When Should You Consider Bankruptcy?

When Should You Consider Bankruptcy

For many individuals, filing for bankruptcy relief can provide a way out of debt and a fresh financial start. But whether a bankruptcy filing is in your best interest will depend on many factors and your circumstances. Read on to learn more about what to consider if you are thinking about filing for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Bankruptcy will impact your credit score for years to come. So it’s a good idea to evaluate all of your options before deciding to file for bankruptcy. Many creditors are willing to work with debtors to settle their debts. If you can resolve your financial issues outside of bankruptcy, you might not need to file for bankruptcy. Chapter 7 bankruptcy works well for people who can protect all of their property with exemptions, whose income is low enough to meet qualification requirements, and whose debt is the type that bankruptcy will discharge.

By contrast, Chapter 13 bankruptcy works best for people:
• whose income is too high to qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy
• who would like to save a house from foreclosure or a car from repossession, or
• who want to pay back nondischargeable debt, such as back child support or income tax debt, through a three- to five-year repayment plan.
So when considering whether it’s in your best interest to file for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, keep in mind that it will depend on numerous factors including:
• the type of debts you owe
• your income and expenses
• whether you’ll lose property, and
• what you hope to achieve with bankruptcy (such as keeping a house or car)
Before you file your case, you’ll want to think about the goals because a bankruptcy discharge doesn’t eliminate certain types of debt (called priority obligations). For instance, you can wipe out most credit card obligations, medical bills, and personal loans. But you can’t discharge domestic support obligations (such as child and spousal support), newer tax debt, student loans (unless you can prove undue hardship), and more. Filing for bankruptcy might not be in your best interest if you can’t get rid of your debt. However, bankruptcy can help in other ways. For instance, you can pay off nondischargeable debt over three to five years in a Chapter 13 case. If you have debts secured by your property (such as a mortgage or car loan), your lender can foreclose on the home or repossess the car if you default on your obligation (or take any other property that serves as collateral for the debt). Your lender has this right because of the lien you agreed to when you took out the loan. In most cases, you can’t wipe out your lender’s lien on the property with a bankruptcy discharge. Even after the bankruptcy, if you don’t make the loan payments, the lender can take back the property. However, bankruptcy’s automatic stay can stop or delay the foreclosure and repossession process. The relief afforded by the stay in Chapter 7 bankruptcy is usually temporary. But filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy might allow you to:
• keep the property and catch up on your missed payments
• reduce the balance of your loan if you qualify for a cram down, and
• eliminate wholly unsecured junior liens from your house through a process called lien stripping.

If you don’t make the required payments on your debts, your creditors can take you to court to recover their money. A creditor that obtains a judgment against you in court can use it to garnish your wages or place a lien on your assets. Some creditors, like the IRS or your student loan lender, can take action without stepping into the courtroom. When you file for bankruptcy, an automatic stay goes into effect that stops almost all collection actions, including lawsuits and garnishments. Filing for bankruptcy relief can also eliminate the underlying debt. One of the most important things to consider before filing for bankruptcy is whether you’ll be able to keep all of your property. Bankruptcy exemptions allow you to protect a certain amount of assets in any bankruptcy chapter that you file. What will happen to nonexempt assets will depend on whether you file a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy.
• Chapter 7 bankruptcy. A Chapter 7 bankruptcy trustee has the authority to sell any assets you can’t exempt and to use the proceeds to pay back your creditors.
• Chapter 13 bankruptcy. You can keep all of your property in a Chapter 13 bankruptcy. However, you’ll have to pay your unsecured debts (such as credit card balances, medical bills, and personal loans) at least an amount equal to the value of your nonexempt assets. If you have a significant amount of nonexempt property, filing for bankruptcy might not be in your best interest.

