Bankruptcy is a legal procedure that allows either individuals or businesses to change or put off their financial obligations that they can no longer pay. Bankruptcy is designed for people or businesses to get a fresh start or reorganize their debts into a manageable means of paying based on their income.
Bankruptcy in Mississippi
Even though bankruptcy is based on federal laws, your state can vary the exemptions of your case. For example, in Mississippi certain personal property is exempt from bankruptcy and seizure, which is tangible personal property up to $10,000.00 in value such as,
- Household goods: clothing, furniture, appliances, one radio, one television, one firearm, one lawnmower, wedding rings, and certain kitchenware;
- Motor vehicles;
- Implements, professional books, or tools of your trade/profession;
- Cash on hand (this is not cashing in a bank account);
- Professionally prescribed health aids;
- Any items of tangible personal property worth less than $200 each;
- Property valued at $50,000 (including deposits of money) belonging to a Mississippi resident 70 years or older.
As you can imagine, every bankruptcy case is different. If you’re unclear on what qualifies for exemption in your own case, the first thing you should do is contact an experienced attorney.
What’s the process of filing bankruptcy?
Prior to filing bankruptcy under Chapter Seven (7) or Chapter Thirteen (13), a debtor must participate in credit counseling. This can be done over the phone or the internet. The debtor must then participate in another session of credit counseling prior to the discharge of bankruptcy.
Whether you file Chapter 7 or Chapter 13, a debtor must initiate credit counseling prior to filing bankruptcy and prior to the discharge.
Once bankruptcy you’ve filed, creditors are required by law to stop contacting you. Creditors can no longer continue with lawsuits, wage garnishment, or contact the your or your family by phone or mail.
No matter what chapter the debtor files for, a trustee will be appointed over his or her case. The trustee is the person who reviews the debtor’s financial information and bankruptcy petition to ensure the debtor is not committing fraud and is following the applicable laws appropriately. Likewise, the trustee helps to determine if there are any sources to pay creditors and how much.