Hawaii State Bankruptcy Laws


What are the Hawaii bankruptcy exemptions?

HawaiiHawaii law protects all or a portion of your property from being seized by creditors or the bankruptcy trustee in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. In a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you are generally allowed to keep all of your assets and property. Certain exceptions may apply, so it's wise to consult with a Hawaii bankruptcy attorney to find which of your assets will be protected in a bankruptcy filed in Hawaii. In general, the major Hawaii bankruptcy exemptions include:

General Hawaii Exemptions
Real Estate (the Homestead Exemption)
Up to $30,000 of equity in real or personal property can be protected if you are at least 65 years old and head of family; $20,000 for all other debtors.
Automobiles
Up to $2,575 of equity in one motor vehicle can be protected.
Other Property
100 percent of necessary household furnishings and appliances, books and wearing apparel personally used by a debtor or the debtor's family residing with the debtor; jewelry, watches, and items of personal adornment up to an aggregate cash value not exceeding $1,000; and 100 percent of all tools, equipment, and furnishings used in a trade, business, or profession.

In Hawaii, you have the choice of electing the federal exemption statutes rather than the Hawaii state exemptions. Consult with a Hawaii bankruptcy attorney for more details.

View the complete list of Hawaii bankruptcy exemptions

Please remember that this page provides general information only, and is not intended to provide legal advice. The information is not a substitute for the advice of a qualified bankruptcy attorney. If you need legal assistance, consult an attorney.

Which state's exemption laws apply in your bankruptcy?

HawaiiGenerally, the laws of the state in which you lived for the 730 days (2 years) prior to filing a bankruptcy petition will apply in your bankruptcy.

If you have not lived in the same state for the 2 years immediately prior to filing your bankruptcy petition, the laws of the state in which you lived for the majority of the 180-day period preceding the 2-year period will likely apply.

If application of the preceding general rules renders you ineligible for exemptions under any state's laws, you may be allowed to choose the federal exemptions applicable in your bankruptcy.

Is Hawaii a community property state?

No, Hawaii is not a community property state. Because it is not a community property state, you will be responsible for your spouse's debts only if you voluntarily assumed those debts by, for example, co-signing on a loan given to your spouse. In a non-community property state, one spouse can file for bankruptcy and be eligible to eliminate all of their unsecured debts without the involvement of the other spouse.

How did your senator vote on the new bankruptcy laws?

Following years of intense lobbying by creditors, Congress passed the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005 (BAPCPA). How did your Senators vote on these largely pro-creditor provisions?

Akaka (D-HI) — YEA
Inouye (D-HI) — YEA

Hawaii Bankruptcy Court Locations:

United States Bankruptcy Court
District of Hawaii

1132 Bishop Street, Suite 250-L
Honolulu, HI 96813 Phone
(808) 522-8100

Note: You may not have to actually go to one of the above bankruptcy courts. Trustees often conduct your meeting at a local venue.

Although bankruptcy is federal law, the bankruptcy courts in each jurisdiction have local rules that must be followed. A local bankruptcy attorney will be familiar with the specific rules in your area.

Hawaii Bankruptcy Attorney Locations:

Hawaii bankruptcy attorney
Honolulu, Hawaii bankruptcy attorney

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