Written by Attorney Eva Bacevice.
Updated July 28, 2020
Football fans may have heard about the Raiders’ new practice facility site in Henderson, Nevada. Locals are more likely to know the history of that land and remember the failed megaproject plan for City Crossing, an ambitious proposal for a mixed-use luxury urban neighborhood that failed as a result of both the project and then developer filing for bankruptcy. The project went into Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2008, followed by the developer, Bill Plise, filing for personal bankruptcy in 2012. Even if you do not specifically recall this endeavor, the important thing to know is that personal bankruptcy relief does exist for all individuals (or married couples filing jointly) in Henderson, Nevada. As an individual, you'll be deciding between Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 for your Henderson bankruptcy. Chapter 7 is what most people think of as a traditional bankruptcy. It's also referred to as a liquidation. This is a bankruptcy where you walk away from most(or all) of your debts and can make a fresh start going forward with your finances. Chapter 7 tends to be fairly quick, usually only taking between four and six months from start to finish. You are likely to benefit most from filing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Henderson if most (or all) of your debt is unsecured, which means that the debts are not tied to a specific property. The most common unsecured debts that burden people are medical bills and credit card bills. If you are behind on secured debt, which means the debt is tied to a particular item, such as a mortgage on your home or a loan on your car, you might consider Chapter 13 to catch up on your payments. Chapter 13 is like a personal Chapter 11 reorganization and involves a repayment plan that runs between three and five years. Chapter 13 cases are more complex, so chances are you would seek legal assistance, perhaps through legal aid if cost is a factor. There are also some non-dischargeable debts, which will survive either chapter of bankruptcy. They include child support, alimony, recent taxes or other government debts. If it turns out that you are most likely to file Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Henderson we can walk you through the process with our Nevada bankruptcy guide, whether you’re eligible for Upsolve or not.
Henderson Bankruptcy Lawyers - Estimated Cost
As you are considering a Henderson bankruptcy, you are probably also thinking about hiring an attorney. The cost of a bankruptcy lawyer in Henderson will run between $1,100 and $1,500 for a Chapter 7 case. If that is something you feel you can’t afford there are some alternative options. First, you can always pursue legal aid options for assistance. Second, if you haven’t decided one way or the other about hiring an attorney, most lawyers who practice bankruptcy law offer an initial free consultation so you can check it out. They may even be able to give you some ideas on how to make an investment in your fresh start by hiring them. There is also now another option which makes it viable to move forward on your own (also known as “pro se.”) If you intend to file a straightforward Chapter 7 case and fit the requirements for Upsolve you can partner with us to work with you through the whole bankruptcy process at no cost.
How to File Bankruptcy in Henderson, Nevada for Free
Partnering with Upsolve can give you the reassurance, confidence, and information that you need to successfully file and complete your Henderson bankruptcy pro se. Upsolve will walk you through the entire process of how to file bankruptcy in Henderson step-by-step, beginning with the below:
Collect Your Henderson Bankruptcy Documents
The first step for you to take is to gather the documents you need to show your eligibility to file Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Henderson as well as the documents you need to complete your paperwork. You'll need proof of income (pay stubs, etc.) for the past sixty days (at a minimum; it's best to aim for a full six months), tax returns for the past two years (both federal and state) and statements for any financial accounts. You'll also need documents regarding items you own (assets), which all need to be disclosed in your Nevada bankruptcy paperwork, as well as a complete list of everyone you owe (liabilities.) It can help quite a bit to get a free copy of your credit report for the last task so that you can be certain you are properly including all debts. You'll be signing all of the forms for your Henderson bankruptcy under penalty of perjurythat all of your paperwork is correct, so take the time now to make sure you have all the correct information.
Take Credit Counseling
The next item to complete for your Henderson bankruptcy is the first of two required credit counseling courses. You must finish the course first and be able to produce the certificate of completion at the time you file your Nevada bankruptcy. Before you sign up be certain to verify that you are using an approved agency for each course. Most approved agencies provide online or phone appointments. If you would rather take the first course in person, the closest option is Money Management International, located just about fifteen miles away in Las Vegas on South Jones Blvd.
Complete the Bankruptcy Forms
Completing the bankruptcy forms is probably the task that takes the most time for your Henderson bankruptcy. As such, you might want to set aside some time over a few days to work on this. There are over twenty federal forms to fill out, as well as whichever local forms might apply to you in to create a complete set of Nevada bankruptcy paperwork. PDFs all of the forms are available on the Court’s website, along with a list of the minimum filing requirements for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Henderson. When working with Upsolve, you can go through a questionnaire that will populate your answers into the proper forms which may save you some time.
Get Your Filing Fee
When your paperwork is complete, you'll need to deal with the filing fee. There is an administrative cost for filing your Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Henderson of $335. If you believe you can’t afford to pay this and you can show that you earn less than 150% of the federal poverty guidelines, there is an opportunity to apply to waive the filing fee in full. Even if you don’t qualify to fully waive the fee, you can apply to pay it in installments. If you choose to do so, make certain that you complete the payments (no more than four installments) within the proper period (within 120 days of filing) or you risk having your Nevada bankruptcy dismissed.
