Bankruptcy Resources

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Filing Chapter 7 in Maryland: An Overview

Filing Chapter 7 in Maryland

You must show that you received credit counseling approved by the U.S. Trustee in Maryland to qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, and you must have completed the counseling within the 6-month period before you filed.

Our state has its own set of bankruptcy exemptions, as well. These exemptions help you determine what property you get to keep when you file Chapter 7 in Maryland.

Who Can File Chapter 7 in Maryland?

You’re ineligible to file Chapter 7 in Maryland if you’ve had a bankruptcy discharge in the past 6 to 8 years (that number depends on which type of bankruptcy you filed).

You can’t file for Chapter 7 if you could complete a Chapter 13 repayment plan, either.

How Do You Prove You Qualify for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?

When you’re filing for this type of bankruptcy, you’ll have to complete a number of forms that give the court a snapshot of your financial situation. The forms need to include:

  • Information on your property
  • Your income and living expenses
  • How much you owe (and to whom)
  • A list of exempt property
  • Property you owned and money you spent over the past 2 years
  • Property you sold or gave away over the past 2 years

What is Exempt Property in Maryland?

In a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you’re required to liquidate (sell off) your assets to repay your creditors. However, under Maryland law, you can keep some of your assets; they’re exempt from the liquidation process.

Some exempt property includes:

  • Your home, provided that you live in it
  • Up to $5,000 in tools of your trade
  • Professionally prescribed health aids
  • Up to $1,000 in appliances, furnishings, clothing, and books used by you or your dependents
  • Your burial plot
  • Court-ordered child support payments that you receive
  • 75 percent of your disposable earnings, or $145 per week (whichever is greater)*
  • Some retirement benefits
  • Cash or property up to $6,000 in value
  • Personal property up to $5,000 in value
  • Disability or health benefits, life insurance proceeds, or fraternal benefit society benefits
  • Settlements or awards you have received or will receive in a personal injury, wrongful death, or lost future earnings case

*In Caroline, Kent, Queen Anne’s, and Worcester Counties, you can keep 75 percent of your disposable earnings or 30 times the federal minimum wage (whichever is greater).

Working With a Bankruptcy Lawyer and Filing Chapter 7 in Maryland

If you’re like many people, you need to work with a local bankruptcy attorney who can make the process easier on you.

Your lawyer will be able to complete the necessary paperwork, walk you through each step that the state and federal government require, and provide you with the peace-of-mind you need during this difficult time.

Call us at 301-933-2595 for your free bankruptcy consultation. We’ll be happy to give you a free consultation and case-specific legal advice you can use to move forward with your life.

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