Exempt Equity

People who file for bankruptcy don’t lose all of their possessions. A bankruptcy filer can protect or exempt a certain amount of assets regardless of the bankruptcy chapter filed. The dollar amount of an ownership interest that you can protect is called exempt equity. Calculating exempt equity is a two-step process. First, you’ll find out how much of an item’s value you can protect, or exempt. You’ll do so by consulting your state’s exemption statutes. Although some exemption statutes tell you the number of items that you can protect, such as one motor vehicle or all prescribed health aids, others allow you to keep property valued up to a particular amount. For instance, you might be able to retain $50,000 in a home or $10,000 in household items. The dollar amount tells you how much equity you can exempt. The next step is figuring out how much equity you have in your property (the funds remaining after selling the property and paying off any outstanding loans). Suppose, for instance, that you were considering selling your house. To figure out the amount of your equity for bankruptcy purposes, you’d subtract your mortgage from the market value (the price your house would sell for). The remaining amount would be your equity.
By contrast, if you own a bicycle free and clear, you’d be entitled to all sales proceeds. Therefore, your equity would be its market value. You can own property without equity, too. If you do, you won’t use an exemption because there won’t be anything to protect.
Both Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy have eligibility requirements. Your income must be low enough to pass the Chapter 7 means test. By contrast, in Chapter 13 bankruptcy, the amount you owe cannot exceed certain dollar limits. Also, you must have enough income to support your Chapter 13 repayment plan.

Bankruptcy Do’s and Don’ts

If you are having difficulty paying your bills, bankruptcy may be a good solution for you. Carefully review the list below to avoid common mistakes, and get the maximum legal benefit, should you choose to file bankruptcy:
The Do’s
• Do seek competent legal advice! Filing for bankruptcy is an important personal decision. But bankruptcy law so complex that it’s almost impossible to understand all consequences of bankruptcy without talking to an experienced bankruptcy attorney. Before taking any financial steps, seek advice of experienced bankruptcy counsel.
• Be completely honest with your attorney. During your initial consultation, your attorney will ask you a series of questions to obtain an in-depth picture of your financial situation. You must answer these questions completely and honestly. An attorney cannot represent you effectively if you are not completely honest with us.
• Do provide your attorney with all the documents he requests. Your attorney will provide you with a list of necessary documents. Collecting all of these documents may take some time, but it’s important that you provide us with every item on that list.
• Do carefully read your bankruptcy petition: The Attorney will provide you with a draft copy of your petition before your appointment to sign the document. Please carefully review the petition before coming in to sign it. Do be completely honest on your bankruptcy petition. When you sign your bankruptcy petition, you are declaring that all the content in the petition is true and correct. Knowingly making false statements on your bankruptcy petition could result in your debts not being discharged, or, worse yet, result in criminal prosecution.
• Do fill out your Federal and State income tax returns. Our San Jose bankruptcy attorneys will need this information to effectively represent you. The bankruptcy trustee will also request to see these documents. Failure to provide copies of tax returns could mean that your debts won’t get discharged.
The Don’ts
• Don’t worry! Millions of Americans have filed for bankruptcy protection. Not being able to pay your debts is not a crime. It is not a sign of failure. You have a right to seek relief from bill collectors, wage garnishments, and foreclosures by filing bankruptcy!
• Don’t run up debts immediately before filing bankruptcy. Incurring debts prior to bankruptcy could result in those debts not being discharged. Worse yet, the court may deny your bankruptcy altogether!
• Don’t use a non-attorney “bankruptcy preparer” unless you have completely researched all relevant legal issues. The non-attorney “bankruptcy preparers” cannot give you legal advice. They cannot analyze your situation. In some instances, by filing unmeritorious petitions that eventually get dismissed, they can cause you to lose important legal rights!
• Don’t try to hide cars, homes, or other property from bankruptcy by transferring these assets to friends or relatives. This conduct can be bankruptcy fraud. The court may dismiss your bankruptcy case, or deny discharge of your debts.
• Don’t borrow from your 401K or a home equity line to pay off your credit card debts. You may be triggering unnecessary tax expenses, or risking losing your home.
• Don’t increase your overtime hours to try to pay off your debts. Increasing your pay may disqualify you for chapter 7 relief. It may also affect what you pay back in a Chapter 13 bankruptcy.
• Don’t negotiate debt reduction with your credit cards. Debt reduction may trigger tax consequences. Talk to an attorney before engaging in debt reduction.
• Don’t file bankruptcy without understanding the consequences. Filing a “skeleton petition” can stop foreclosure of your home. But it can also jeopardize important legal rights. Bankruptcy can provide you with debt relief and a fresh start. But make sure you understand your legal rights and obligations before filing bankruptcy.

