Should I Stop Paying My Credit Cards Before Bankruptcy?

Should I Stop Paying My Credit Cards Before Bankruptcy

If you can’t afford your credit card payments, bankruptcy might be a good option. Filing for bankruptcy is not a decision to take lightly. But once you’ve decided to move forward, paying certain debts such as credit cards is a waste of money. Whether it’s time to stop making payments will depend on:
• if you can afford to pay back the debt
• whether you’ve verified that you qualify for bankruptcy, and
• if a bankruptcy lawyer has given you the go-ahead.
Unless you’ve done the above, not paying your credit card bills could put you in a worse financial position.

Find out about these and other considerations. When contemplating bankruptcy, the first thing to consider is whether you can afford to pay off your credit cards. Why? Because if you make enough money to do so, you probably won’t qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. If you have a lot of disposable income, the court will likely make you pay some or all of your credit card debt through a Chapter 13 repayment plan. Next, before you stop paying your credit card debt, you’ll want to be sure that you qualify for bankruptcy. Once you stop, fees add up quickly, and if you don’t file, it might be hard to bring your accounts current. So you’ll want to confirm that you pass the Chapter 7 means test—the test required to qualify for Chapter 7. Or you’ll need to have enough income to support a Chapter 13 repayment plan. If you stop making payments on your credit cards, you’ll typically begin receiving numerous calls from the credit card company or its agents. The more delinquent you are, the more frequent and harassing the calls will become. For most people, the constant harassment from debt collectors leads them to consider bankruptcy relief. Depending on your assets and the amount of debt you owe, the credit card company (or a debt collection agency) could decide to bring a lawsuit to collect its debt. If the credit card company obtains a money judgment against you, it will be able to garnish your wages or go after your assets to satisfy the debt. If you’re facing a lawsuit or the credit card company isn’t willing to work with you, it might be time to consider your bankruptcy options. In both Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy, a debtor can protect or “exempt” property using bankruptcy exemptions. Bankruptcy exemptions vary from state to state. Also, what happens to “non-exempt” property that isn’t protected will depend on the bankruptcy chapter you file. So you’ll want to review your state’s exemption laws and consider the bankruptcy chapter.

How Bankruptcy Works In Utah

In Chapter 7 bankruptcy, the bankruptcy trustee will sell your non-exempt assets and use the funds to pay back your creditors. If you own a lot of property that you can’t protect with a bankruptcy exemption, filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy might not be in your best interest. By contrast, if you file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you can keep all of your property. But you’ll have to pay your unsecured creditors (like credit card companies) an amount equal to the value of your non-exempt assets. The good news is that you don’t have to pay it all at once. You’ll pay it over three to five years, depending on the length of your repayment plan. In most cases, if you’re qualified to file for bankruptcy, making credit card payments is like throwing money down the drain. But if you’re still undecided or might not file your case for a long time, stopping your credit card payments can cause unnecessary damage. If you are planning on filing for bankruptcy, it might make sense to stop paying certain creditors. If you are about to file for bankruptcy relief, continuing to pay certain creditors is likely a waste of money. Plus many filers stop paying their debts and use the funds to pay a bankruptcy attorney a practice that is fine with the courts. Whether you should stop paying your creditors will depend on:
• the types of debt, and
• how soon you expect to file your case.

Types of Bankruptcy Debt

Bankruptcy doesn’t cancel all debt. You’ll also have to pay some obligations, called “secured debt,” if you want to keep the property that serves as collateral, such as a home or car.
Mortgage loans: Your mortgage is a secured debt. When you took out the loan, you agreed to give your lender a lien against the property, and the lien gives the lender the right to foreclose on your house if you default on your payments. When you file for bankruptcy, the discharge order which wipes out your obligation to pay qualifying debt eliminates your personal liability to pay the mortgage loan. It doesn’t remove the lien. Therefore, if you want to keep your home, you must continue making your regular mortgage payments during and after the bankruptcy. This is true for both Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. An exception to this rule exists if you are getting rid of a second or another junior lien through lien stripping in Chapter 13 bankruptcy. You can strip off a junior lien in Chapter 13 (not Chapter 7) if the value of your home is less than what you owe on the first mortgage.

