Hawaii Bankruptcy Law (HI)

The Hawaii state exemptions and limitations on property in Chapter 7

Success when filing is determined in large part by the quality of pre-bankruptcy planning. Since the advent of new Code amendments in late 2005, all debtors must traverse an even more dangerous threshold to qualify for federal bankruptcy relief. Qualifying for Chapter 7 has become much more difficult under the new Code amendments. Chapter 13 plan terms have been extended for any one failing the means test, and new fines and penalties against debtors are now mandatory. For these reasons, the new law increases the complexity of cases somewhat, but with careful planning, all of these obstacles can be overcome with the assistance of talented legal counsel.

State law also determines many legal issues which commonly arise. The Hawaiian state exemptions restrict the types and value amounts of property that may retained in Chapter 7, and to a lesser extent, also apply in Chapter 13 cases. State tort laws determine the propriety of potential claims for negligence, wrongful death, gross recklessness, and other personal injuries. The Hawaiian Family Code determines child support liability and property ownership rights. And the Hawaiian Criminal Code determines many non-discharge debts (i.e. tax liability and claims based on alleged tax evasion). Overall, each cases is different because of the individual histories of debtors, yet also represents the melding of federal, state and local laws into a combined administration in federal court.