Providing Comprehensive Bankruptcy Guidance in Omaha and Throughout Nebraska
No one should have to live with overwhelming debt. It can be easy to fall behind on your bills due to circumstances beyond your control, but relief options are available, even if you have little to no current income.
At Lentz Law, we understand you are going through a difficult time and are compassionate to the stress and uncertainty you are experiencing. Our Lincoln Chapter 7 bankruptcy lawyer can help you eliminate debt, obtain a clean slate, and retake control of your life. Our Lincoln bankruptcy attorney will serve as your guide and advocate throughout each stage of the process and do everything possible to maximize relief. Our team also knows how to minimize the impact of liquidation and will work to protect as many of your assets as possible.
You will benefit from the automatic stay as soon as you file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. This court order freezes all pending and ongoing collection actions, including foreclosures, repossessions, wage garnishments, and creditor lawsuits. The automatic stay will typically stay in place until your bankruptcy case is over.
Chapter 7 bankruptcy involves selling, or “liquidating,” your non-exempt assets to partially repay creditors. Fortunately, many types of assets can be exempted from the liquidation process.
With proper application of exemptions, you may lose little to nothing. Most basic living needs are exempt from liquidation, but one important consideration is whether you have a home mortgage. If you are behind on your mortgage, you could lose your home under Chapter 7 if your lender will not let you reaffirm your debt.
In a Nebraska Chapter 7 bankruptcy, exemptions include your:
- Home (up to $60,000 of equity under certain conditions)
- Car (up to $5,000 of equity in a single motor vehicle)
- Furniture, computers, appliances, books, and instruments (up to $3,000 in combined total value)
- Tools of the trade (up to $5,000 in total value)
- Health aids (fully exempt)
- Clothing and wedding rings (fully exempt)
- Wages (75% of earned but unpaid earnings or up to 30 times the federal minimum wage)
- Public benefits and pensions (in many cases, fully exempt)
Nebraska also offers a “wildcard exemption.” In addition to all other exemptions, you can exempt up to $5,000 of combined total value in any type of personal property. Wages and real estate are excluded from the wildcard exemption.
You may not be able to exempt your home in a Nebraska Chapter 7 bankruptcy if you have too much equity in it. Your home may be safe if you are current on the mortgage and do not have much equity. Our team will evaluate your holdings and advise what assets may be vulnerable to liquidation.
Once all exempt property has been liquidated, you will generally be allowed to discharge all remaining unsecured debts. Credit card debt, medical debt, personal loans, and unpaid utility bills will generally be eliminated as a result. You cannot in most cases discharge secured debts, tax debt, or student loan debt.
As an individual, you may potentially qualify for Chapter 7, Chapter 12, or Chapter 13 bankruptcy. If you are not a farmer, you can safely eliminate Chapter 12 bankruptcy.
Chapter 7 bankruptcy is designed to support individuals who have no means to repay their debts. If you make too much or have too much disposable income, you may not qualify.
To determine whether you qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you will need to complete the Nebraska Means Test. Start by comparing your current average monthly income with Nebraska’s average median income for your household size. If your income is less than the average median, you can file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
If your income is greater than the average median income, you may still be able to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. You will need to calculate your current monthly disposable income by subtracting qualifying expenses from your income. If you have little to no disposable income, you will likely be able to file for Chapter 7 relief. If you have a considerable level of disposable income, you may need to consider Chapter 13 bankruptcy as an alternative.
Completing the Means Test is not always easy. Our Lincoln Chapter 7 bankruptcy attorney can assess your financial situation and advise whether you qualify.
At Lentz Law, we are passionate about giving people the support and guidance they need to overcome financial difficulties. Our Lincoln Chapter 7 bankruptcy lawyer is committed to helping you make the most of your filing and will work to protect your interests every step of the way. We offer no-judgment representation and are available to take your call 24/7.
Do not hesitate to retake control of your life. If you have questions about Chapter 7 bankruptcy or any other type of bankruptcy relief, we encourage you to review our Frequently Asked Questions resource.
He was there when I needed him through my tough times over the past few years.Tonia A.