Car loans: Similar to your mortgage, a car loan is a secured debt. If you want to keep your car, you must continue making payments on the loan. Some auto lenders will require you to enter into a reaffirmation agreement on the same terms as the original contract. You can take this opportunity to renegotiate the loan terms. Renegotiating works best if the creditor would prefer that you keep the car and you’re genuinely willing to let it go.
Credit cards: Credit card obligations are treated as general unsecured debts in bankruptcy. Your bankruptcy discharge will wipe out card debt. As a result, if you are about to file for bankruptcy, making credit card payments is typically a waste of your money. But be aware that if you don’t plan to file your case for a long time, stopping your payments can prompt the credit card company to file a lawsuit against you to recover its debt although you’ll be able to stop the litigation with a bankruptcy filing.
Medical bills: Overwhelming medical debt is one of the most common reasons people file for bankruptcy relief. Luckily, medical bills are general unsecured debts like credit card obligations. Similar to credit cards, paying your medical bills prior to filing for bankruptcy will be a waste of time and money.
Alimony and child support: Domestic support obligations such as alimony and child support are non-dischargeable in bankruptcy. You can’t wipe out your obligation to pay these debts through bankruptcy. If you file for bankruptcy, you need to continue making your ongoing alimony and child support payments. One benefit of Chapter 13 is that you can catch up on support arrearages in your repayment plan. In fact, you must pay them in full through the plan.
Utilities: You’ll likely want to continue making your payments on services you need such as your gas, electricity, water, and other utilities. You can discharge a utility bill in bankruptcy, but you can be charged a hefty deposit to continue service afterward.
Bankruptcy Timing
Before you stop paying your bills, you’ll want to be certain that you will actually file for bankruptcy. Why? Because late payments and fees add up quickly, and once you fall behind, it’s difficult to bring the accounts current. So you’ll want to be sure that you qualify for bankruptcy.
• Chapter 7: If you plan to file for Chapter 7, you’ll need to pass the means test in order to qualify for a bankruptcy discharge.
• Chapter 13: In Chapter 13, it’s less about qualifying and more about having sufficient income to make the required monthly plan payment to your creditors.
Both of these calculations can be difficult and you’ll want to certain of your status. The easiest way to determine your qualification is by meeting with a local bankruptcy attorney. Many will review your case at a free consultation.

What Bills Should Stop Paying Before Filing?

If your credit situation has deteriorated to the point where you’re considering filing for bankruptcy, then you have a few more choices to make. One of the most important ones is whether or not you will file under Chapter 13 or Chapter 7. For those who have a great deal of unsecured debt like medical expenses or credit card bills, Chapter 7 will likely be the best choice. For those who have a lot of secured debt (mortgage payments or car loans) Chapter 13 provides the better option. In some situations, even those who qualify under Chapter 7 may consider Chapter 13. This is because you won’t take as much of a hit on your credit report, but the repayment plan has to make financial sense.

Credit Card Bills

One of the things that some debtors do is maintain payments on one credit card while allowing other debts to go into default because they want to keep that credit card after bankruptcy. But the reality is once the debtor files bankruptcy, they can kiss their credit card account goodbye. The credit card company will close out the account and mark it as discharged in bankruptcy. This is true regardless of whether or not you file under Chapter 7 or Chapter 13. Chapter 7, of course, discharges credit card debt against assets that the bankruptcy trustee can liquidate. Chapter 13 involves a repayment plan. But certain debts are prioritized over others and unsecured debts tend to be prioritized the lowest. Even if you do end up having to repay some of your unsecured debt, it doesn’t make sense for you to continue making payments on it outside of the Chapter 13 plan. Either way, you should stop paying credit cards before filing bankruptcy.

Medical Expenses

Medical expenses are considered unsecured debt. If you’re being harried by a creditor who represents a hospital and have been making payments on this debt, you should stop if you’re considering bankruptcy. Don’t feel bad. More Americans are driven into bankruptcy by medical debt than by any other kind of debt that you can think of. They end up with exorbitant bills because they got into a car accident with an underinsured driver and have missed work for an extended period of time. It’s horrible luck and it isn’t your fault. Bankruptcy will give you a fresh start.

