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Filing Bankruptcy in Kailua Kona, Hawaii

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Written by the Upsolve Team
Updated September 29, 2020

Financial problems and mounting debt cause more than just general stress and anxiety. These problems can easily spill over into your personal life, and create tension between you and your spouse or other people around you. They might also affect your job performance and keep you up at night wondering not just what went wrong, but how will you fix all of this. You don’t have to lose hope as you can get debt relief by filing bankruptcy in Kailua Kona and put an end to nuisances like creditors’ collection letters, wage garnishments, and bank account levies. Filing a bankruptcy in Kailua Kona can get you back on track.

You can file Kailua Kona bankruptcy, either under Chapter 7 or Chapter 13, to help repair your financial situation. Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Kailua Kona is the surest and simplest form of bankruptcy protection in Hawaii, particularly in "no asset" cases. In these cases, all of the property that you own is exempt from seizure by your Hawaii bankruptcy Trustee. Filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Hawaii provides you a complete discharge of various unsecured debts, like credit card bills, payday loans, and medical bills. In contrast, Chapter 13 is for folks with a regular income, but who want to get their debts reorganized to make payments on terms that are suitable to them. A Chapter 13 bankruptcy usually stays on a filer’s credit report for seven years from the date of filing. It is important to determine which type of bankruptcy suits you best.

There are many rumors and misconceptions surrounding bankruptcy that may stop you from even considering your options and you never get the debt relief you so badly need. Many people in Hawaii think that they can only file Kailua Kona bankruptcy once. While there are some restrictions on being able to file for Hawaii bankruptcy again, it is certainly possible. Most people also think that they can’t afford the bankruptcy fees in order to file Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Kailua Kona. This is another myth as you can get free legal help to file your Hawaii bankruptcy case or file bankruptcy on your own! Don’t let these myths keep you from pursuing a fresh start. 

Kailua Kona Bankruptcy Lawyers - Estimated Cost

Many bankruptcy lawyers charge a flat fee to assist clients and offer a free initial consultation. The typical cost of a bankruptcy lawyer in Kailua Kona ranges from $1,199 to $1,500. Other than the complexity of your Kailua Kona bankruptcy case, the quality of your bankruptcy attorney and the chapter you are filing under impact your fee. If you are finding it hard to arrange the cash as you are already under a lot of financial pressure, you can file Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Kailua Kona on your own as it is not mandatory to hire a bankruptcy lawyer. You can save the money and use it to pay your filing fee.

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How to File Bankruptcy in Kailua Kona, Hawaii for Free

You can file bankruptcy in Kailua Kona on your own and save a lot of money. If you want to know how to file bankruptcy in Kailua Kona for free, you have come to the right place. This City Guide and other valuable resources will give you an overview of the bankruptcy process so that you can get bankruptcy relief as soon as possible.

Collect Your Kailua Kona Bankruptcy Documents

To start the process for filing your Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Kailua Kona, you’ll have to gather specific documents that will assist you in determining whether you qualify for a Chapter 7 and to complete the bankruptcy forms needed to file your bankruptcy case. It’s a good idea to obtain a copy of your credit report from each of the three agencies. You must also gather your tax returns for the past two years, your car(s) titles, and deeds to any real estate you own. As your bank statements will be very useful in creating your financial budget for your life after filing bankruptcy in Kailua Kona, it is better to collect at least the two most recent ones for each one of your bank accounts.

Take Credit Counseling

Individuals are not eligible for bankruptcy relief under any chapter of the U.S. Bankruptcy Codeunless they take a credit counseling course from an approved credit counseling agency. You have to take this course before your Hawaii bankruptcy case is filed. You have to obtain a certificate that proves that your counseling session took place. You have to file this certificate of completion with your Kailua Kona bankruptcy petition. The purpose of this credit course is to make sure that you know about all your options before filing bankruptcy in Kailua Kona. During the counseling session, you’ll be asked about your expenses and income.

Complete the Bankruptcy Forms

If after your preliminary research into Hawaii bankruptcy and your credit counseling class, you are still not sure that filing bankruptcy in Kailua Kona is the best solution for you, then this screening tool may be of assistance. Once you’ve made up your mind, it’s time to tackle the Kailua Kona bankruptcy paperwork. Your bankruptcy forms tell your Trusteeand the Bankruptcy Court what they need to know about your financial situation. You’ll be signing these bankruptcy documents under penalty of perjury before you file them with the Bankruptcy Court, and any errors and omissions are likely to delay or even prevent the entry of your bankruptcy discharge. That’s why it’s so important that you take your time and follow the instructions for each form.

Get Your Filing Fee

There is a filing fee required to file your Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Kailua Kona. Note that the current Chapter 7 filing fee is $338. Unless you have another arrangement in place, you have to pay this amount in full at the time you file your Hawaii bankruptcy with the Bankruptcy Court. Note that you can only pay the fee in cash or as a money order, so do not bring a personal check;  the Bankruptcy Court will not accept that. If you make less than 150 % of the federal poverty guidelines, you are eligible to apply for a filing fee waiver.

