Written by the Upsolve Team.
Updated September 29, 2020
Box Elder a city in Pennington County and not too far from Mount Rushmore and Ellis Airforce Base. Even with the chilly winters in Box Elder, you can provide a good life for your family away from the big city. For most, a sudden life shock is what pushes them to the stressful experience of dealing with debt and the prospect of filing for bankruptcy in Box Elder. Others have been swimming to keep their heads above water for a while before they file. Sure, the winters may slow you down, but you control your next steps. The same goes for debt.
Some think Chapter 7? Chapter 13? Both are bad, right, and so is bankruptcy? Not true! Whatever you may think about bankruptcy, you should know it is a tool to manage the debt that has tried to claim ahold of our life. You are in charge of your life, and bankruptcy reasserts your control. The process of filing bankruptcy in Box Elder is not a spectacle because you file and you provide the information. No one comes out to your home or takes inventory of what you own, and rarely do you see a judge about your case. Most people go to Court only once for their creditors’ meeting. That’s when you meet only with your bankruptcy trustee, usually for less than 15 minutes, to answer some questions about your Box Elder bankruptcy case.
In most cases, people file Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Box Elder. It is a 4-6 month process where most of your debt is wiped out. Most debt is dischargeable such as credit cards, private loans, even late fees from your landlord, and most gambling debts. Non-dischargeable debts are those that you are still responsible for even after filing bankruptcy in Box Elder, such as government fines/fees, student loans, and child support. The second most common type of bankruptcy for individuals is Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Under Chapter 13, you create a 36-60 month repayment plan to pay down your debts. Between Chapter 7 and Chapter 13, Chapter 7, bankruptcy gives you your fresh start sooner.
Despite knowing that bankruptcy can benefit them and their families, some people wait to file. Many waits to file because they are waiting to save enough money to hire a lawyer. There's no need to wait because you can file your bankruptcy without a lawyer and there is legal help available to you. The Access to Justice Program through the State Bar works to assign low-income clients a lawyer. Dakota Plains Legal Services and East River Legal Services can help you with your Box Elder bankruptcy filing. You can enter your legal questions for volunteer lawyers at the American Bar Association to reply. If you want to sign up for various nonprofits, you can apply online at SD Law Help. Upsolve is also an excellent resource for Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy help to remove the stress of debt and get you that fresh start.
Box Elder Bankruptcy Lawyers - Estimated Cost
You may find it worthwhile to hire a bankruptcy lawyer, especially when you have circumstances that need special attention in your Box Elder bankruptcy filing. A lawyer can help you with legal advice in regard to which debts to continue to pay and not to pay, what to do about dischargeable and non-dischargeable debts and information about a gambling debt. The cost of a bankruptcy lawyer in Box Elder is between $1,100 to $1,200. This amount doesn't include filing or other Court fees. The cost could be higher or lower depending on the specific issues of your case. For example, if you're filing a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, the cost would be higher. You can discover what attorney might be best for you through getting a free consultation. You can ask the lawyer about their experience, calculation of costs, and specifics of your case during the consultation while the attorney reviews your potential bankruptcy. Hiring a lawyer is a helpful resource for those who can afford it, but it is not required to get bankruptcy relief.
How to File Bankruptcy in Box Elder, South Dakota for Free
If you can survive the blistering cold winters in Box Elder, knot that filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Box Elder is not nearly as hard, and in the end, it will leave you with financial relief. Here are the 10 basic steps of how to file bankruptcy in Box Elder without a lawyer.
Collect Your Box Elder Bankruptcy Documents
It’s valuable to organize what you need before you start the process of filing for bankruptcy in Box Elder. For the steps that come next, you’ll be glad you gathered the documents you need about all your assets, income, and debts. Some documents to keep in mind are getting your tax returns and pay stubs. You can order your taxes from the IRS and your pay stubs by reaching out to your employer. Get a free copy of your credit report to get an overview of what you owe. Prudent South Dakota residents get all three copies to ensure they have all their major creditors. Continue by creating a list and collecting documents for those debts you owe that weren't listed, such as Court orders, gambling debt, and personal loans from family. This preparation step will be especially helpful when you fill out your bankruptcy forms.
Take Credit Counseling
The mandatory credit counseling class is a vital first step to take before you can file your bankruptcy case. For some, it helps to wrap your mind around your options, including filing bankruptcy in Box Elder. The course typically costs between $10 - $50. If you can't afford it, the nonprofit will evaluate whether you can take it for free. To fulfill the course requirement make sure to pick an approved credit counseling class. The nearest in-person course is in Rapid City, but you can also take the class online or by phone. After you go through the course, you will get a certificate of completion. Once you receive it, you can file your bankruptcy. Make sure to submit the certificate with your Box Elder bankruptcy documents.
Complete the Bankruptcy Forms
The bankruptcy forms are the heart of your case and provide the South Dakota Bankruptcy Court an organized insight into your financial situation. The forms you will need to complete are located on the Bankruptcy Court’s website, and you can find the forms with explanations on Upsolve. It's best not to take the information asked personally. Bear down and get it done. You don't let the iciness of February stop you, so this shouldn't either. To ensure the Court can properly notify your creditors right after your Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Box Elder has been filed, make sure to follow the guidelines in Appendix 1F of the local rules when preparing your creditor matrix.