House or Car Bills

If you know you’re going to file bankruptcy and that you’re not going to keep your house or car, stop paying on them. Once again, it makes no sense to waste your cash on making payments on something you don’t plan to use after bankruptcy anyway. Many debtors feel guilty about discontinuing payments even if they are going to file bankruptcy; but there is nothing immoral or unethical about discontinuing payments. Remember, this is debt forgiveness; it is okay to walk away. The mortgage company and finance company will write off their debts. Bankruptcy stops your creditors from taking these actions so you do have some wiggle room here. Additionally, it prevents unsecured creditors from turning your debt into secured debt by placing a lien on your real estate property. So, if you know you’re going to lose the house or car anyway, then by all means, stop making payments. If you want to keep these, then you’ll have to figure out a way to roll this debt into your Chapter 13 repayment plan.

Utility Bills

If you’re filing for bankruptcy, you may want to stop paying your utility bills only if they are already delinquent. And in that case you may only want to pay for your current usage if you’re at risk of a disconnection. Once you file bankruptcy, your gas, electric and Water Company will not be able to disconnect your service for non-payment of bills prior to your bankruptcy. However, if you file bankruptcy and fail to pay your utility bill for usage after you file bankruptcy, you can lose services. Utilities such as cable television and internet service are not governed by these rules. After filing bankruptcy on your cable television or internet service bills, it is possible that those services may be cut off for non-payment. In that case you may just search for another service provider.

Federal Student Loans

Federal student loans play by their own rules and can’t be discharged in bankruptcy. You should continue to make payments on these if you can. On the other hand, filing for bankruptcy will temporarily stop creditor actions against you. This, however, won’t last. You can, logistically, roll your student loan payments into your Chapter 13 bankruptcy. You will not have to repay your entire student loan within your three or five-year plan. Never fear, your student loan debt will still be there once you’ve completed your Chapter 13 or had your other debt discharged in Chapter 7. There are some cases in which you can appeal to a bankruptcy judge for a hardship exemption. For instance, if you have an ongoing debilitating ailment you may be able to get your student debt expunged. The burden of proof, however, is on you to show cause. Loan forgiveness is not granted easily.

Back Taxes, Child Support, & Spousal Support

Much like student loans, none of the above can be discharged in bankruptcy. You may be able to arrange something with the IRS when it comes to a repayment plan, but there’s simply no way around paying child support or spousal support. Each of these can, however, be rolled into a Chapter 13 repayment plan. They are given precedence over other kinds of debt. That does, however, mean that you can discharge them through Chapter 13. It simply means they are considered in the Chapter 13 repayment plan. It’s important to understand that you don’t have to be late on credit card payments to file bankruptcy. But at the same time, if you are really facing a hardship and are struggling to make ends meet each month then it is absolutely ok to fall behind on payments before filing bankruptcy. If you are struggling to pay your bills every month, then filing for bankruptcy may be a good option to help you. If you have judgments against you, or creditors harassing you, filing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy can help you by eliminating your debts. If you don’t qualify for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, then you may need to look into filing a Chapter 13 bankruptcy instead. Most people use bankruptcy as a last resort. Most people who are thinking about filing for bankruptcy are worried that if they fall behind on their credit cards before filing their case, their credit will be ruined forever. Falling behind on your credit cards right before filing bankruptcy really won’t have much of an impact on your credit score. Bankruptcy is a tool that people use when they can’t make ends meet. If you are able to pay your creditors each month without facing any hardship, then you’re probably not a good candidate for bankruptcy relief. However, if can’t pay all of your bills, you shouldn’t have to decide whether you should pay your visa credit card or buy groceries for your family. Instead of making monthly payments towards your credit cards use you’re hard earned money for necessities such as rent, food, transportation. You’ll need those things no matter what and using your credit card to pay for them just has you repeating the same cycle next month.

File Bankruptcy On Your Credit Cards Lawyer

If you are getting ready to file for bankruptcy, please call Ascent Law LLC for your free consultation (801) 676-5506. We want to help you.

Michael R. Anderson, JD

Ascent Law LLC
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States

Telephone: (801) 676-5506

Ascent Law LLC

4.9 stars – based on 67 reviews

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Can You File A Hardship On A Garnishment?

Can You File A Hardship On A Garnishment

If your employer is deducting money from your paycheck due to a wage garnishment (also called a wage attachment) and you can’t afford basic living expenses, you might be able to reduce the amount of the garnishment. Some of the ways to lower or even eliminate the amount of a wage garnishment include:
• filing a claim of exemption
• filing for bankruptcy, or
• vacating the underlying money judgment.

