Bankruptcy in Colorado
The burden of excessive medical, credit card, auto, and home debt can seem insurmountable. The toll excessive debt often places on you and your family can seem hopeless. As such, many people seek to lessen the burden by filing for personal bankruptcy. Bankruptcy can happen to anyone. There is no shame in filing for a bankruptcy; all sorts of things can lead to one. Many hard-working families find themselves in dire financial situations due to unexpected life events, lay-offs, illnesses, and divorce. Filing for bankruptcy can halt creditor and IRS harassment, repossession, and in some instances, foreclosure.
There are options under the bankruptcy code that you may or may not qualify for. Our attorneys will guide you through the various options that include: chapter 7 bankruptcy, chapter 13 bankruptcy, or in some instances, debt negotiation. Each case is different and careful analysis is a must to determine what best fits your unique circumstance.
How do I know if I qualify for bankruptcy?
“In most instances everyone will qualify for bankruptcy under Chapter 7 or Chapter 13. In order to qualify for Chapter 7 your family’s gross annual income must fall below the levels as provided by the “means test” that does change often. As of May 1, 2017, in Colorado a single person with a household of 1 filing for Chapter 7 needs to make less than $55,858; household of two the combined annual income needs to be less than $72,037, a household of 3 your income needs to be less than $81,496, and a household of 4 your income needs to be less than $95,117. If your household consists of more than 4 people the means test allows an additional $8,400 per person. To see any updates or other states this link is helpful: https://www.justice.gov/ust/means-testing. If your income is greater than the stated levels you still have an option under Chapter 13. However, income is not the only consideration in order to qualify for Chapter 7. If your assets exceed the allowable exemptions you may need to file Chapter 13 regardless if your income is less than the “means test”. There are instances where you may not qualify for either Chapter for example one reason may be that you cannot afford to make a Chapter 13 plan payment because it may require a payment to cover mandatory priority claims. In this instance debt negotiation is another option.
“What is the difference between Chapter 7 and Chapter 13?
“Chapter 7 is a complete relief of most of your debt and you may not have to pay anything back to any unsecured creditors or secured creditors if you surrender the secured property. There may be some turnover of money to the Chapter 7 trustee for distribution to your creditors. Chapter 13 requires a payment plan to the trustee who will distribute money to creditors who timely file a proof of claim. The plans may be a full pay and depending on your disposable income can be fully funded at any time but less than 5 years. If the plan is not a 100% payback then the plan will be 3 years or 5 years depending on income and/or non exempt assets and/or mandatory priority claims.”
I need to file bankruptcy again, what are my options?
“Generally, you may file Chapter 7 every 8 years in order to receive a second discharge. Likewise, you may file a Chapter 13 every 6 years in order to receive a second discharge. If you have filed a Chapter 7 and you need to file again before the 8 years, you may have an option to file under Chapter 13 after 4 years from filing the Chapter 7. If you filed a Chapter 13 and received a discharge you may be eligible to file a Chapter 7 after 6 years. There are many caveats and these dates are very general. Each case is unique.”
How long does bankruptcy take?
“For a Chapter 7 from the date of filing until discharge it is not less than 90 days. So long as everything went smoothly you should receive your discharge shortly after the 90 day statutory time. For a Chapter 13 from the date of filing it may be as long as 5 years but not longer.”
Our Bankruptcy Team
Cale Kennamer specializes in:
- Water Law
- Business Law
- Estate Planning
Cale grew up on the Texas Gulf Coast, where he was fortunate enough to have a unique upbringing. Cale’s mother was an artist, photographer, English teacher, and a gymnastics and ballet instructor. His father was lawyer, a farmer, and an athlete. All of this rubbed off on Cale who grew up in the rice fields and the gym with his dad and tagging along with his mother on various art projects she would be working on while pursuing her masters degree in art. Cale also helped his mother rehabilitate orphaned raccoons through the Texas Wildlife Rehabilitation Coalition.
