Why do you need a bankruptcy Maui firm instead of relying on a cheaper online form, or legal software?
You can file for protection from creditors under state law or the federal bankruptcy code. The Hawaii state code gives greater exemptions for the homestead and personal tools necessary to earn a living. For example, Hawaii lets you as a head of household protect up to $30,000 of equity in real estate up to one acre of land, assuming the property is located in Hawaii. A single individual can protect up to $20,000 in property equity. However, spouses cannot double their personal exemptions of $20,000 for a total of $40,000 in equity.
This is a reflection of the fact that Hawaii is not a community property state. If a married couple has one partner filing individually for bankruptcy, contact an attorney to determine what exemptions can be properly combined and used to protect assets like a family car or homestead. Incorrectly exemptions can derail the entire petition, forcing you to re-file and pay various court fees you literally cannot afford.
The law has different exemptions for individuals and businesses. Hawaii state law permits you to retain one commercial fishing boat and vehicle necessary to run your business. Get legal advice so that you don’t pierce the corporate veil and put personal assets at risk for a business bankruptcy.
Hawaii lets you protect up to $2,575 in vehicle equity as an individual, more if the petition is being filed by two individuals. The Hawaiian code does allow married couples to double the motor vehicle exemption, though it doesn’t permit the same exemption doubling for real estate. Hawaiian state law does provide protection for the exemption amount if you sell the vehicle up to six months after filing, as well as protects the value up to the exemption amount if there is an insurance payout.
Hawaii lets you use Hawaiian bankruptcy exemptions when you file under state law and then use federal non-bankruptcy exemptions for things like veteran’s benefits and military benefits. Seek legal guidance from a Hawaiian attorney to maximize your protection under the law. Never give up pensions, annuities, retirement plans and other protected assets you are entitled to keep.
Pay a little for legal advice so you do not lose out on insurance proceeds after the disability or death of a loved one. Don’t lose the assets or revenue streams you need for a secure retirement because you don’t understand the law. Do not lose your insurance proceeds on property lost in a storm or after a fire because you didn’t see legal advice.
Hawaii’s median income is higher than the national average, and its cost of living is greater than the national average. Seek guidance before filing so you don’t underestimate your living expenses based on federal guidelines instead of what it actually costs to live in Hawaii.
Contact a bankruptcy Maui firm when you’ve made mistakes filing so that you don’t lose the court’s protection due to incorrect paperwork, accusations that you filed simply to avoid foreclosure or filing the wrong type of bankruptcy. Talk to an attorney about updating the petition when you change jobs or move. The cost of living allowances vary across the state, such as the allowable rent and mortgage deduction being lower in Maui county than the rate you’d pay in Honolulu.