Filing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Kailua Kona involves submitting a physical paper version containing your original signature to the Hawaii Bankruptcy Court. As some of the Kailua Kona bankruptcy forms are time-sensitive, it’s a good idea to hold off finalizing your bankruptcy forms and printing them until after you’ve determined how to pay your filing fee. You will have to print out all of your documents (single-sided only - as double-sided won’t be accepted) in order to file your bankruptcy case. If you don’t have a printer at home, you should go to a local print shop, like Island Printing and Graphics.

Go to Court to File Your Forms

You have the option of mailing all of your Hawaii bankruptcy documents to the courthouse for filing your Chapter 7 case instead of going to the Bankruptcy Court in person. Since missing just one signature can delay the date your case is filed, make sure you triple check everything before mailing it off to the courthouse in Honolulu. The automatic stay will go into effect when your Kailua Kona bankruptcy paperwork has been received and processed by the Court. The bankruptcy clerk's office is the department in the Bankruptcy Court that will handle the filing. 

Mail Documents to Your Trustee

The bankruptcy Trustee plays a very important role in the Hawaii bankruptcy process. Some districts might have multiple bankruptcy Trustees, but you aren’t permitted to choose the Trustee in your bankruptcy case. When you file Kailua Kona bankruptcy, a Trustee will be assigned to your bankruptcy case. A Trustee has specific duties, powers, and responsibilities that they must execute as an administrator of your Chapter 7 bankruptcy estate. Your Trustee will review your petition and, if necessary, bring any action against your creditors to recover property that belongs to the Hawaii bankruptcy estate. The main idea behind this role is that they function as a neutral intermediary between you and your creditors, and eliminate opportunities for deceit.

Take Bankruptcy Course 2

You will not get a Hawaii bankruptcy discharge unless you complete an approved course in financial management. The course can be taken by telephone, in person, or on the internet.  Debtor education is a mandatory requirement and is separate from credit counseling. You have to take it after filing bankruptcy in Kailua Kona. This post-filing debtor education course will review your information on budgeting and managing finances. Debtor education course has to be taken from an agency that is approved by the U.S. Trustee’s office as they can issue a valid completion certificate. As with the pre-bankruptcy credit counseling, there’s a small fee for this course.

Attend Your 341 Meeting

Between 20 and 40 days after your Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Kailua Kona is filed, you will have to attend your 341 meeting or meeting of creditors. At this 341 meeting, your Hawaii bankruptcy Trustee will ask questions, and you will give answers, under oathabout the contents of your Chapter 7 petition, schedules, and your statement of financial affairs. Attendance at the 341 meeting is required to receive a discharge. Creditors are also notified of the 341 hearing and are invited to attend. But, creditors seldom attend this 341 Meeting. This meeting is generally pretty quick and usually lasts between five and ten minutes. 

Dealing with Your Car

Many people considering filing bankruptcy in Kailua Kona have a couple of concerns about what will happen to their vehicle once they file. In most cases, the best mechanism to protect your personal property, like a car, is through the use of bankruptcy exemptions, which permit you to protect the equityin different items up to certain amounts. If you think your car loan is more than you can reasonably handle, filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Kailua Kona gives you the opportunity to surrender your car without worrying about the outstanding balance on the loan. You can also sign a reaffirmation agreement and keep your car.

Hawaii Bankruptcy Means Test, Bankruptcy Forms, and Exemptions for Kailua Kona

Hawaii Means Test

To learn if your monthly income is low enough to be eligible for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Kailua Kona, you will have to take the Hawaii bankruptcy Means Test. If, after taking the test, you learn that your current income is too high, you may proceed with filing for bankruptcy under Chapter 13. You have to include all types of income in the Means Test, i.e. rental income, family contributions, gross wages (for both full-time and part-time employment), and interest income, etc. 

Median Income Levels for Hawaii

Hawaii Median Income Standards for Means Test for Cases Filed In 2023
Household SizeMonthly IncomeAnnual Income

Poverty Levels for Hawaii

Hawaii Fee Waiver Eligibility for Cases Filed In 2023

Eligible for fee waiver when under 150% the poverty level.

Household SizeState Poverty LevelFee Waiver Limit (150% PL)

Hawaii Bankruptcy Forms

Hawaii bankruptcy forms utilize a mix of the official federal forms and some local bankruptcy forms. Although the clerk's office might not be able to provide you with all the official forms, you may download each one of them, as a fillable PDF, for free. Your Voluntary Petition is the first and most basic form that you will have to complete when filing bankruptcy in Kailua Kona. You may access all the Hawaii bankruptcy forms needed to file your Chapter 7 bankruptcy case in the filing packet available on the Bankruptcy Court's website. As the forms are available for free, you should not purchase blank forms from anyone.

Hawaii Exemptions

Everything you own is deemed an asset in your Hawaii bankruptcy case, though only those assets that are not protected by any of the exemptions can be liquidated for the benefit of the creditors. You may choose to use either the federal bankruptcy exemptionsor state exemptions when filing bankruptcy in Kailua Kona. With Hawaii bankruptcy exemptions, you can keep motor vehicles with a value of up to $3,675 and jewelry and watches with a value of up to $1000.  

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The Upsolve Team

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