Losing both of his parents at a young age (mother at 19 and father at 25) after having such close relationships with both of them taught Cale to truly value people and relationships and take no time for granted. These experiences strengthened his resolve and molded a compassion that he strives to deliver to each of his clients. One of his goals as an attorney is to apply these values to work everyday so that he can help people who are going through tough experiences and need someone on their side.
Outside of work, Cale enjoys learning about and experiencing nature and the outdoors. Cale is a member two zoos and is an avid animal lover. He has always spent as much time outside as possible. So, it was natural for Cale to fall in love with Colorado’s natural beauty. He traded the ocean for the mountains and moved here to live in and care for one of the most beautiful places in the country and its citizens. As a “transplant” he deems it extremely important to demonstrate his dedication to contribute Colorado and its people in a meaningful way, which his work at Columbine Law Group gives him the opportunity to do.
Cale spends as much of his free time as possible exercising or doing some type of outdoor recreation. Camping, backpacking, skiing, paddling, fly fishing – you name it, Cale wants to do it. He loves traveling to new places and experiencing different cultures.
Cale also loves baseball. He was lucky enough to have the opportunity to walk on the baseball team at Lamar University in Beaumont, TX. Someday, in some function, he would love to get involved in athletics again.
Cale spent his law school years in Oklahoma City, OK where he attended Oklahoma City University School of Law. During this time, he interned at the Oklahoma County District Attorney’s Office and did an environmental internship at Conservation Law Foundation in Providence, RI. Cale also worked with his father to prepare SEC filings for a renewable energy startup seeking to construct solid waste recycling facilities across the country. Most recently, he worked at a large personal injury firm in Denver, CO.
Cale is very excited to bring this unique mix of experiences and his impassioned perspective to Columbine Law Group and looks forward to being a member a dynamic practice.
Cale is dual licensed in Colorado and Texas.
Ezra M. Kramer
Ezra M. Kramer specializes in:
- Business Planning
- Business Transactions
- Corporate Governance
- Estate Planning
Ezra is a trusted advocate and advisor in the Greater Denver Area and directs our business practice. During law school at the University of Wisconsin, Ezra became interested in Business Law because it offered a way to use his creativity to solve any problem a business might face. Always looking for an adventure, he spent the summer after his first year interning for an international law firm in Hanoi, Vietnam called YKVN where he learned how to handle a variety of issues a company faces when trying to expand into a new market. The following summer he worked in the in-house legal department at a large consumer goods company called Spectrum Brands, Inc. where he focused on the company’s antitrust concerns as well as a number of employment law issues.
Before attending law school, Ezra received his B.A. in Humanities from Florida State University. Through his study of Religion, History, and Philosophy, Ezra became fascinated with how people understand their existence and how people find meaning and purpose in their lives. He sees business (either for profit or nonprofit) as the vehicle society has created through which people can carry out their interests and pursue their goals.
Having lived in several different places growing up, Ezra decided to settle in Colorado for reasons that are obvious to all who live here. As an avid outdoorsman, Ezra found Colorado to be the perfect place to pursue his passion for hiking, camping, skiing, and mountain biking. Furthermore, Ezra sees Denver as the perfect place to practice Business Law due to its rapid growth and strong business environment.
Joe Tolman has recently returned to Colorado after finishing law school in Richmond, Virginia. While in school, Joe focused on experiential learning by joining the University of Richmond’s Intellectual Property and Transactional Law Clinic that focused on business entity formation and intellectual property issues. He worked as an intern prosecutor with the Brunswick County Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office where he prosecuted misdemeanor cases. Joe also interned with the Virginia Department of Health Professions in administrative proceedings.
Joe recently joined the Colorado Bar after earning his J.D. from the University of Richmond in 2017, and his B.A. from the University of Colorado, Denver in 2014. While in law school, Joe was active in multiple clubs and organizations, including the University of Richmond’s Veterans and Military Law Association, Student Intellectual Property Association, Moot Court Board, and Phi Alpha Delta International Law Fraternity.
In his free time, Joe enjoys spending time with family and friends in any capacity, whether it is hiking along the Front Range, going to the newest hot movie, or staying at home and snuggling with his wife, daughter, puppy, and kitten.