Most creditors can’t garnish your wages without first getting a money judgment against you. The creditor must sue you in court and then either win its case or else get a default judgment (which it gets if you don’t respond to the lawsuit). After the creditor obtains the money judgment, it must get a court order directing your employer to deduct a percentage of your wages. Not all creditors have to get a money judgment before garnishing your wages though. For instance, a streamlined process is available for creditors collecting tax, student loan, and child support debt. Federal wage garnishment law typically allows a creditor to deduct 25% of your after-tax income, depending on the type of debt. State law can limit the garnishment amount further. The creditor can garnish all of your wages above the protected amount.
Options to Reduce or Eliminate the Wage Garnishment
If you won’t be able to afford basic living expenses with the wage garnishment, here are some of your options:

File a Claim of Exemption
Your state laws allow you to keep a certain amount of property needed to work and live. In most cases, you’ll use the same laws when protecting property in bankruptcy with bankruptcy exemptions.
• The head of household exemption: Most states offer a head of household or family exemption. For instance, you might be able to claim this exemption if you provide more than 50% of the support for a child or other dependant. This exemption will protect more of your wages unless you agree to a wage garnishment in writing.
• Social Security and disability can’t be garnished: State and federal law prevent Social Security and disability benefits from being garnished (unless the underlying debt falls into a special category). The funds will retain their protected status in a bank account unless you comingle them with other funds. Once mixed with money from other sources, you’ll have a difficult if not impossible time proving that the funds in question are the protected funds.
• Complete the exemption form and file it with the court: You have a limited time to file an exemption. Check your paperwork for the deadline. After you file the form, the court will set a hearing. You should bring proof of your income and all expenses showing that you can’t afford the necessities of life.
File for Bankruptcy
Filing for bankruptcy not only stops most wage garnishments but in many cases, it will wipe out the collection debt along with other qualifying debt. When you file bankruptcy, an automatic stay stops most collection efforts. What will happen to your debt will depend on the bankruptcy chapter you file:
• Chapter 7 bankruptcy: In Chapter 7 bankruptcy, if the debt is one that qualifies to be wiped out, then the garnishment will be terminated forever.
• Chapter 13 bankruptcy: In Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you’ll make payments to your creditors through a monthly repayment plan. Keep in mind that some bankruptcy courts require your employer to withdraw your monthly Chapter 13 payment from your wages. Also, not all debts get erased in bankruptcy. In a Chapter 7 case, a creditor can continue to collect a non-dischargeable debt such as using a wage garnishment after the bankruptcy. In Chapter 13, you’ll pay all of your non-dischargeable debt in your repayment plan.

Vacate (Get Rid of) the Money Judgment
If you believe that the creditor obtained the judgment improperly, you can file a motion to vacate (get rid of) the judgment. In this request, you should list the reasons why you believe the judgment isn’t valid. Your situation will need to fall within the specific grounds allowed for vacating a judgment, and you should file the motion as soon as you find out about the judgment. If you win the motion and the judge vacates the judgment, the lawsuit won’t go away. But you’ll have the opportunity to file a response and challenge the lawsuit in court.

Talk to a Lawyer
Some of the procedures listed above are more difficult than others to do yourself. Many courts have self-help hours staffed by volunteers who can help you file an exemption. Filing a motion or a bankruptcy case will likely be more complicated.
How Wage Garnishment Affects You
Wage garnishment is more than an inconvenience, it may have significant consequences:
• It may lower your credit scores, thus affecting your ability to do things like get a car financed. Even if you can get a credit card or financing, you pay a higher interest rate
• Garnishment may lower your disposable income, which may affect your ability to pay your household bills.
• If you have more than one garnishment, your employer can terminate you.
There are several types of wage garnishments. The process varies depending on the garnishment source. You can face wage garnishment for some of the following reasons:
• You are behind on child support or alimony payments.
• You have debt from bankruptcy.
• You defaulted on your student loan payments.
• You owe credit card debt, medical bills, or any other consumer debt.
• You owe the government money.
Garnishment Laws
While garnishment laws vary from state-to-state, it is legal across all states to garnish wages for unpaid taxes and child support. Some states do not allow wage garnishment beyond taxes and child support. Check with your state to see if garnishing your check is lawful.
• Most laws require your creditor to give you notice (with a few exceptions, i.e., owing back taxes).
• An employer cannot terminate you when they receive an order to garnish your wage. Unfortunately, you lose that protection if you have more than one garnishment. Your employer may consider you a risk and can terminate your employment.

