Written by Attorney Eva Bacevice.
Updated September 8, 2020
Ormsby House Hotel and Casino is a familiar sight to residents of Carson City, Nevada. The shuttered hotel and casino is coming up on its 20th anniversary of the start of its seemingly never-ending renovation and is surrounded by much lore regarding its unfortunate history. Ormsby House can be seen as a monument to bankruptcy. In addition to changing owners and endless renovations, the property has been in and out of bankruptcy since 1990. While the saga continues for Ormsby House, bankruptcy, when used effectively, can offer financial relief to regular Nevadans. If you are considering filing bankruptcy in Carson City as an individual (or married couple filing jointly) you'll probably be deciding between Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. Chapter 7 is a liquidation, or traditional, bankruptcy, where you can eliminate most (or all) of your debt and escape from financial distress. Chapter 7 takes approximately four to six months from filing to discharge and allows for a truly fresh start. If the bulk of your debt is unsecured (meaning not tied to a particular item) such as medical bills and credit card bills, Chapter 7 will eliminate those debts entirely. If you are behind on secured debt (debt that is tied to a specific item) like the mortgage on your home or a loan on your car and you want an opportunity to catch up on the payments you might instead consider Chapter 13. Chapter 13 is a reorganization where you provide a repayment plan that runs for three to five years and allows you to catch up on secured debt. In both chapters of bankruptcy, there are also certain non-dischargeable, debts that will survive the bankruptcy, such as child support, alimony, and most government debts. Your circumstances will usually point to a specific path in bankruptcy, but if you are not certain or want further guidance, many legal aid organizations can assist you in determining the right choice for you. If it becomes clear that you'll be filing a straightforward Chapter 7 case and you are eligible for help from Upsolve we can partner with you step-by-step through the process.
Carson City Bankruptcy Lawyers - Estimated Cost
Often the biggest impediment for people in financial distress filing for bankruptcy relief is the cost. This is a very real concern when you discover that the cost of a bankruptcy lawyer in Carson City is between $1,100 and $1,500. Additionally, the fees are usually due upfront or before filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Carson City. This creates a paradox where you may feel too poor to file bankruptcy. There are, however, ways to reduce costs. First, most bankruptcy attorneys offer a free initial consultation, so you can meet without fear of immediate costs. Second, there are legal aid organizations that help with bankruptcy. Now there is another option - you can partner with Upsolve to file your own Chapter 7 case (“pro se”) for free and rest assured that we will walk you through all the details.
How to File Bankruptcy in Carson City, Nevada for Free
At Upsolve we believe that the cost of bankruptcy should never be a barrier to debt relief. We strive to find ways to reduce or eliminate all the costs associated with filing bankruptcy in Carson City so that people who need it can obtain a fresh start. To begin, we can eliminate the attorney fees for filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Carson City by helping you through the bankruptcy process step-by-step:
Collect Your Carson City Bankruptcy Documents
Step one is to collect all of the documents you'll need to determine your eligibility for Chapter 7 bankruptcy and to fill out your Carson City bankruptcy paperwork. You'll need your pay stubs (or other proof of income) for at least the past 60 days, though, ideally the past 180 days. You'll also need your past two years of income taxes (both federal and state) and recent statements for any financial accounts you have. In the paperwork, you'll need to disclose all of your assets (everything you own) along with any supporting documentation. You'll also need to show all of your liabilities, which are all of your debts, regardless of how old or who the creditor is. You'll be signing your Nevada bankruptcy documents under penalty of perjury that everything is included and accurate so it's a good idea to obtain a free copy of your credit report to verify that all debts are properly listed.
Take Credit Counseling
Step two is to complete the first of two required credit counseling courses for your Carson City bankruptcy. The initial course needs to be completed before you file your Nevada bankruptcy. It's important to use an approved agency for both courses. Most of the listed approved agencies will offer course options over the phone or online. If you prefer to go in person, the closest option is offered by Money Management International, located approximately thirty miles away on Kietzke Lane in Reno. Keep in mind that they only offer an in-person option for the initial course, but not the second one.
Complete the Bankruptcy Forms
Step three is to fill out your Nevada bankruptcy paperwork. Settle in because this part will take some time. You need to complete all of the federal forms as well as any relevant local forms, like this verification of creditor matrix. There are over twenty federal forms alone so you may want to set aside some time in chunks to get through it all completely and accurately. You can access all of the necessary forms as fillable PDFs on the Court’s website. You can also go through a questionnaire with Upsolve which will populate your answers into the proper forms for your Carson City bankruptcy.
Get Your Filing Fee
Step four is to deal with your filing fee. There is a $338 cost to file your Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Carson City. This amount is due, in full, when you file your Nevada bankruptcy case, either in cash (exact change) or certified funds (money order or cashier’s check.) Here again, we want to help if you can’t afford to pay the filing fee. If that is the case and your income is less than 150% of the federal poverty guidelines you can apply to waive the filing fee in full. If you don’t qualify based on that, you can still apply to pay your filing fee in installments. If you choose this option, make certain that you have a plan to make all the payments (in four or fewer installments) within the time allotted (120 days) or you risk having your case thrown out.
