When you are in the midst of deciding whether or not to file for bankruptcy, it can be an extremely stressful time. You may not be able to take proper decisions. That’s why you need someone to guide you. Speak to experienced Bountiful Utah bankruptcy lawyer if you are considering filing for bankruptcy. Utah bankruptcy laws are complex. One of the first things that you need to do when you are considering bankruptcy is choosing the right chapter. Depending on your specific circumstances and your debts, you may be eligible to file for bankruptcy protections under one of the various bankruptcy chapters. Individual debtors generally file for bankruptcy protection under Chapter 7 or Chapter 13. Bankruptcy can help you get most debts wiped out. Once the debts are discharged in bankruptcy, you are no longer legally liable for them. There is nothing the creditor can make you do. The debt does not exist anymore.
A Chapter 7 bankruptcy proceeding is the most common form of individual bankruptcy. This is ideal if you do not have much assets that you want to protect. You have to pass the Bankruptcy means test to qualify to file under Chapter 7. Means test is a complex process. Let an experienced Bountiful Utah bankruptcy lawyer check to see if you pass this test. If you do not qualify under Chapter 7, your experienced Bountiful Utah bankruptcy lawyer will explain your options. You may be able to file for bankruptcy under other chapters and get your debts discharged.
Chapter 7 bankruptcy is essentially a liquidation proceeding. Liquidation is the legally process in which the assets of the owner are sold to pay off the creditors. So when you file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy proceedings, your assets will be sold and the money received from the sale will be used to pay off your creditors. All your assets will not be sold. Some assets are exempt and you will be allowed to keep such assets. Speak to an experienced Bountiful Utah bankruptcy lawyer to know which of your assets are exempt from a Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Utah. The bankruptcy trustee cannot touch the exempt assets. If you believe the trustee has taken over an exempt asset, get in touch with an experienced Bountiful Utah bankruptcy lawyer. The attorney can get the exempt asset released from the trustee.
Once you file a bankruptcy petition in Utah, the bankruptcy court will appoint a trustee to oversee your case. It’s the responsibility of the bankruptcy trustee to sell your assets and pay off your creditors. Once your file for protection under Chapter 7 in Utah, a bankruptcy trustee is appointed for your non-exempt assets. You can no longer do as you please with these assets. They are now under the control of the trustee. If you sell or deal with these non-exempt assets once the trustee has been appointed in your bankruptcy case, you can be in big trouble. Always hire the services of an experienced Bountiful Utah bankruptcy lawyer when you are filing for bankruptcy. Even minor unintentional mistakes can prove costly. Don’t take chances. Be safe. Speak to an experienced Bountiful Utah bankruptcy lawyer before you sell or deal with any assets during bankruptcy.
If you do not qualify for Chapter 7, you can file under Chapter 13. Chapter 13 bankruptcy is also known as reorganization. This type of bankruptcy is ideal for individuals who have a source of income and have many assets that they do not want to lose in bankruptcy. The debtor in a Chapter 13 bankruptcy gets to keep his assets during the bankruptcy. In a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you essentially pay off your creditors over a period of time under a court supervised payment plan. The plan must be submitted to the court. The plan must be prepared by you. An experienced Bountiful Utah bankruptcy lawyer can assist you prepare your repayment plan. The plan must be approved by the creditors. Sometimes the creditors may oppose the plan. In such cases, your bankruptcy attorney will deal with the opposition.
This Chapter is ideal for individuals with high valued assets. However, you must have a steady source of income to make the payments under the reorganization plan.
Before filing bankruptcy
Before you file for bankruptcy in Utah, consult with an experienced Bountiful Utah bankruptcy lawyer. The time just before filing for bankruptcy can be a very stressful one. Bankruptcy is a complicated process. Having an experienced Bountiful Utah bankruptcy lawyer assist you can make the process less stressful. You must provide your experienced Bountiful Utah bankruptcy lawyer with all the information he requires to file your bankruptcy. You should have the following information ready:
1. A full list of the debts you owe including the amount
2. Details of all the assets you own
3. All your property documents – deeds, titles, etc
4. Your tax returns for the previous three years
5. Details of all court ordered payments which are still pending to be paid or which have been partly paid
6. Any court orders passed against you
7. Child support payments that you are required to pay
8. All loan paper work
9. Details of your retirement account
10. Details of joint accounts
Bankruptcy law does not say that the debtor must be represented by an attorney. You can file for bankruptcy without an experienced Bountiful Utah bankruptcy lawyer. But you will be doing so at your own risk. Filing alone can be time consuming and confusing. An experienced Bountiful Utah bankruptcy lawyer can advise you on the various bankruptcy chapter and how you can get your debts discharged, the laws of Utah that will affect your bankruptcy filing and how to deal with your creditors till the time your bankruptcy petition is filed. The attorney will only be too happy to answer all your questions on bankruptcy and how you can get your debts discharged.