• There is usually a maximum amount a creditor can request in a wage garnishment. They must leave enough for you to pay certain deductions, like your taxes and unemployment insurance; however, the law does not protect things like health insurance premiums from garnishment. It is better to negotiate with your creditor before wage garnishment. You can solicit a credit counseling agency to help you. Unfortunately, once you have a court order, you lose your leverage (even if you are working with a credit counseling agency) because the court sets the payment arrangement, and it may not work in your benefit.
The Wage Garnishment Process
Remember, wage garnishment is your creditor’s last resort to collect on your debt. It usually happens if you have ignored your creditor’s attempt to receive payment on an outstanding balance. The creditor seeks a court order, and, if approved, the creditor sends the order to your employer. The only times a court order is not necessary is if you owe child support, back taxes, or student loans.
Wage Garnishment: Child Support and Alimony
As of 1988, all new or adjusted child support orders come with a wage withholding order. Alimony only comes with an automatic wage withholding order if it is included with the child support as a family support payment. Otherwise, alimony does not qualify for automatic withholding. When the court grants a child support order, either the person seeking the support or the court provides a copy of the order to the employer. The employer then withholds the amount and takes note of the impacted payment. The wage garnishment can include deductions for medical insurance if the court mandates the parent to provide health insurance as part of child support. Usually, a creditor cannot garnish any more than 25% of your disposable income (or no more than 30 times the minimum wage whichever is the lower of the two). This does not hold true for child support.
• If you are married or have a child outside of the child support order, then only up to 50% of your disposable income is subjected to wage garnishment.
• If you do not have a spouse or a child outside of the child support order, you can lose up to 60% of your disposable income.
• Lastly, if you are over 12 weeks in arrears, an addition 5% can be taken out.
All-in-all, you can lose up to 65% of your disposable income; however, your employer cannot fire you or take disciplinary action because you owe back child support.
Wage Garnishment Process: Back Taxes
IRS garnishment can be more severe. The IRS has greater latitude when it comes to garnishing money from your paycheck, and it does not need a court order. The IRS does not have a maximum amount it can garnish. Instead, the wage garnish is based on the number of dependents you have and your standard deductions. The IRS notifies your employer, who, in turn, is mandated to give you a copy along with an exemption claim form to complete and return. While state and local tax agencies can garnish your wages, they do not have the same reach as the IRS. Since each state law varies, you must contact your state’s labor department to find out the wage garnishment laws.
Wage Garnishment Process: Consumer Debt
Consumer debt, such as credit cards, is also subject to wage garnishment. Consumer creditors, however, must get a court order to garnish your wages. When you first fall behind on your credit card payments, your creditor will attempt to collect. Once you default, the company determines whether they believe you will pay the debt. If they do not foresee you paying your debt, they may decide to sell your debt to a credit collection agency. The credit collection agency will attempt to collect payment. If they are unsuccessful, they may seek a judgment to garnish your wages. It is better to try to negotiate with your creditor before they file a lawsuit. There are some circumstances where you can stop child support payments. If your financial situation has changed or if you are having financial hardship, it’s best to seek legal advice. Child support issues are handled in a different court process. If your wage garnishment causes financial hardship, you have 30 days to object. During this time, you can:
• Request hardship assistance
• Ask the student loan agency to modify a payment plan
• Formally object in writing and request a hearing
The Timing of a Garnishment Order
The lender that issued your student loan has the right to ask the court to garnish your wages if you fail to pay or stop paying on your student loans. In most cases, a wage garnishment can be ordered if it has been at least 270 days since you last made a payment to the lender. If the garnishment request is granted by the court, you could be subject to having at least 15 to 25 percent of your paycheck seized until your student loan account is paid in full. In some instances, the garnishment can last for years depending on how much you borrowed from the lender. With this money taken out of your paycheck, the amount of money you take home to support you and your household with is significantly lowered. The garnishment could leave you struggling to pay basic expenses like rent or your mortgage. However, if a garnishment would create a financial hardship for you and your family, you have the right to request a hearing to present your evidence and explain your circumstances to the lender. You can ask that the garnishment be stopped until your finances improve or you can take other actions to pay off your account in full. Before the garnishment of your paycheck can be halted, you must prove that you are experiencing some type of financial hardship. The types of hardship cases that meet the criteria for stopping or delaying a student loan garnishment include:
• losing or being fired from your job
• having your hours at work reduced significantly
• taking a drastic cut in pay at work
• filing for Chapter 7 or 12 bankruptcy
• suffering a qualifying injury or illness
• failing to pay basic expenses like rent, groceries, and utilities
You cannot simply say that you are experiencing one of these circumstances and expect the lender to take you at your word. You must be ready to present evidence of any of these scenarios when you request a hearing with the loan servicer or a representative from the federal Department of Education. You have the right to request a prompt hearing at which to present the evidence of your financial hardship to your loan servicer or lender. To make this request, you need to write and submit a letter asking for the hearing and explaining what you can do to bring your account current at some point in the future. When writing the financial hardship letter, you should also include documentation proving your case. This documentation can include paycheck stubs showing a reduction in hours worked or income earned. You also can submit court documents like your bankruptcy filing, upcoming bankruptcy hearing date, disconnection letters from utility companies, and other paperwork showing that you cannot pay your bills. Along with this paperwork, you should also include details about how you will pay off your student loans in the near future whether it be through a payment arrangement with the lender or by applying for and taking a second job. Explanation of your good faith efforts to bring your account current could convince the lender to stop the garnishment of your paycheck and give you another chance to pay what you owe. A wage garnishment can take a significant portion of your paycheck that you cannot afford to lose. Even so, the company that issued your student loans can ask for the garnishment if you have failed to pay on your account. You can stop the garnishment order and utilize other means to handle your loans by providing evidence of your current financial hardship.