What Happens After I File For Bankruptcy?

After you complete the process for filing personal bankruptcy, there is an immediate “stay of proceedings.” This part of the process protects you from unsecured creditors trying to begin or continue any legal actions against you, such as wage garnishees, lawsuits, or any type of contact with you to collect a debt. Within five days, your trustee will send a copy of the bankruptcy paperwork to all creditors so they can begin the process of filing a claim. Your trustee will also file any outstanding tax returns up until the date of bankruptcy. Any outstanding balances or penalties will be included. After your personal bankruptcy paperwork is complete, you will have obligations such as providing monthly income statements and attending credit counseling sessions. When your bankruptcy is discharged, your debts will be canceled. It is important to understand that there may be minor exceptions to the debt cancellations. A note about your bankruptcy will remain on your credit report for a minimum of 6 years after the date of discharge. Once your debts are canceled, usually 9 months after filing, you can begin rebuilding your credit.

When Should I File for Bankruptcy?

Despite what many think, filing for bankruptcy is not the end of the world. It can actually be the fresh start you have been looking for. The laws of bankruptcy were drafted with the purpose of giving people a second chance, and not to punish them. But that doesn’t mean you should file for bankruptcy at the first sign of financial distress. Declaring bankruptcy will have short- and long-term consequences and should only be done as a last resort.

Before You File, Evaluate Your Situation

When should I file for bankruptcy? This is a question most people under financial distress ask. You should probably consider other options before going this route. These options include:
• Getting credit counseling
• Trying to negotiate your debt or make a payment plan with your creditor
• Sticking to a budget
If, however, other options don’t seem feasible, filing for bankruptcy may give you the ability to get a fresh start. Bankruptcy is a process by which you can discharge some of your debt because you are unable to repay those debts. There are usually two ways bankruptcy is declared:
• You file for bankruptcy
• Your creditors ask the court to declare you bankrupt

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

Chapter 7 bankruptcy, otherwise known as “straight bankruptcy” or “liquidation,” allows the debtor to sell their non-exempt assets to pay off their debts; after that, the debtor will be free from all dischargeable debts. There are specific eligibility requirements that you must meet to qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Some of the scenarios where you wouldn’t be eligible for Chapter 7 include:
• Your income is too high (this is determined using the “means test”): In such cases, your case may be filed under chapter 13 bankruptcy
• You have the ability to repay your debt
• You dismissed a bankruptcy case within the past 180 days
• You previously filed for bankruptcy and the time frame to file another bankruptcy case has not passed
• You attempted to defraud creditors

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

Chapter 13 bankruptcy requires you to make a repayment plan to pay creditors over a period of three to five years. This method is usually used if your income exceeds the limits set for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. You also need to show you comply with the eligibility requirements before you can file Chapter 13. These include:
• You are not a business organization
• You took credit counseling
• You have not dismissed a Chapter 13 case within the past 180 days
• You have not filed for a Chapter 13 within the past two years
Things You Should Know Before You File for Bankruptcy
Before you decide to declare bankruptcy, there are a few things you should consider. These include:

Not All Debts Will Be Discharged

You should know that bankruptcy does not wipe out all your debts. Some debts that will not be discharged include:
• Student loans
• Child support
• Alimony
• Court fines or penalties
Debts such as credit card debts, loans, lease and contract obligations, and medical bills can be discharged.

Declaring Bankruptcy Will Affect Your Credit Score

In exchange for discharging your debt, filing bankruptcy shows everyone that you may be a credit risk, which will be reflected in your credit score. Thus, getting a loan, a mortgage, or a credit card may be very difficult after declaring bankruptcy. You should note bankruptcy filed under Chapter 7 will remain on your record for 10 years. If you filed under Chapter 13, it would stay on your credit report for 7 years. After that, it is erased.