In a personal bankruptcy proceeding, the only time the debtor will be required to visit the bankruptcy court is for the creditor meeting. The bankruptcy trustee appointed by the bankruptcy court to oversee your bankruptcy proceedings will schedule this meeting. You must attend this meeting. This is the only time you will come face to face. Some of your creditors will question you. Never go to a creditor meeting without your experienced Bountiful Utah bankruptcy lawyer by your side. Let your experienced Bountiful Utah bankruptcy lawyer answer all the questions. Do not speak unless you have been asked to do so by your lawyer. The meeting will usually last less than 15 minutes.
In a Chapter 7 bankruptcy you will have no control over your non-exempt assets. The trustee will take over your assets and they will be sold and your creditors paid off from the proceeds. If you have sold off any high value assets just before bankruptcy, the bankruptcy court can investigate the sale. It is therefore very important that you disclose all such sale transactions to your experienced Bountiful Utah bankruptcy lawyer before you file for bankruptcy. The attorney will then advise you on the steps to be taken.
In a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you retain all your assets. However, do not indulge in any high value purchase or luxury spending. Your financial dealings will be closely scrutinized. Your creditors may point out to your new purchase and request the court that the payment plan be reworked. Speak to an experienced Bountiful Utah bankruptcy lawyer before you make a high value purchase or if you are likely to receive a hike in your income during the pendency of your Chapter 13 bankruptcy.
Cost of Bankruptcy in Utah
The total cost of filing for bankruptcy in Utah will vary depending on your Chapter of filing. The filing fee, which the debtor has to pay to the court is $335. However, there could be other expenses. Speak to an experienced Bountiful Utah bankruptcy lawyer to know the cost of filing for bankruptcy in Utah. No experienced Bountiful Utah bankruptcy lawyer will be in a position to quote a fee over the phone without meeting you in person and going through your papers. But the attorney fee is something you should never try to compromise on. You may end up having to pay more later.
Alternatives to Bankruptcy
An experienced Bountiful Utah bankruptcy lawyer will review your circumstances and let you know if there are viable alternatives. There may be alternatives but the question to be asked is “is the alternative a viable alternative?” A viable alternative is one that can work. For example, an alternative could be renegotiation. However, the creditor may ask for a lump sum payment upfront. This is not a viable alternative. Don’t get carried away by websites and advertisements that offer alternatives to bankruptcy. An experienced Bountiful Utah bankruptcy lawyer is the best person who can tell you if you indeed have a viable alternative to bankruptcy. If the lawyer feels you should try the alternative, you may indeed be better off choosing the alternative.
Bankruptcy will adversely affect your credit. This in turn will affect your chances of getting credit after a bankruptcy discharge. When you get a bankruptcy discharge, speak to you experienced Bountiful Utah bankruptcy lawyer to know how you can repair your credit. The lawyer will advise you or may refer you to a reliable credit repair organization. There are many out there who are waiting to make a quick buck. You may come across advertisements or emails offering to remove the bankruptcy from your credit report for a fee. There is no way they can do that. A Chapter 7 bankruptcy remain on your credit report for 10 years while a Chapter 13 bankruptcy remains on your credit report for 7 years. Bankruptcy will also adversely affect your credit score. An experienced Bountiful Utah bankruptcy lawyer can advise you on how you can build your credit score post bankruptcy. A good credit is very important.
Hire legal help
The fees shouldn’t be the only criteria for selecting a Bountiful Utah bankruptcy lawyer. Hiring the lawyer who quotes the lowest fee is probably the biggest mistake you will be making. Remember bankruptcy filing is an emotionally stressful time. You need an honest and experienced Bountiful Utah bankruptcy lawyer. Integrity and experience should be the main criteria for selection of a bankruptcy lawyer in Utah. When you meet a bankruptcy lawyer in Utah, it is always a good thing to ask for verifiable references. Talk to the references. This will help you. Also make sure the attorney is qualified to practice law in Utah.
There are many reasons why you should hire an experienced Bountiful Utah bankruptcy lawyer. First of all bankruptcy law is complex. For a bankruptcy lawyer, bankruptcy filing is what he does for a living. He is a professional. This is what he does. On the other hand, for you it may even be the first time you are getting involved with the court process. It can be intimidating. Not to mention the stress. All this can be a recipe for disaster.
An experienced Bountiful Utah bankruptcy lawyer understands that taking the decision to file for bankruptcy isn’t easy. He knows what you are going through and will do everything necessary to make you feel at ease. It is his job to make sure that you file under the right chapter and submit all required forms and schedules to the court. He will accompany you to the creditors meeting and answer the questions for you. He will co-ordinate with the bankruptcy trustee appointed in your case. He will only be too happy to answer your questions during your bankruptcy. Remember it may be a personal bankruptcy for you but to succeed, you need to work as a team with your experienced Bountiful Utah bankruptcy lawyer. Do not conceal any facts from your Utah bankruptcy attorney. Disclose all information that you feel is important to your case. Remember he is your attorney and will not disclose what you say to him. The information that you provide your attorney is protected by attorney client privilege.
Bountiful Utah Bankruptcy Lawyer Free Consultation
When you have questions about bankruptcy or when you know you’re ready to file, please call Ascent Law at (801) 676-5506 for your free consultation. We want to help you.
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States
Telephone: (801) 676-5506