During a petition in bankruptcy, the court and the bankruptcy trustee will consider the assets that you have declared with an eye toward which of these can be subject to creditor claims for payment of your debts. Particularly in a Chapter 7 liquidation bankruptcy, if an asset is not protected then it can be subject to sale so that the proceeds can be used to pay such claims.
During and after a divorce, one spouse might be required to pay the other a sum to help to cover their living expenses. This is called spousal support or alimony. The amount that is paid is either an agreement made between the two separating parties or ordered by the court in Pennsylvania. There are three different kinds of spousal support orders in the state, all of which are exempt from bankruptcy. This means that if you file for bankruptcy, you will still have to pay support.
Due to unexpected life changes, many people in Pennsylvania turn to bankruptcy to bail out their personal and business finances. The impact that bankruptcy has on specific locations can be tremendous, but the nation continues to see a steady decrease in the number of cases that are filed each year. Since the year 2011, the total number of cases filed has dropped by an impressive 660,000 cases.
For single parents in Pennsylvania, child support can be a lifesaver. The extra income may be the difference between a processed dinner or a fresh one — or even the difference between getting health care or not. But when the paying parent finds themselves unable to fulfill their child support responsibilities, they may try to file bankruptcy and avoid the payments. Unfortunately for them, child support is exempt from bankruptcy debt forgiveness in Pennsylvania.
Maybe it’s happened to you: you get a phone call trying to collect a debt you know you don’t owe. If you try to convince the collector that you don’t owe the debt or even that you aren’t the person they are trying to reach, it is usually to no avail. Even though there are laws against this type of harassment, people on the wrong end of creditors’ calls don’t often enforce them, either because they aren’t aware of them or they think it is too much trouble.
Pennsylvanians who are considering filing bankruptcy are often concerned about whether they will lose their property. In a Chapter 7 liquidation bankruptcy, debtors are likely to lose some of their possessions, which will be sold by the trustee to pay a portion of the owed debts. However, many categories of property are specifically exempted from inclusion in the bankruptcy estate, meaning they will not be sold and the debtor will be able to retain ownership.
A homestead exemption allows an individual or married couple filing for bankruptcy to protect some or their entire home. As of 2013, the federal government allows a homestead exemption of $22,975 for an individual and $45,950 for a married couple. In Pennsylvania, the homestead exemption is $300 for married couples who own property jointly. For senior citizens, there is a sliding scale in place that could result in an exemption of up to $15,000.