Your Co-Signers May Be Required to Pay Your Debts

Co-signers are people who agree to pay your debt if you are somehow unable/unwilling to pay the debt. If you file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, your creditors are allowed to go after the co-signer even if your bankruptcy case is successful. Under Chapter 13, your creditors can’t go after your co-signer as long as you make your regular payments per your agreement.

Filing for Bankruptcy During a Pandemic

Filing for bankruptcy during a pandemic or other national emergency may be challenging, as operational hours for courts may change. So, first, make sure your local bankruptcy court is open and taking cases before you file. You should also expect a delay in the processing of your case.

Utah Bankruptcy Lawyer

When you need legal help with bankruptcy 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

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Bankruptcy Utah

Bankruptcy Utah

The following are interesting things to know about filing bankruptcy. The decision to file bankruptcy can be tough so here are things you need to consider or know about before you make that decision:

• Deadlines: Deadlines are critical in bankruptcy court. The rules in bankruptcy are very complex, can be technical, and all case deadlines must be met. Failing to file the appropriate forms or documentation on time may result in your case being dismissed or delayed.
• You need to qualify to file for bankruptcy: Many people who would have qualified for a Chapter 7 discharge before the 2005 changes must now use Chapter 13 instead, which involve repayment of some of your debts. This is determined using the Means Test.
• Repayment Plans: In a Chapter 13 bankruptcy case a repayment plan that must be filed with the court. The court has a process that will determine exactly what income and expenses you have, and then calculate the reasonable expenses and monthly repayment amount for your case. In Utah this plan must be submitted to the court and confirmed.
• DIY Bankruptcy: Representing yourself in bankruptcy can be a huge mistake. The laws and the corresponding rules in bankruptcy can be very confusing, and many common errors could cost you a chance at a new financial start. An experienced attorney can help you determine the right laws to help you, represent you at the hearings and the meetings with creditors, and get most of the time save you money in the end.
• Focused Court: The Bankruptcy Court is a federal court which exclusively deals with bankruptcy cases. These courts are located around the United States, and they only handle bankruptcy cases and matters related to this legal area. You reside in an area that is served by a bankruptcy court.
• You get your own Trustee: The Department of Justice and the Bankruptcy Court in Utah will appoint a trustee in your case. This trustee will be responsible for overseeing your specific case and ensuring that all of the documentation is filed. The trustee is not in favor of either the consumer or creditors, but is an officer of the court instead.
• Get the best attorney: Choosing the right attorney that you can afford to represent you in bankruptcy court is very important and can affect the outcome of your case. You want a lawyer who will aggressively defend you and work hard to overcome any objections that may be presented by your creditors or the trustee. Experience is also very important, so you want an attorney who is very knowledgeable in bankruptcy law and that has been in the game for a long time.

• Your goal is a discharge: Another interesting things to know about filing bankruptcy is that a bankruptcy discharge is an order issued by the bankruptcy court stating which of your debts are forgiven. Usually this will include most unsecured debts that have not been repaid are eliminated in the process unless you have reaffirmed your obligation.

Utah Chapter 7 Bankruptcy or Utah Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

There are several situations where a Chapter 13 is preferable to a Chapter 7. A Chapter 13 bankruptcy is the only choice if you are behind on your mortgage or business payments and you want to keep your property, either in Utah or another state, at the end of the bankruptcy process. A chapter 13 bankruptcy allows you to make up their overdue payments over time and to reinstate the original mortgage agreement. In general, if you have valuable property not covered by your Utah bankruptcy exemptions that you want to keep, a chapter 13 filing may be a better option. Also, people file Chapter 13 bankruptcy because they have too much income to file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy or have the kind of debt that is non- dischargeable in a Chapter 7 (e.g. certain taxes). However, for the vast majority of Utah residents who simply want to eliminate their heavy debt burden without paying any of it back, Chapter 7 provides the most attractive choice.
Advantages to a Utah Chapter 7 filing:
• You receive a complete fresh start. After the bankruptcy is discharged the only debts you owe will be for secured assets on which you choose to sign a “Reaffirmation Agreement.”
• You have immediate protection against creditor’s collection efforts and wage garnishment on the date of filing.
• Wages you earn and property you acquire (except for inheritances) after the bankruptcy filing date are yours, not the creditors or bankruptcy court.

