One of the most frequently asked questions that we hear in our Utah bankruptcy practice is whether taxes can be discharged in bankruptcy. The answer to such a seemingly simple question is actually quite complicated. Some federal and state income taxes may be eligible for discharge under Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 of the bankruptcy code under certain circumstances. Read more
Keep More Property in Bankruptcy
The Utah legislature amended the Utah bankruptcy exemptions in 2013. Bankruptcy exemptions are the laws that protect property from liquidation in bankruptcy. Since Utah has opted out of the federal bankruptcy exemptions, the Utah amendments means that bankruptcy filers can now keep more property when filing in Utah. The new exemptions take effect on May 14, 2013. Read more
Frequently clients need to file for bankruptcy, but want to do so without his or her spouse being affected. That raises the questions: Can a married person file bankruptcy alone? How is the non-filing spouse impacted when their spouse files bankruptcy alone? Read more
One of the most common concerns or misconceptions that clients express in one form or another is an insecurity that if they file bankruptcy that makes them somehow unethical or dishonest. While there may be a small minority of people who intentionally abuse the bankruptcy system, it is my overwhelming experience that people filing bankruptcy are honest, hard-working and upstanding people. The fact is that every society has some system to deal with honest and hard-working people who are experiencing extreme financial hardship. Read more
Chapter 13 bankruptcy in Utah County is a consolidation of debt and a partial repayment over a period of three to five years, based on the debtor’s ability to pay. Sections 1322 and 506 of the bankruptcy code permits bankruptcy courts to reduce the balance or “cram-down” unsecured debt. This essentially converts property that is secured (collateral is attached to the loan like a home, automobile, or other property) to unsecured debt. Because unsecured debt is paid last in a chapter 13 plan, this often means the creditor receives little or no payout during the chapter 13 plan for the unsecured portion. Debts that are not fully repaid during the chapter 13 plan are then discharged. Read more
Most people are unaware that there are four chapters of bankruptcy that a person can file. What are the different chapters of bankruptcy? We will provide an overview of the different chapters of bankruptcy.
There are four primary chapters in bankruptcy–chapter 7, chapter 11, chapter 12, and chapter 13. Each chapter is designed to satisfy different needs and has different qualifications. This article will provide a basic overview of each chapter of bankruptcy. More emphasis will be given to chapter 7 and chapter 13 bankruptcies as these are the most common for individuals. Read more
A reaffirmation agreement is an agreement by which the debtor agrees to remain personally liable for a debt post-bankruptcy. A reaffirmation agreement essentially eliminates the benefit of filing for bankruptcy in Salt Lake or one specific debt. Because reaffirming a debt undermines the most basic benefit of filing for bankruptcy in Salt Lake, you should seek counsel from an experienced Salt Lake bankruptcy lawyer before entering into a reaffirmation agreement. A Salt Lake Chapter 7 bankruptcy lawyer must review your financial position following bankruptcy in Salt Lake and certify to the bankruptcy court that entering into the reaffirmation agreement will not cause an undue financial hardship. The Salt Lake bankruptcy judge must also approve the agreement.
As a Salt Lake Bankruptcy lawyer, it is difficult to predict a person’s financial future. Therefore, our experienced Salt Lake bankruptcy lawyers generally discourage our clients from entering into a reaffirmation agreement…unless absolutely necessary.
Most secured creditors with whom a reaffirmation agreement would arise arise—automobile lenders—generally allow you to keep the secure property (automobile) without entering into a formal reaffirmation agreement, so long as you keep your payments current. We call this the “pay and retain” method. While a creditor is not legally obligated, our experience is that most secured creditors will agree to the pay and retain method.
While the pay and retain method works well with most secured creditors, there are a minority of creditors who take the extreme position to repossess the secured property even if you are current. America First Credit Union is one of these creditors. In cases that deal with AFCU or other creditors who take the same position, it may be necessary to enter into the reaffirmation agreement in order to retain possession of the secured asset.
As mentioned, the best way to ensure that your rights and best interest is protected is to consult with an experienced Salt Lake bankruptcy lawyer. Schedule your free consultation today.
Naturally, one of the most frequently posed questions by our prospective Salt Lake bankruptcy clients is: Will I lose all of my property if I file for bankruptcy? The simple answer is a resounding NO! Read more
So you’ve decided that you need to file a Utah chapter 7 bankruptcy and you’re wondering: What Should I Expect in my Chapter 7 Bankruptcy? Here’s an overview to answer that question.
When Will I Go To Court?
You won’t, unless something really unusual happens in your case. Most Utah chapter 7 bankruptcies never have any hearings or appearances with the Utah bankruptcy court. A bankruptcy judge will be assigned to your case, but usually the only interaction you will formally have with your bankruptcy is a meeting called a meeting of creditors and the judge will not be present. Your bankruptcy attorney will likely refer to the meeting as a 341 meeting. Read more
Separation Agreements that are incorporated into a divorce decree (and decrees of divorce themselves) pose difficult and sometimes unexpected results in bankruptcy. Many of the general rules of bankruptcy can be dramatically altered with a separation agreement or divorce decree. This article discusses a few of the problems that divorces and divorce decrees pose in a subsequent bankruptcy.