to know which kind of bankruptcy you will be filing, what lawyer to go to, and what exemptions you will be allotted for your state. Finding a lawyer won’t be too difficult if you don’t have one already, simply find one that advertises bankruptcy cases and that has plenty of experience in the area.
If you choose to file Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Pennsylvania, then the good news is that most of your old debts will be cleared away. The only debts that you will still have to pay include: alimony, child support, back taxes, most student loans, large purchases within 90 days of filing, debts owed to the government, and debts incurred through fraud. In order to qualify for Chapter 7, you must first pass the means test. In other words, you must have an annual income that is below the median annual income for the entire state. If you make over this amount, you will still be able to declare chapter 13.
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While filing chapter 13 bankruptcy in Pennsylvania won’t get rid of your old debts, it may get rid of some of them. It will also allow you to sit down with your creditors and work out a plan by which you may have your debt paid off within the next 3 to 5 years. The main reason why someone would choose to file this kind of bankruptcy is in order to save their home. The law states that once you file for bankruptcy, any lawsuits or foreclosures against you must stop.
An exemption is property that the state orders you to have a right to when you declare bankruptcy; therefore, your creditors will not be able to take it when you declare bankruptcy in Pennsylvania. Every state has its own laws that determine what is exempt. In Pennsylvania, the following types of exemptions are allowed: your home up to $20,200, life insurance payments, un-matured life insurance costs, alimony, child support, pensions and retirement benefits, jewelry up to $1,350, lost earnings payments, motor vehicle up to $3,225, and more. This is just a small example of the many different exemptions that you will be allowed to declare when you file for bankruptcy in this state; see your lawyer for a more comprehensive list.