• There is no minimum amount of debt required.
• Your case is often over and completely discharged in about 3-6 months.

Disadvantages to a Utah Chapter 7 filing:
• You lose your non-exempt property which is sold by the trustee. If you want to keep a secured asset, such as a car or home, and it is not completely covered by your Utah bankruptcy exemptions then Chapter 7 is not an option.
• If facing foreclosure on your home, the automatic stay created by your Chapter 7 filing only serves as a temporary defense against foreclosure.
• Co-signors of a loan can be stuck with your debt unless they also file for bankruptcy protection.
• If you filed a prior case and received a discharge of your debts, you can only file a second Chapter 7 bankruptcy case eight years after you filed the first case.
Advantages to a Utah Chapter 13 payment plan:
• If you choose and you can afford the payment plan, you can keep all your property, exempt and non-exempt.
• While debts are not canceled as in a Chapter 7 discharge they can be reduced under a Chapter 13 payment plan.
• You have immediate protection against creditor’s collection efforts and wage garnishment.
• More debts are considered to be dischargeable (including debt you incurred on the basis of fraud and credit card charges for luxury items immediately prior to filing).
• If the Chapter 13 plan provides for full payment, any co-signers are immune from the creditor’s efforts.
• You have protection against foreclosure on your home by your lender as long as you meet the terms of the plan.
• You have more time to pay debts that can’t be discharged by either chapter (like taxes or back child support).
• You can file a Chapter 13 at any time.
• You can file repeatedly.
• You can separate your creditors by class where different classes of creditors receive different percentages of payment. This enables you to treat debts where there is a co-debtor involved on a different basis than debts incurred on your own.

Disadvantages to a Utah Chapter 13 payment plan:
• You create a payment plan where you use your post bankruptcy income. This ties up your cash over the Chapter 13 plan period.
• Legal fees are higher since a Chapter 13 filing is more complex.
• Your plan and therefore your debt will last for 3 to five years.
• You are involved in the bankruptcy court process for the term of the 3-5 year plan.
• Stockbrokers and commodity brokers cannot file a Chapter 13 bankruptcy petition.
Filing for Bankruptcy without an Attorney
You are not required to have an attorney to file for bankruptcy. In some simple Chapter 7 cases, you can file on your own (it’s called filing “pro se,” meaning that you represent yourself) if you are willing to put in some time and research. However, in many cases, it’s a good idea to have a bankruptcy attorney. The importance of an attorney depends on the complexity of your case and whether you are filing a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy.
When Is it Feasible to File Without an Attorney?
The general rule is the simpler your bankruptcy, the better your chances are to complete it and receive a discharge on your own. So it’s usually more feasible to file without an attorney if you are filing a simple Chapter 7 bankruptcy. If your household income is less than the state median, you own little or no assets, and you don’t have any priority debts or creditors alleging fraud against you, then your case is likely simple enough for you to handle without an attorney.
What Is a Priority Debt?
Bankruptcy is an excellent tool that helps many people overwhelmed with debt get back on their feet. But it might not discharge (get rid of) everything that you owe. Priority debts get paid first if money is available to pay creditors. More importantly, they’re non-dischargeable—they don’t go away in bankruptcy.
Debts that you’ll remain responsible for include (many, but not all of these debts are priority in nature):
• child support, spousal support, or another domestic support obligation
• fines, penalties, and restitution imposed as punishment for violating the law
• some taxes
• intoxicated driving debts
• homeowners’ association dues assessed after filing for bankruptcy
• retirement plan loans
• money borrowed to pay off non-dischargeable tax debt (for instance, the credit card debt incurred after using your account to pay a tax bill), and