Print Your Bankruptcy Forms
Step five is to print out your Carson City bankruptcy forms. It's important to note that there are specific local rules that require the complete original forms as well as an additional copy, so make certain you have both. When you print, do it all one-sided as the Court will not accept double-sided forms for your Nevada bankruptcy. If you don’t have access to a printer at home or work, you can go to the Carson City Public Library, which offers mobile printing that does not require any software. You can also go to your local Office Depot for printing services.
Go to Court to File Your Forms
Step six is to file your Carson City bankruptcy forms with the Court. The United States Bankruptcy Court District of Nevada offers two locations where you can file your Nevada bankruptcy. The location closest to Carson City is in Reno, approximately 30 miles away. We do recommend going in person to file, on the off-chance there is a mistake to correct or other issues to address. Take note of the Court’s hours, which are weekdays from 9 am to 4 pm but closed on federal holidays. You'll also want to bring along your filing fee (or application to waive or pay in installments) and the certificate of completion from your first credit counseling course.
Mail Documents to Your Trustee
Step 7 is to mail documents to your bankruptcy Trustee. You are assigned a bankruptcy Trustee to oversee your case after your Carson City bankruptcy is filed with the Court. You can find out who it is from your official notice that lists both the Trustee’s information and your upcoming Nevada bankruptcy 341 meeting date. Your Trustee may send a letter to you listing specific supporting documents they want to receive before your meeting date. At a minimum, you have to provide your most recent federal tax, so have that ready to go. Any requested documents must be received by the Trustee at least seven days before your hearing. Failure to do so timely could delay your both your hearing date and your case.
Take Bankruptcy Course 2
Step eight is to complete your second credit counseling course. Just as before, you'll need to do so through an approved agency. Unfortunately, there are no approved agencies that offer an in-person course, so you'll need to complete this Nevada bankruptcy requirement over the phone or online. When you have finished this course you'll receive a certificate of completion. You'll need to file this certificate with the Court so that it shows up on the docket for your Carson City bankruptcy to successfully complete your case.
Attend Your 341 Meeting
Step 9, and hopefully your final step, is to attend your 341 Meeting of Creditors. This meeting will take place before your Trustee and they will ask you questions, under oath, to confirm that the information contained in your Nevada bankruptcy paperwork and your supporting documents are complete and accurate. You'll need to provide proof of you social security number and proper identification. You should also bring along any pay stubs (or other proof of income) that you have received since initially filing your Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Carson City. The hearing itself is relatively brief, usually lasting between ten and fifteen minutes. Despite that, it's completely natural to be a bit nervous, which you can combat with some preparation. If at the end of the questioning your Trustee formally “concludes” the meeting, you'll not have to do anything further to get your fresh start and move on with your life other than wait to receive your official notice of discharge from the Court.
Dealing with Your Car
One additional item that does not fit neatly into a specific step is how to deal with your car. Filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Carson City might mean deciding what to do about your car. If you are behind on payments for your car and intend to file Chapter 7 that will mean surrendering your car in your Nevada bankruptcy. The benefit to doing this during your case is that in addition to being freed from the obligation to continue making payments you can also walk away from any missed payments, late charges, or interest. If you are current on payments and want to keep your car, the lender will likely ask you to sign a reaffirmation agreement so that you have an agreement beyond the bankruptcy case. If you intend to keep a car you'll want to make certain that you can fully protect any equity with your bankruptcy exemptions.
Nevada Bankruptcy Means Test, Bankruptcy Forms, and Exemptions for Carson City
Nevada Bankruptcy Means Test
To file Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Carson City you first need to show that you are eligible to do so through the Means Test. There are two ways to pass the Nevada bankruptcy Means Test for Chapter 7. First, you can do so based on income and you'll immediately qualify if your current monthly income is less than the median income in Nevada for your family size. If you don’t immediately qualify, you can go through a more extensive calculation to show that there is little to no money left after paying your reasonable monthly expenses. If your Nevada bankruptcy Means Test shows this, you are eligible to file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Carson City.
Median Income Levels for Nevada
Nevada Median Income Standards for Means Test for Cases Filed On or After May 1, 2021
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Poverty Levels for Nevada
Nevada Fee Waiver Eligibility for Cases Filed On or After May 1, 2021
Eligible for fee waiver when under 150% the poverty level.
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Nevada Bankruptcy Forms
The Nevada bankruptcy forms required for your Carson City bankruptcy are a mix of federal and local forms. In particular, for your Chapter 7 make certain you are using the local Creditor Matrix form and follow the Court’s list of filing requirements to make sure you have everything you need.
Exemptions in your Carson City bankruptcy allow you to protect your possessions up to varying amounts depending on the item. Some states allow you to choose between federal and state exemptions. Nevada, however, has “opted out” of the federal bankruptcy exemptions, so you are limited to only using the Nevada bankruptcy exemptions.