Garnishment Lawyer

When you need legal help with a Garnishment in Utah, please call Ascent Law LLC for your free consultation (801) 676-5506. We want to help you.

Michael R. Anderson, JD

Ascent Law LLC
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States

Telephone: (801) 676-5506

Ascent Law LLC

4.9 stars – based on 67 reviews

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Bankruptcy Attorneys Utah

Thе bеnеfіtѕ оf hіrіng bаnkruрtсу аttоrnеуѕ Utаh аrе ԛuіtе рlеntу. We previously written about how to file for bankruptcy in Utah in detail. But remember, you don’t want someone who doesn’t know what they’re doing when it comes to bankruptcy. Thеѕе tуреѕ оf lаwуеrѕ аdvіsе аnd соunѕеl уоu оn wауѕ tо рrоtесt уоur аѕѕеtѕ аnd rерrеѕеnt уоu іn bankruptcy соurt. We have unique training and knowledge іn fоrесlоѕurеs, соnѕumеr, аnd соmmеrсіаl lаw. Mаnу реорlе аnd соmраnіеѕ hаvе fіlеd fоr bаnkruрtсу thuѕ thе nееd fоr bаnkruрtсу аttоrnеуѕ in Utаh. A bаnkruрtсу аttоrnеу wоuld bе аblе tо рrоtесt уоu frоm сrеdіtоrѕ hаrаѕѕіng уоu. Onсе уоu hаvе іnfоrmеd уоur сrеdіtоrѕ thаt уоu hаvе rеtаіnеd соunѕеl, thеѕе сrеdіtоrѕ ѕhоuld оnlу соmmunісаtе wіth уоur lаwуеr. The harrassment should then stop.  If it doesn’t, they might be in violation of the fair debt collection practices act or FDCPA for short.  We cоuld thеn sue уоur сrеdіtоrѕ if they don’t stop every fоrm оf hаrаѕѕmеnt thаt thеу іnflісt uроn уоu.

bankruptcy attorneys utah

Fіlіng a bаnkruрtсу реtіtіоn rеԛuіrеѕ several ѕtерѕ аnd рrосеdurеѕ. Thе соurt, bаnkruptcy truѕtееѕ, аnd сrеdіtоrѕ can соmmunісаtе wіth уоu through your attorney. Thіѕ can still рrоvе tо bе ѕtrеѕѕful to you bесаuѕе оf thе frеԛuеnсу оf thе соmmunісаtіоn аnd bесаuѕе уоu work with your bankruptcy lawyer to be sure thаt уоur реtіtіоn for bankruptcy relief wіll bе grаntеd. As bankruptcy attorneys in Utah, we know all of the bankruptcy judges and trustees and we knоw еvеrу ѕtер оf thе рrосееdіngѕ аnd we can tеll уоu іf уоu аrе оn thе rіght trасk оr nоt.   So, when you retain us as your bankruptcy attorneys, you need to follow our legal advise or you will likely have a lot of аnxіеtу durіng thе whоlе process.