• debts determined non-dischargeable in a previous bankruptcy.
A student loan won’t get wiped out either unless you can prove to the court that it would be a hardship to make you pay it. Most people are unable to meet the standard, however. It can be costly to file and litigate the lawsuit necessary to prove the case, as well. Additionally, any creditor can file a non-dischargeability complaint asking the court to determine that a debt shouldn’t be discharged in your case. To win, the creditor will need to prove that one of a variety of situations exists.
• You committed fraud (for instance, you wrote a bad check or lied about your income on a credit application).
• You charged a luxury item less than 90 days before you filed for bankruptcy.
• You intentionally harmed someone or damaged their property.
• You embezzled funds or stole money.
• You failed to list all creditors in your bankruptcy petition.
If you suspect that you might have non-dischargeable debts, or that a creditor might file a lawsuit against you, it’s probably not a good idea to represent yourself. Instead, consider speaking with a bankruptcy attorney. The lawyer can consult with you about the status of your debt and whether proceeding forward is in your best interests. However, keep in mind that even the simplest Chapter 7 requires you to fill out extensive paperwork, gather financial documentation, research bankruptcy and exemption laws, and follow the local rules and procedures.

When Is it a Bad Idea to File Bankruptcy Without an Attorney?

Pretty much anytime. Let’s be honest – you never went to law school. You’ve never studied the bankruptcy code. And even if you did, without the prior experience and background, you shouldn’t try to do this yourself.
This is like doing brain surgery on your financial life. You wouldn’t do brain surgery on yourself would you? Of course not. So don’t try to do brain surgery on your financial affairs. There are many reasons to file a Chapter 13 bankruptcy instead of a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. You may want to file a Chapter 13 bankruptcy because you wish to catch up on mortgage arrears, get rid of your second mortgage, cram down (reduce) your car loans, or pay back non-dischargeable priority debts, such as back taxes or support arrears. Or maybe you make too much money to qualify for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. No matter what your reason is, most Chapter 13 cases are too difficult to file on your own. Chapter 13 bankruptcies are a lot more complicated than Chapter 7s. In addition to filling out the official bankruptcy forms (and perhaps some local forms), you must also design a proposed repayment plan, something that is very difficult to do without the expensive software that most attorneys use. Also, certain actions such as stripping your second mortgage or cramming down a car loan will usually require filing additional bankruptcy motions and paperwork with the court. As a result, even some attorneys will limit their bankruptcy practice to Chapter 7 cases because they feel they are not qualified to handle a Chapter 13. In fact, an overwhelming majority of Chapter 13 cases filed without an attorney get dismissed by the court. So if you are planning to file a Chapter 13, it is a good idea to hire a qualified attorney.

If You Have a Complicated Chapter 7 Case

Certain Chapter 7 cases are more complicated than others. Your Chapter 7 will usually be more complex if you own a business, have income above the median level of your state, have a significant amount of assets, or have creditors who can make claims against you based on fraud. If any of the above applies to you, you risk having your case dismissed, your assets being taken and sold, or facing a lawsuit in your bankruptcy to determine that certain debts should not be discharged. In that case, it is advisable to hire an attorney to handle your bankruptcy.

If You Are Not Comfortable Doing it on Your Own

Even if you have a simple Chapter 7 case, bankruptcy can be an intimidating and time-consuming process. You will need to accurately fill out many forms, research the law, and attend hearings. If you are not comfortable with any aspect of the bankruptcy process, you should consider hiring an attorney who will prepare the forms, attend the hearings with you, and guide you through the process.

Filing for Bankruptcy in Utah

Are you a resident of Utah and thinking of filing for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy? If so, you will have to participate in credit counseling before you file, complete the bankruptcy petition and other required forms, and file those forms in the Utah bankruptcy court. After filing, you must complete debtor counseling before receiving your discharge. Although most of the bankruptcy process is governed by federal law, there is some Utah-specific information you will need to know before filing.

Pre-Bankruptcy Credit Counseling and Pre-Discharge Debtor Education in Utah
In order to qualify for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you must show that you received credit counseling from an agency approved by the U.S. Trustee in Utah within the six month period before you file for bankruptcy. You’ll also have to take a debtor education course before you get a bankruptcy discharge.

