Pennsylvania Bankruptcy

The following page provides Pennsylvania bankruptcy information and resource links.



If you are not looking for information regarding Pennsylvania, please use the links on the left to find information for your state.



Pennsylvania Bankruptcy Courts - Location and Contact Information

Pennsylvania bankruptcy courts are divided into three districts, which are further divided into several divisions.  Generally, the debtor's county of residence will determine which district and division the bankruptcy petition is filed.  It may also be determined by the location of the debtor’s principal place of business or principal assets.



EASTERN DISTRICT OF PENNSYLVANIA

Counties of Jurisdiction:

Philadelphia Division - Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Lancaster, Montgomery and Philadelphia Counties

Reading Division - Berks, Lehigh and Northampton Counties

DIVISION STREET ADDRESS MAILING ADDRESS TELEPHONE
Philadelphia
Division
U.S. Bankruptcy Court
Robert N.C. Nix Sr. Federal Building
900 Market Street,
Suite 400
Philadelphia, PA 19107
Same (215) 408-2800
Reading
Division
U.S. Bankruptcy Court
The Madison Building
400 Washington Street
Suite 300
Reading, PA 1960
Same (610) 320-5255

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WESTERN DISTRICT OF PENNSYLVANIA

Counties of Jurisdiction:

Pittsburgh Division - Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Butler, Fayette, Greene, Lawrence, Washington and Westmoreland Counties

Erie Division - Clarion, Crawford, Elk, Erie, Forest, Jefferson, McKean, Mercer, Venango and Warren Counties

Johnstown Division - Bedford, Blaire, Cambria, Clearfield, Indiana and Somerset Counties

DIVISION STREET ADDRESS MAILING ADDRESS TELEPHONE
Pittsburgh
Division
U.S. Bankruptcy Court
5414 U.S. Steel Tower
600 Grant Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15219
Same
(412) 644-2700
Erie
Division
U.S. Bankruptcy Court
U.S. Courthouse
Room B160
17 South Park Row
Erie, PA 16501

Same (814) 464-9740
Johnstown
Division
U.S. Bankruptcy Court
Penn Traffic Building
Johnstown, PA 15901

Same
(814) 533-4246

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MIDDLE DISTRICT OF PENNSYLVANIA

Counties of Jurisdiction:

Harrisburg Division - Adams, Centre, Cumberland, Dauphin, Franklin, Fulton, Huntingdon, Juniata, Lebanon, Mifflin, Montour, Northumberland, Perry, Snyder, Union and York COunties

Wilkes-Barre Division - Bradford, Cameron, Carbon, Clinton, Columbia, Lackawanna,Luzerne, Lycoming, Monroe, Pike, Potter, Schuylkill, Sullivan, Susquehanna, Tioga, Wayne and Wyoming Counties

DIVISION STREET ADDRESS MAILING ADDRESS TELEPHONE
Harrisburg
Division
U.S. Bankruptcy Court
Ronald Reagan Federal Building
228 Walnut Street
Room 320
Harrisburg, PA 17101
Same
(717) 901-2800
Wilkes-Barre
Division
U.S. Bankruptcy Court
274 Max Rosenn U.S. Courthouse
197 South Main Street
Wilkes-Barre, PA 18701
Same (570) 826-6450

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Pennsylvania Bankruptcy Laws and Exemptions

Pennsylvania Exemptions

The U.S. Bankruptcy Code allows individual debtors to exempt certain property from creditor claims based on exemptions under either federal law or state law. Exemptions vary from state to state. Some states have adopted their own set of bankruptcy exemptions that are used in place of the federal exemptions. However, other states give debtors an option to choose between either state or federal exemptions.

Pennsylvania bankruptcy law allows residents to use either the federal set of exemptions or state exemptions.

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Following are common state exemptions in Pennsylvania:

Homestead No specific homestead exemption.
$300 exemption in property of any kind.
Automobile No specific automobile exemption.
Other Property 100% of wearing apparel, bibles and school books, and sewing machines.

Contact a Pennsylvania bankruptcy lawyer for more information regarding Pennsylvania bankruptcy exemptions.

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Pennsylvania Means Test

The new bankruptcy laws enacted in 2005 also require that debtors pass a means test before filing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. There are two ways to pass the means test:

1. the debtor's annual income (calculated using the average gross income for the six month period prior to filing) must be below the state median. Census Bureau statistics for state median income by family size can be found here (for cases filed between April 1, 2013 and April 30, 2013).

2. If income exceeds the median income, individuals may still file Chapter 7 bankruptcy based on results of Form 22A: Chapter 7 Statement of Current Monthly Income and Means-Test Calculation. .

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Pennsylvania Credit Counseling and Debtor Education Agencies

Pursuant to the new bankruptcy laws enacted in 2005, individuals who file personal bankruptcy (with limited exceptions) in Pennsylvania must:

1. take a credit counseling course from an approved Pennsylvania credit counseling provider within six months before filing bankruptcy; and

2. complete a debtor education course from an approved Pennsylvania debtor education agency prior to receiving a bankruptcy discharge.

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Pennsylvania Personal Bankruptcy Attorneys

To find Pennsylvania bankruptcy lawyers in your area, you may want to contact your local county bar association or the Pennsylvania Bar Association Lawyer Referral Service toll free at 800-692-7375.

Based on income, free bankruptcy advice and representation may also be obtained from the following organizations: See the Pennsylvania Legal Aid Network's website for a list of organizations that provide legal services to low income clients in Pennsylvania.

If you are concerned about the representation provided to you by an Pennsylvania bankruptcy attorney, contact the Disciplinary Board of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania.

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Resources for Pennsylvania Bankruptcy Laws

U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania - administrative and procedural information for Eastern District of Pennsylvania bankruptcy filings

U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania - administrative and procedural information for Western District of Pennsylvania bankruptcy filings

U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania - administrative and procedural information for Middle District of Pennsylvania bankruptcy filings

Office of the U.S. Trustee for Region 3 - oversees the administration of Pennsylvania personal bankruptcy cases and case trustees

Pennsylvania Bar Association - information about the Pennsylvania bar, membership, ethics, continuing legal education, and resources for the public.

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