Bankruptcy laws were passed because Congress acknowledged that it was better to give people a second chance to pay their way through life than to condemn them to penury. To file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, speak to an experienced West Jordan Utah bankruptcy lawyer and schedule an initial consultation. Once a judge discharges your debts, you are no longer responsible for paying them. No creditor can even attempt to make you repay. You cannot be harassed—ever. However, depending on the court’s judgment, you may still be responsible for “non-dischargeable debts,” including alimony, student loans, and tax obligations. But your assets will not be wiped out. Utah allows bankrupts to keep the equity in their homes, their automobile, and their personal property.
Once the court relieves you of your debts, you have only those assets. If you are employed, your wages have to sustain you, because no bank will lend you money and no merchant will extend credit to you. Should you change jobs, any prospective employer could request your credit report and learn of your situation. However, that’s an unlikely event, so you can look for a better paying job that improves your finances.
As soon as possible, you want to restore your credit and get ahead of the game. First, correct everything in your credit reports that is false or misleading. Send corrections by certified mail, with a return receipt requested. If need be, you can later prove that the bureaus received your request. Unless corrected, bad credit information remains in your file for seven years. By law, bankruptcy stays on your record for ten years.
Chapter 13 Bankruptcy In West Jordan Utah
If you have steady income and don’t want to place yourself in the hands of a credit counselor, choosing Chapter 13 bankruptcy can restore your credit in three years. Unlike Chapter 7 applications, Chapter 13 bankruptcies still require you to pay your creditors most of what you owe them, but only over an extended time, during which they cannot harass you. You need a judge’s approval to stretch out payments, but you won’t need to pay a lawyer to make your case for you. If Chapter 13 is your choice, experts advise that you allocate no more than 25 percent of your income to debt repayment. You must list all debts with the court and show that you can pay them off in about three years. When your application is approved, you make a single payment from each paycheck to the court, which then disburses the money to your creditors. They cannot bother you or charge you additional interest for the extended repayment period. In April 2005, Congress passed, and the president signed, a law restricting those who could file for complete dismissal of their debts (Chapter 7) to persons with incomes at the median or less in their state of residence. If you earn more than the average citizen of your state, you must file for Chapter 13 instead. Moreover, the new law requires that anyone filing for bankruptcy pay for credit counseling.
The Utah bankruptcy process is complex. If you want to file for bankruptcy in Utah, seek the assistance of an experienced West Jordan Utah bankruptcy attorney. If you have a lot of debts to pay off, use bankruptcy as the last option. Try and negotiate with your creditors. If the debt is backed by a collateral, surrender the collateral. If you have exhausted all your options, consider bankruptcy filing.
The exact Utah bankruptcy process will depend on your chapter of filing. Individual debtors in Utah usually file for bankruptcy under Chapter 7 or 13. Individuals can also file under Chapter 12 but Chapter 12 is exclusively for discharging the debts of a family farmer or fisherman. The process involved in a Chapter 12 bankruptcy is more or less similar to a Chapter 13 process.
Chapter 7 Bankruptcy In West Jordan
Chapter 7 is by far the most popular bankruptcy for individuals. A Chapter 7 bankruptcy is often called liquidation because the Chapter 7 bankruptcy process is essentially a liquidation process. The Utah Chapter 7 bankruptcy process begins with the filing of the petition in a bankruptcy court. However not all individual debtors are eligible for filing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy petition. Prior to 2005 just about any individual debt could file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. The federal government wanted to stop the misuse of Chapter 7 bankruptcy by individuals who were in a position to pay their creditors over a period of time. The bankruptcy law was amended in 2005.
Under the new law, individual debtors whose monthly income exceeds the Utah median income must undergo a Means Tests to be eligible for a Chapter 7 filing. Individual debts whose monthly income is less than the median income are automatically eligible for filing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. The means test subtracts from the current monthly income various expenses approved by the IRS. These may be, but probably will not be, the same as the actual expenditures. Monthly payments on secured debts and priority debts are also subtracted. Priority debts include child support, alimony, taxes, and wages. If the result of this calculation is less than $100, the debtor can file a Chapter 7.
After the filing of a Chapter 7 bankruptcy petition in Utah, the court will appoint a trustee to oversee the case. The trustee’s main job is to liquidate the debtor’s non-exempt assets and pay of the debts from the sale proceeds. Once all the non-exempt assets are liquidated, the debtor will receive a discharge. This generally takes about 3 months.
A Chapter 13 bankruptcy does not involve any form of liquidation. Chapter 13 is essentially for debtors who can pay off their debts over a period of time. The debtor is a Chapter 13 bankruptcy must submit a payment plan to the court specifying how he or she intends to pay off the debts over a period of time. Most Chapter 13 payment plans are of three years. The court may sometimes approve a five year payment plan. The debtor is a Chapter 13 bankruptcy gets to keep all of his or her assets. Speak to an experienced West Jordan Utah bankruptcy lawyer to know if you can file a Chapter 13 bankruptcy petition in Utah.