Utah Bankruptcy Exemptions

Utah has a set of bankruptcy exemptions which help determine what property you get to keep in Chapter 7 bankruptcy and play a role in how much you repay unsecured creditors in Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Some states allow debtors to choose between the state exemption system and a set of federal bankruptcy exemptions but Utah is not one of them. In Utah, you must use the state exemptions–the federal bankruptcy exemptions aren’t available.
Completing the Bankruptcy Forms in Utah
When you file for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you must complete a bankruptcy petition, a number of schedules containing detailed information about your finances, and several other forms, including a lengthy form known as the “means test” (for Chapter 7) and a similar form for Chapter 13.

Finding Means Test Information for Utah

When you file for bankruptcy in Utah, you must compare your income to the median income for a household of your size in Utah. If your income is less than the median, you will be eligible to file for Chapter 7 and, if you choose to file for Chapter 13, you can use a three-year repayment plan (rather than five years). This is called the means test. If your income is above Utah’s median income, you still might qualify for Chapter 7, but you’ll have to provide detailed information about your expenses and payments on secured debts in order to find out. Most Chapter 13 filers also have to provide this information.

Free Initial Consultation with Lawyer

It’s not a matter of if, it’s a matter of when. Legal problems come to everyone. Whether it’s your son who gets in a car wreck, your uncle who loses his job and needs to file for bankruptcy, your sister’s brother who’s getting divorced, or a grandparent that passes away without a will -all of us have legal issues and questions that arise. So when you have a law question, call Ascent Law 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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Dоn’t Get The Cheapest Bankruptcy Attorney

Mаnу bаnkruрtсу lawyers сlаіm tо fіlе уоur саѕе fоr $700 оr even zero down, оr wіll ԛuоtе unrеаlіѕtісаllу lоw fееѕ thаt mіght ѕоund аttrасtіvе – but thеу dоn’t lеt уоu knоw thаt thеіr іnіtіаl quote dоеѕn’t іnсludе thе $335 соurt fіlіng fее. They don’t also tell you that they do nothing except file the case and you’ll end up paying about triple the cost of other law fimrs! Addіtіоnаllу, thеіr іmрrасtісаllу lоw ԛuоtе mау nоt еvеn аррlу tо уоu – thеrе аrе a numbеr оf еxсерtіоnѕ thаt уоu mау fаll undеr, іn which саѕе уоu wоn’t rесеіvе thе ԛuоtеd dіѕсоunt whеn fіlіng fоr bаnkruрtсу. Fоr іnѕtаnсе, thе fee mіght оnlу аррlу tо ѕіnglе fіlеrѕ, nоt mаrrіеd соuрlеѕ, оr tо іndіvіduаlѕ wіth a mіnіmаl аmоunt оf dеbt (е.g. $5,000 – $10,000) аnd nо аѕѕеtѕ. Bеfоrе уоu knоw іt, thе dіѕсоuntеd ԛuоtе оnlу аррlіеѕ tо a ѕmаll реrсеntаgе оf fіlеrѕ! The Utah Bankruptcy Court doesn’t like shenanigans, and you shouldn’t either.

If thеѕе unscrupulous аttоrnеуѕ lіе tо уоu frоm thе bеgіnnіng, whу wоuld уоu truѕt thеm tо hаndlе уоur саѕе? Nо mаttеr whісh bаnkruрtсу аttоrnеу уоu сhооѕе tо wоrk wіth, уоu ѕhоuld аlwауѕ dо уоur rеѕеаrсh рrіоr tо fіlіng fоr bаnkruрtсу. Hоw lоng hаѕ thаt fіrm рrасtісеd lаw? Hоw mаnу ѕаtіѕfіеd сlіеntѕ dо thеу hаvе? Whаt tуре оf ѕеrvісе wіll thеу рrоvіdе уоu? Lооk fоr a full-ѕеrvісе lаw fіrm сараblе оf mоrе thаn juѕt rерrеѕеntаtіоn іn соurt – thіѕ mеаnѕ thеу’ll hеlр уоu dеtеrmіnе whісh сhарtеr оf bаnkruрtсу іѕ bеѕt fоr уоu, аnd thеу’ll hаndlе thе соmрlісаtеd рареrwоrk, ассоmраnу уоu tо сrеdіtоr mееtіngѕ аnd will ultіmаtеlу ѕіmрlіfу thе fіlіng рrосеѕѕ.