Print Your Bankruptcy Forms
After you have completed your bankruptcy paperwork and dealt with the filing fee, it's time to print out your documents to file your Henderson bankruptcy with the Court. You'll need two complete copies, one of which will be time-stamped and returned to you pursuant to local rules. If you have access to a printer at home or work, make certain to print all of the forms single-sided as the Court will not accept double-sided paperwork for your Nevada bankruptcy. If you don’t have easy access to a printer, you can visit the Henderson Public Library for low-cost printing or try a local Office Depot.
Go to Court to File Your Forms
The United States Bankruptcy Court District of Nevada has two locations where you can file your Nevada bankruptcy, Las Vegas and Reno. The Las Vegas location is much closer to Henderson, located only sixteen miles away. We do recommend filing your Henderson bankruptcy in person, in case there is anything to correct or change that can be done on the spot. The Court keeps regular hours on weekdays from 9 am to 4 pm but is closed on federal holidays. You'll need 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 at the time you file your case.
Mail Documents to Your Trustee
Your case will be assigned to a bankruptcy Trustee after you file your Nevada bankruptcy petition. The Trustee will oversee your case throughout the process. You'll get an official notice in the mail that lists your Trustee’s contact information in addition to your upcoming 341 meeting date. It's a good idea to put the meeting on your calendar and keep the Trustee’s contact information in a safe place. You'll need to provide documents to the Trustee before your meeting date. Your Trustee will send a letter detailing the specific documents, but you can be certain that the request will include your last year’s tax returns, so set aside a copy for that purpose. If you have not received a letter 2 - 3 weeks since you filed your Henderson bankruptcy, it's a good idea to reach out to your Trustee directly to see what they need.
Take Bankruptcy Course 2
After filing bankruptcy in Nevada, once you have provided documents to your Trustee and are waiting 341 meeting is a good time to complete your second credit counseling course. Make certain to use one of the approved agencies for this course as well. None of the listed agencies offer an in-person option for the second course so it will need to be online or over the phone. The certificate of completion for this course also needs to be filed with the Court, so check with your provider to see if they file on your behalf or if it falls on you to file with the Court. Having this certificate part of your case docket is required to successfully complete your Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Henderson because your discharge can’t be granted without it.
Attend Your 341 Meeting
The next, and probably last, step in your Henderson bankruptcy is to attend your 341 Meeting of Creditors. This meeting is before your Trustee to allow them to verify that the information you provided is true and complete. You'll be sworn in under oath and it's important to bring the correct documents to prove your identity and social security number. The meeting tends to move very quickly, often taking only ten to fifteen minutes. All the same, it's not uncommon to be a little nervous beforehand which can be helped with knowing what to expect. Once the Trustee concludes your meeting, you'll just need to wait for your official notice of discharge to be entered into the case.
Dealing with Your Car
Filing bankruptcy in Henderson may require making a decision about your car. If you are not current on your car payments when filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Henderson you should be prepared to surrender the car. There are benefits to surrendering a car within a bankruptcy as opposed to letting it be repossessed outside the context of a Nevada bankruptcy case. Within the protection of bankruptcy, you can walk away from any missed payments, late fees, and interest charges in addition to the obligation for continuing payments. If you are current on car payments or you do not have any loans on the vehicle you can still keep the car as long as the equity is an amount you can protect with exemptions. Your current lender will probably request you to sign a reaffirmation agreement which survives the Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
Nevada Bankruptcy Means Test, Bankruptcy Forms, and Exemptions for Henderson
Nevada Means Test
When you want to file Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Henderson you first need to show that you are eligible through the Means Test. You can pass the Nevada bankruptcy Means Test in two ways, either by income or by a detailed calculation of your disposable income. If your current monthly income is less than the median income for your family size, you are immediately qualified. Likewise, if you go through the full calculation and show that there is little to no money left at the end of the month after paying reasonable expenses, you'll also qualify.
Median Income Levels for Nevada
Nevada Median Income Standards for Means Test for Cases Filed On or After May 1, 2020
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Poverty Levels for Nevada
Nevada Fee Waiver Eligibility for Cases Filed On or After May 1, 2020
Eligible for fee waiver when under 150% the poverty level.
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Nevada Bankruptcy Forms
Your Nevada bankruptcy forms are comprised of the full set of federal forms as well as any relevant as outlined in the Court’s list of filing requirements. To properly complete your bankruptcy paperwork and avoid last minute complications when filing bankruptcy in Henderson, make sure to follow the local creditor matrix format.
You can protect your possessions (up to varying amounts) in your Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Henderson through the use of proper exemptions. Some states offer a choice between state and federal bankruptcy exemptions, however, Nevada is an “opt-out” state which means you are limited to only using the Nevada bankruptcy exemptions.