State Laws

Missouri Bankruptcy Laws

     

Before individuals can complete their petition for bankruptcy they are required to take a means test, as stipulated by the 2005 Bankruptcy Act. During the means test all expenses and income will be analyzed against the income and expenses of the entire state of Missouri for the past six months. If the income and expenses come below the median then the individual will be eligible for Chapter Seven bankruptcy. If an individual falls above the state median for expenses and income, he or she will be subject to Chapter Thirteen bankruptcy.

This means test will also be able to determine how much an individual is able to currently pay on his or her debts a month. If one hundred dollars can be paid but no more a month, then Chapter Seven bankruptcy is the best option. If one hundred sixty-six dollars can be paid a month or more, then Chapter Thirteen is the best option.

The United States has recently stipulated a new act for bankruptcy. This law will hinder those who abuse the bankruptcy system. To keep abuse of this system at bay, the act adds new restrictions for Chapter Seven bankruptcy, increased payments for Chapter Thirteen bankruptcy, and more.

The Bankruptcy Process
The bankruptcy process in Missouri begins with organizing all current income resources, all monthly living expenses, any major financial transactions over the past two years, secured debts, unsecured debts, and property assets -- possessions that do not include real estate. Tax returns from the past two years, motor vehicle titles, real estate deeds, and all other loan documents all need to be collected.

When collecting these documents it can be helpful to acquire assistance from an attorney. He or she will be able to insure that no paperwork is missing. Once petitioned, if the bankruptcy court finds that the paperwork is incorrect or that the information provided is false, the case will be thrown out. The entire bankruptcy process can be done online through Internet resources and attorneys, through do-it-yourself Internet resources, or in person with an attorney.

Exempt Property
After all the paperwork has been collected, an individual then is responsible for determining any exempt property. This is the property that will not be subject to liquidation during Chapter Seven bankruptcy. These kinds of property are categorized by the state of Missouri and designated under specific money values.

Most exempt items cannot exceed three thousand dollars or seven hundred dollars, depending on the category of the property. Missouri residents have the right to choose federal bankruptcy exemptions over Missouri exemptions, if they so choose. Once a petition has been granted a trustee will liquidate the non-exempt property to use for paying creditors.

Filing for Bankruptcy
All bankruptcy forms will be filed to the Missouri district bankruptcy court. Despite bankruptcy being caused by lack of funds, filing for bankruptcy is not free. Filing for Chapter Seven bankruptcy will cost two hundred seventy-four dollars. Filing for Chapter Thirteen bankruptcy will cost one hundred eighty-nine dollars. These fees cannot be waived but can be paid in specific installments, if necessary.

See also:
Missouri Felony
Missouri Gun Laws
Missouri Divorce
Missouri Misdemeanors External link (opens in new window)
Missouri Expungement External link (opens in new window)