Bаnkruрtсу Sресіаlіzаtіоn

Althоugh many lаwуеrѕ оffеr rерrеѕеntаtіоn tо сlіеntѕ fіlіng fоr bаnkruрtсу, іt’ѕ bеѕt tо hire a lаwуеr whо focus іn bаnkruрtсу, rаthеr thаn аn аttоrnеу whо рrасtісеѕ lаw іn a vаrіеtу оf dіffеrеnt аrеаѕ. Attоrnеуѕ whо ѕресіаlіzе рrіmаrіlу іn bаnkruрtсу wіll bе аblе tо рrоvіdе уоu wіth thе expertise аnd еxреrіеnсе thаt lаwуеrѕ ѕресіаlіzіng іn a multitude оf аrеаѕ саnnоt. The lawyers at Ascent Law for example have filed cases since before the federal bankruptcy law changed!

Addіtіоnаllу, bеfоrе hіrіng any Utаh bаnkruрtсу аttоrnеуѕ, find out how many cases they’ve filed. Since we’ve filed thousands of cases, we know what we are doing and we can get your case finalized and discharged. If you get the wrong attorneys who don’t know what they are doing, they can easily mess up your case and you’ll be the one to suffer for it. Don’t risk losing your home to foreclosure, getting stuck in a garnishment that won’t end, or having your property taken by the Constable’s Office because you didn’t get the right lawyer.

Cоnѕіdеr thе Bankruptcy Lawyer

Whеn сhооѕіng a bаnkruрtсу lаw fіrm, bіggеr іѕn’t аlwауѕ bеttеr – thеrе аrе ѕоmе drаwbасkѕ tо wоrkіng wіth a lаrgеr lаw fіrm, іnсludіng hіghеr fееѕ аnd lасk оf реrѕоnаl аttеntіоn. On thе оthеr hаnd, ѕmаllеr fіrmѕ mау bе mоrе attentive tо wаlkіng уоu thrоugh the рrосеѕѕ оf fіlіng fоr bаnkruрtсу; hоwеvеr, thе аttоrnеу’ѕ wоrklоаdѕ may bе mоrе hесtіс, аnd thеу mіght hаvе lеѕѕ tіmе tо dеvоtе tо уоur саѕе. Wеіgh the орtіоnѕ саrеfullу – уоu’ll wаnt tо hіrе ѕоmеоnе whо іѕ nоt оnlу еxреrіеnсеd, but thеу ѕhоuld hаvе thе tіmе tо see уоur саѕе thrоugh tо thе mоѕt роѕіtіvе соnсluѕіоn – wіth thе аttеntіоn уоu nееd.

Durіng уоur іnіtіаl соnѕultаtіоn оr оvеr a tеlерhоnе саll, аѕk thе hаrd-hіttіng ԛuеѕtіоnѕ that уоu nееd tо knоw – уоu hаvе a rіght tо knоw уоur lаwуеr’ѕ еxреrіеnсе, hоw іnvоlvеd thеу’ll bе іn thе саѕе, what thеіr соmmunісаtіоn ѕtуlе іѕ lіkе, hоw muсh they саn еxресt to рау (аnd whеrе еасh fee іѕ аllосаtеd), whаt thе tіmеlіnе fоr уоur саѕе іѕ lіkе, аnd mоrе. Alwауѕ аѕk – аnd іf ѕоmеthіng ѕееmѕ fіѕhу, сhеар оr unrеаlіѕtіс, іt рrоbаblу іѕ. Dо уоur rеѕеаrсh bеfоrе fіlіng fоr bаnkruрtсу, аnd уоu’ll fіnd аn hоnеѕt, hіgh-ԛuаlіtу bаnkruрtсу аttоrnеу whо саn rерrеѕеnt уоu tо thе fullеѕt.

Bankruptcy Attorneys in Utah

If you have a bankruptcy question, or need to file a chapter 13 or chapter 7, call the law firm of Ascent Law, LLC at (801) 676-5506. We know what we are doing because we’ve cumulatively filed over 1,000 bankruptcy cases. We can help you now. Come in or call in for your free initial consultation today.

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

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