Get Your Filing Fee
You can pay your $335 Chapter 7 filing fee or $310 Chapter 13 filing fee in cash, cashier's check or money order. Some have put off bankruptcy because the filing fee is a lot of money at once. If this is the case with you, you can apply to pay the fee in installments. With installments, you make smaller payments until you have paid the complete filing fee. If the price is too high for you to afford, you can apply for a fee waiver. The Court will review your Box Elder bankruptcy filing and decide whether you qualify for a payment adjustment based on your financial situation.
Print Your Bankruptcy Forms
When filing your bankruptcy, you must provide the Court with one original copy of your entire bankruptcy. Electronic filing isn't available without an attorney so you will have to print your documents. You'll print your Box Elder bankruptcy forms one-sided, as they serve as legal documents. The public library in Rapid City may be a good place to print for $0.15 a page if you don’t have the ability to print at home. After printing, organized Box Elder residents carefully review their forms and compare the items to a list of filing requirements. When you’re ready, you sign that the information you provided is true and correct to your knowledge.
Go to Court to File Your Forms
Residents of Box Elder file bankruptcy at the Pierre Bankruptcy Courthouse. It's more than a 2-hour drive to the courthouse, and you should expect to go through security and make your way to the Clerk's Office. The advantage of filing your documents with the Court is that the staff can review everything you’re submitting for your Box Elder bankruptcy. Bring your copy of the forms if you want a file-stamped copy. If you mail everything to the Court, be sure to double-check your documents. Include a self-addressed envelope with prepaid postage for the return of your extra copy. After filing you will get the information for your creditors’ meeting (or 341 Meeting), trustee contact information and your case number.
Mail Documents to Your Trustee
After filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Box Elder, your trustee will contact you about additional information they would like to review and your 341 Meeting. The trustee typically needs two years' worth of your most recent tax returns at least a week before your 341 Meeting. The 341 Meeting takes place about a month after you file your Box Elder bankruptcy. During this time, the trustee will review your bankruptcy forms to determine whether you have any unprotected assets to pay your creditors.
Creditors get a Notice of Chapter 7 bankruptcy with information about your 341 meeting, but they usually don't attend. If this Notice is returned to you or the Bankruptcy Court, it typically means your creditor didn't get Notice of your Box Elder bankruptcy filing. You should make an effort to look for the correct address and mail the Notice there before updating the address on file with the Court.
Take Bankruptcy Course 2
At this point, you’re nearing the finish line of your Box Elder bankruptcy filing. You are required to take the second bankruptcy course. Over 90 minutes, you'll explore life after your bankruptcy. General information about the good and harmful use of credit and money-saving goals will be discussed. You can set money saving goals specific to you and your financial situation. By signing up through an approved vendor, you can complete this requirement by phone, online, or in-person in Rapid City. Sign up for an approved course and receive your course certificate of completion. The certificate has to be filed with the Court before your discharge can be entered.
Attend Your 341 Meeting
The Meeting of Creditors or 341 Meeting is where you meet with the trustee handling your case. Although the name implies your creditors will be present, usually they don't show up. You should expect to wait for your turn for this quick meeting. It should last less than 15 minutes. When you get to the meeting, you will present your picture identification and proof of your social security number. The trustee will verify your identify and ask questions about your Box Elder bankruptcy that you are expected to answer clearly and concisely. South Dakota residents have gone through this process by listening to the questions asked by the trustee and providing clear and concise answers. You will want to answer the trustee honestly.
Dealing with Your Car
After filing bankruptcy in Box Elder, you will decide what to do about your vehicle. If you are in an auto loan, you can give the car back to the lender and have the debt wiped away with your Chapter 7 bankruptcy. If you want to keep the car, you can reaffirm the loan. You sign a new agreement with substantially the same terms with the lender. The problem with reaffirmation is that nonpayment can result in repossession and worse, a lawsuit to pay the loan. Another option to keep the car is paying a lump sum to keep the vehicle. If you own your average car outright, you can keep your vehicle as long as it’s protected by an exemption.
South Dakota Bankruptcy Means Test, Bankruptcy Forms, and Exemptions for Box Elder
South Dakota Means Test
To qualify under the South Dakota bankruptcy Means Test, you are required to have limited calculated income or negative disposable income. Many reassess their expenses or speak to an attorney when having difficulty passing the Means Test for their Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Box Elder.
Median Income Levels for South Dakota
South Dakota Median Income Standards for Means Test for Cases Filed On or After May 1, 2020
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Poverty Levels for South Dakota
South Dakota 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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South Dakota Bankruptcy Forms
The South Dakota bankruptcy forms have a few local requirements that come into play when you're formatting your creditor matrix based on Appendix 1F, so it is vital to adhere to what the Court wants. It's also essential that when you're completing your Box Elder bankruptcy, you are forthright. The trustee will analyze your forms looking for money or indications of money transfers or assets to provide creditors a payment.
South Dakota Exemptions
When you file Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Box Elder, exemptions help you keep property during the process. The trustee will review your claimed South Dakota bankruptcy exemptions to ensure you can keep the property you claim as exempt.