State Laws

Tennessee Bankruptcy Laws

     

Tennessee Bankruptcy Eligibility
Tennessee law states that an individual must reside in the state of Tennessee for a minimum of six months before he or she can file for bankruptcy through the Tennessee bankruptcy court. These six months must be prior to a filing and not end after bankruptcy is complete.

Bankruptcy is a right to the American people, but the government has set new guidelines for who is eligible for bankruptcy. Bankruptcy is designed to help those who have met financial turmoil find relief from their debts. Those who have suffered from a loss of employment, the loss of an important client, a divorce settlement, or an illness requiring hospitalization are usually those who qualify for bankruptcy.

Bankruptcy does not eliminate all debts, however. Only some kinds of debts may be eliminated while other are always excluded. These exclusions include the payment of child support, the payment of alimony, the payment of fines, the payment of some taxes, any debts that are not listed under the petition for bankruptcy, falsified loan documents where the loan base is on false information, malicious and willful harm that resulted in debts, government student loans, unpaid liens, and unpaid mortgages.

Student loans may be eliminated if the bankruptcy court determines that the loan causes unnecessary hardship to the individual.

Bankruptcy Effects on Credit
Bankruptcy filing may not directly affect current or future credit. Credit is usually based on payment status and payments that are submitted on time. Bankruptcy will however be present on a credit records for up to ten years. New credit can be established following bankruptcy as all the current debts are eliminated and new bill payments can be made on time.

At times credit cards can be kept after bankruptcy. Other times credit cards may be disapproved. It is recommend that instead of using credit cards, and falling into previous habits, that individuals use cash or debt cards for purchases they would otherwise have used a credit card.

The government requires that after bankruptcy completion that individuals attend a financial management course where more advice is provided.

Tennessee's Bankruptcy Chapters
Tennessee offers two different chapters of bankruptcy for eligible consumers. Chapter Seven bankruptcy allows individuals to eliminate their debts by liquidating their current property. Not all property is eligible for liquidation nor are all types of property exempt from liquidation.

Property can be kept if exempt, and non-exempt property can only be kept if the property's value is paid to the assigned trustee. This trustee, as appointed by the court, will use the liquidated funds to pay off creditors. After six months the entire process will be completed, and the individual will be debt-free.

Chapter Thirteen bankruptcy is the other option in Tennessee. This type of bankruptcy allows individuals to pay off their own debts by using their own personal income. Upon filing the court will evaluate the individual's income, expenses, debts, and household. A payment plan will then be calculated based on the extent of debt and the personal income. No payment plan is to exceed five years.

See also:
Tennessee Gun Laws
Tennessee Divorce
Tennessee DUI Laws
Tennessee Misdemeanor External link (opens in new window)
Tennessee Expungement External link (opens in new window)
Tennessee Felony External link (opens in new window)