Benefits of Bankruptcy Attorneys in Utah

Onе оf thе bеnеfіtѕ оf hіrіng bаnkruрtсу аttоrnеуѕ іn Utаh іѕ thаt уоu gеt рrоtесtіоn frоm thіngѕ уоu аrе nоt аwаrе оf. Whеn уоu fіlе fоr bаnkruрtсу оn уоur оwn, уоu оnlу hаvе lіmіtеd іnfоrmаtіоn wіth уоu thuѕ thіngѕ саn tаkе lоng, оr your реtіtіоn fоr bаnkruрtсу mау еvеn bе dіѕаррrоvеd. Wіth a lаwуеr, уоu wоuld bе аwаrе оf lаwѕ аnd роlісіеѕ thаt уоu саn bеnеfіt frоm. Fоr іnѕtаnсе, уоu mау nоt knоw thаt thе ѕtаtutе оf lіmіtаtіоnѕ hаѕ run оut оn dеbtѕ thаt аrе 5 tо 15 уеаrѕ оld, dереndіng оn thе ѕtаtе.


Wіth a Utаh bаnkruрtсу аttоrnеу, уоu wоuld bе рrоtесtеd frоm mіѕtаkеѕ. Fіllіng оut dосumеntѕ nесеѕѕаrу fоr уоur реtіtіоn саn bе dіffісult еѕресіаllу іf уоu аrе nоt аwаrе оf whаt ѕhоuld оr ѕhоuld nоt bе рlасеd іn ѕuсh dосumеntѕ. Yоur реtіtіоn wіll bе dіѕmіѕѕеd іf уоu dо nоt іnсludе уоur саr оr hоuѕе іn уоur реtіtіоn. In аddіtіоn, уоur аttоrnеу wоuld dо аll thе рареrwоrk thаt wоuld bе ԛuісkеr. Utаh bаnkruрtсу lаwѕ аltеr аlоng wіth thе nесеѕѕаrу рареr wоrkѕ. Tо асhіеvе ѕuссеѕѕ іn уоur реtіtіоn, уоu ѕhоuld knоw hоw tо fіll оut thеѕе рареr wоrkѕ рrореrlу. Yоu wіll lоѕе mоnеу іf уоur саѕе іѕ dіѕmіѕѕеd bесаuѕе оf fаіlurе tо ассurаtеlу fіll оut thе fоrmѕ. Yоur lаwуеr wоuld bе thеrе tо аdvіѕе уоu оn whаt tо dо. Thеѕе аrе thе bеnеfіtѕ оf hіrіng a bаnkruрtсу аttоrnеу.


Dесіdіng tо gеt a bаnkruрtсу аttоrnеу іѕ a сhоісе уоu nееd tо mаkе. Whіlе іt іѕ сеrtаіnlу nоt соmрulѕоrу, mоѕt реорlе ѕtіll орt fоr аn аttоrnеу tо ѕuссеѕѕfullу fіlе wіth lеѕѕ ѕtrеѕѕ аnd grеаt аѕѕеt рrоtесtіоn. A gооd аttоrnеу wіll grеаtlу rеduсе уоur ѕtrеѕѕ thаt уоu hаvе bееn dеаlіng wіth fоr ѕоmе tіmе nоw. It іѕ іmроrtаnt thаt уоu ѕеlесt thе bеѕt lаwуеr ѕіnсе thеу wоuld bе аblе tо gеt thе mаxіmum rеturn оn уоur іnvеѕtmеnt gіvіng уоu mаxіmum рrоtесtіоn.

Utah Bankruptcy Lawyers

Whether you need a chapter 7, a chapter 11, or a chapter 13 bankruptcy, call the Utah bankruptcy attorneys at (801) 676-5506 today. You get a free initial consultation where we will help you. You will feel better after speaking with us.

Michael R. Anderson, JD

Ascent Law LLC
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States

Telephone: (801) 676-5506

Ascent Law LLC

4.7 stars – based on 45 reviews

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How To File For Bankruptcy in Utah – Call Now (801) 676-5506

Utah Bankruptcy Lawyer

There are several steps required to file for bankruptcy relief in the State of Utah. I am going to go over how to file with our law firm. I will outline each step to get you going.

