Bankruptcy is governed by federal law and is basically the same from state to state. A Chapter 7 filing means that debtors place their remaining assets with the bankruptcy court, which divides the assets among creditors. In a Chapter 13 filing, the debtor has enough money to partially pay its debts and asks the bankruptcy court for a reorganization plan to pay the outstanding bills. Under both filings, the debtor emerges from bankruptcy with most of its outstanding bills erased.
Places to File Bankruptcy
Nebraska has federal bankruptcy courts in two locations: Lincoln and Omaha. You must file in the county of your residence.
Income Limits for Chapter 7 Filings
If your average monthly income is less than Nebraska's median income, you are eligible to file Chapter 7. If not, you cannot file Chapter 7 unless you pass a stringent means test.
How Long Can My Chapter 13 Plan Be?
If your average monthly income is less than Nebraska's median income, your Chapter 13 plan cannot exceed 36 months unless the bankruptcy court finds that good cause exists to extend the plan up to a maximum of 60 months. Otherwise, your Chapter 13 plan generally will last for 60 months.
Exemptions from Bankruptcy
Exemptions are property allowed to be excluded from the bankruptcy proceedings. In Nebraska, federal exemptions are not available. Some of the most common state exemptions are:
- Homestead: up to $60,000 on no more than two city lots or 160 acres only after six months of residence
- Wages: 85 percent of unpaid weekly earnings for head of household; 75 percent for others or 30 times the minimum wage
- Personal property: burial plot and associated structures; clothing; food and fuel for six months; furniture and kitchen utensils to $1,500; perpetual care funds; and other personal possessions
- Professional tools: up to $2,400 or $4,800 for a married couple
- Business partership property
- Personal injury judgments
- Pensions: county, school, and state employees; ERISA benefits needed for support; military disability benefits up to $2,000
- Insurance: fraternal society benefits $100,000; life insurance and annuity benefits
- Public benefits: unemployment compensation, workers' compensation, assistance to the blind, aged and disabled
- Miscellaneous: $2,500 of any personal property if no homestead is claimed
- Applicable federal non-bankruptcy exemptions
Get Help From a Bankruptcy Attorney
As state-specific bankruptcy laws are complicated, you should contact a Nebraska bankruptcy lawyer to discuss your situation.