If you are currently in the military or have served time for the military in the past, you will probably be entitled to benefits that civilians cannot receive when filing for bankruptcy. While there may be consequences to filing for bankruptcy, here are three advantages you have simply because of your military background.
The Right To Postpone Dates
During a bankruptcy, you will have to attend court hearings or meetings for matters relating to your filing. If you are currently on active duty, you will have the right to postpone any of these dates, and it will not affect you negatively.
This right is issued to you through the Servicemembers' Civil Relief Act (SCRA), but it does not apply to veterans. This act also gives military personnel other types of benefits, including protection from:
- Leases on housing
If you are behind on any types of payments, you may be able to get protection through this act; however, it might require getting help from a lawyer that is experienced with the SCRA, such as Armed Forces Legal Center.
Exemption from the Means Test
For a person to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, he or she must pass the standard bankruptcy means test. This test determines if a person qualifies for Chapter 7 based on the person's income, and it is required for anyone that files for Chapter 7.
With time served in the military, you may be exempt from this test, but this generally only applies to disabled veterans. In some cases, military workers can also obtain an exemption from the means test if they are currently serving on the National Guard.
Exemption from Credit Counseling
Anyone that files for bankruptcy in the U.S. is required to complete two credit counseling courses. One of these is required before the person files for bankruptcy, and the other class is required after the filing occurs.
Because military workers are often deployed, bankruptcy law allows them an exemption from these requirements. If you are currently serving and want to file for bankruptcy, you will need to hire a lawyer to help you with this, but you may be able to file without completing all of the normal requirements.
If you want to file for bankruptcy to find financial relief, make sure you hire a lawyer that is experienced with military bankruptcy law. Serving this country is an important job, and you should take advantage of the benefits it offers.