The first step is really figuring out which chapter you are going to file. There is chapter 7 (an eraser to all of your debt); a chapter 13 (a repayment plan over 3 to 5 years); a chapter 12 (for family farmers or fisherman); and a chapter 11 (for businesses or people with many assets).

Once you know which chapter of bankruptcy to file, you need to get some information together and you need to complete many pages of paperwork.

How to File For Bankruptcy in Utah

Here is the list of information you would need:

Step One to File Bankruptcy

You are going to need to obtain pre-bankruptcy credit counseling from an approved agency. You need to get a “credit counseling certificate” before we can file your case. You can have them fax the certificate to me at 801-676-5508. Sometimes the companies take 5-10 days to issue the certificate, so I recommend that you get it done ASAP. We reccomend that you go to – it will cost you about $14.95. This is mandatory. Without this, you cannot file a bankruptcy case.

Step Two to File Bankruptcy

We need you to bring in your Social Security Card.

Step Three to File Bankruptcy

We need you to bring in your Drivers License

Step Four to File Bankruptcy

We need you to bring in your last 6 months of paycheck stubs. This is a requirement because the Bankruptcy Code requires us to make a determination of your disposable income. This can only be done with your last six months of paycheck stubs.

-> What if I don’t have my last 6 months of paycheck stubs? Great question: You go to your Human Resources Department at work (“HR”) and you ask for copies.

-> What if I haven’t been working the entire last 6 months? No problem, just give us what you have from when you were working.

-> What if I am self employed. No worries, you just need to complete a profit and loss statement, we are happy to provide you with one, just ask. We will also need a monthly business budget from you and we have a questionnaire for you to complete.

Step Five to File Bankruptcy

We need you to bring in your most recent mortgage statement. If you don’t own a home, no problem, bring us your lease or a copy of your rent statement (if you get one). If you don’t have a lease or rental agreement, just let us know. Not a problem.

Step Six to File Bankruptcy

We need you to bring in all of your debts, invoices, statements, bills and other paperwork that you have for any financial obligation that you have. For example, if you have any credit card bills, medical bills, car loan statements, dental invoices, past due cell phone bills, cancelled cable contracts or any other bill or information about people you owe money to, we want that. Bring it in.

Step Seven to File Bankruptcy

We need you to bring in your last 2 years of state and federal tax returns. If you haven’t filed your tax returns, you need to. The current bankruptcy code states that if you haven’t filed your tax returns for the last 8 years, the court will dismiss your case. This is bad news. A dismissal essentially means throwing your case out of court. So if you don’t have them done, get them done.

Step Eight to File Bankruptcy

We need copies of your last month’s bank statement from all financial accounts you have. This would include any retirement accounts, credit union accounts, etc. Keep in mind the after your case is filed, we will need a statement that covers the date of your case filing.

Step Nine to File Bankruptcy

If you have made any monetary charitable contributions to any church or charity in the last 60 days, we need you to bring proof or documentation of those contributions with you when you come in. Most people aren’t making money donations to charities when they are looking at bankruptcy, but if you are, that’s okay, we just need proof of it, so bring it in.

Step Ten to File Bankruptcy

Have you ever filed for bankruptcy before? If you have, we need to know when and where you filed.

Step Eleven to File Bankruptcy

Schedule your first meeting with us to do an intake. You can do this over the phone or in person, your choice. Give us a call now (801) 676-5506.

After Your Bankruptcy Case is Filed

After your case is filed, you will need to take a course on personal financial management. Go to and get the second class. It’s also called the “Debtor Education Certificate.” This is mandatory and if you don’t get this course done in time, your case can close without a discharge. The discharge is the court order that states you no longer owe the money listed in your bankruptcy case.

Question: How long will bankruptcy stay on my credit report?

I suggest you watch this video where a lawyer from our office explains how long a bankruptcy stays on your credit report:

How to File for Bankruptcy Conclusion

Well, I hope you’ve got those steps down now. Feel free to bookmark this page and come back if you have any questions or concerns. As an attorney, one of my favorite things to do is speak with people and take care of my clients. I love helping people, that is why we do bankruptcy work.

If you are ready for bankruptcy help or need additional information, please give us a call right now for your Free Consultation (801) 676-5506.

Michael R. Anderson, JD

Ascent Law LLC
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States

Telephone: (801) 676-5506

Ascent Law LLC

4.7 stars – based on 45 reviews

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