Bankruptcy And Your Credit Score
If you want to remove your bad credit ratings sooner than ten years after Chapter 7, experts recommend that you write to each creditor and strike a bargain. For example, if you owed $1,000 to a furniture company before having that debt discharged by the court, consider offering the store $200 on the understanding (in writing) that the merchant will remove the bad debt notice altogether from your report. That’s not bribery, just a good bargain all around. The furniture store gets $200 (instead of nothing) and you get a chance to start over with a good credit rating. If you have many creditors and little cash, that course may not be feasible. In that case, disregard your bad credit report and start establishing a good one:
Establish a savings account in a bank or credit union and make small but regular contributions to it.
Then go to a loan officer in the same institution and ask to borrow an amount equal to your savings on the understanding that your loan will be secured by your savings account. Make sure that the loan is reported to the credit bureau.
Then take the borrowed money and open a savings account in another bank, making it collateral for another loan there. Now you have two savings accounts. Of course, you’re paying interest on your two loans, but your regular payments prove that you’re trustworthy. You’re rebuilding credit.
Apply for a VISA or MasterCard, using one of your savings accounts as collateral. Often, a bank will offer you a credit line of 150 percent of your savings balance. With a $1,000 passbook savings account, you have a credit card with a $1,500 spending limit. But here’s a warning: apply for these cards directly, not through a middleman.
Resume use of any accounts that you did not include in your bankruptcy application—those that had a zero balance when you filed for protection. There is no reason why these former creditors would know, or think to ask, about your financial condition. As far as they’re concerned, you’ve always been solvent.
Now, keep up with your payments. Practically speaking, you’re solvent.
But here’s another warning: many Americans emerging from Chapter 7 bankruptcy find their mailboxes filled with offers of new “preapproved” credit cards, which can appear to be manna from heaven. The credit card companies actually target bankrupts with these offers, knowing that any unpaid balances run up on the new cards do not have bankruptcy protection but must be paid in full with accumulated interest. These cards can charge upward of 15 percent interest on unpaid balances. To default on such cards could mean jail time.
As you are surely aware, however, families break up over money, so it may be better to ask a friend rather than a relative to co-sign with you on a loan. If you don’t have a co-signer, you can still probably purchase a car on credit, but your required down payment will be larger. So, too, will be the interest on your loan.
What about a new start on housing while you’re still under the cloud of bankruptcy? Assuming that you can afford the payments, you can still rent a house or apartment if you explain your situation to the landlord before he or she sees your credit report. Then offer a larger than usual security deposit. That’s free money to any landlord, and landlords can evict you before they are out of pocket on your rent.
If you are in the market to buy a house or condo, start with the bank where you’ve established a savings account and taken out a loan. If the loan officer still rates you as too great a risk, try your credit union. Credit unions tend to be more liberal with auto loans and can be understanding about home loans as well. At worst, you’ll be required to provide a larger than usual down payment and to pay somewhat higher interest. But, after a few payments, your credit will be restored, and later you can refinance at a lower rate.
You can apply for a Federal Housing Authority (FHA) mortgage loan within just one year after your bankruptcy discharge; you need only a modest down payment, and you can enjoy market interest rates. If you are a veteran, you can apply for a mortgage with no money down. If you’re not a veteran, you can still assume an existing Veterans Administration loan on the home that you want.
Every year, more Americans file for bankruptcy than graduate from college. Rest assured, the bankrupt are not all poor people. Many are middle-class Americans with steady jobs who are simply spending way beyond their means. Stand in a checkout line and note how many people pay by check, using a credit card only for identification. There’s a reason why anyone would use a credit card in such a strange way. Because they’ve exceeded their credit limit; their card is no longer good for anything except as identification.
In dire cases, bankruptcy is a sensible and welcome option. At the very least, it allows you to consolidate your debts and pay them off slowly so that you don’t starve and won’t be bothered by creditors. At best, all of your debts will be forgiven and you can start afresh. Either way, however, your credit rating suffers for a time, so it’s better to discipline your spending now rather than have the courts and credit agencies do it later.
Speak to Experienced Utah Bankruptcy Attorney
If you are considering bankruptcy, you should first speak to an experienced West Jordan Utah bankruptcy lawyer. Bankruptcy is not for everyone. Sometimes you may have alternatives to bankruptcy. The attorney will review your circumstances and advise you of your options.
West Jordan Utah Bankruptcy Attorney Free Consultation
When you need to stop a garnishment, stop a foreclosure, keep your car or your home, please call Ascent Law LLC (801) 676-5506 for your Free Consultation. We can help you with chapter 7 bankruptcy. Chapter 13 Bankruptcy. Return Of Repossessed Cars. Chapter 9 Bankruptcy. Chapter 11 Bankruptcy. Chapter 12 Bankruptcy. Meetings of Creditors. And Much More. We want to help you.
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States
Telephone: (801) 676-5506