Utah Bankruptcy Lawyer

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Bankruptcy is defined as a legally declared inability, or impairment of ability, of an individual or organization to pay its creditors. Creditors may file a bankruptcy petition against a debtor in an effort to recoup a portion of what they are owed or to initiate a restructuring. In the majority of cases, however, bankruptcy is initiated by the debtor.

Bankruptcy has long been seen as a way for debtors to wipe their debts clean. Although it is never easy, sometimes bankruptcy is necessary. Hiring an experienced bankruptcy attorney can make the process easier and less stressful. Since the sweeping overhaul of bankruptcy law under the 2005 Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act, which limited individual access to U.S. Bankruptcy Courts, it's become more complicated than ever to declare bankruptcy, especially without the aid of a skilled and experienced attorney

The most important thing to know before you enter into the bankruptcy process is that usually does not discharge all of your debt. You may be required to pay back some or all of your debt, depending on your income level and your assets. In the state of Utah, you will be required to take a 'means test' in order to determine which type of bankruptcy, Chapter 7 or Chapter 11, you will qualify for.

Chapter 7 is known as liquidating bankruptcy, meaning you are compelled to liquidate assets that are not exempt under law. Under Chapter 7 you can discharge medical debt and credit card debt while keeping a vehicle and other exempted property. Your case will be assigned to a trustee who is responsible for liquidating assets and distributing funds to creditors.

The Utah District Bankruptcy Court, through the means test, will decide if your financial situation allows you to repay debt at a certain level. If they find that you are able to pay your creditors a percentage of the debt over five years, you may be forced to file Chapter 13. Chapter 13 is known as the wage-earner plan. This forces the debtor to formulate a payback plan. Under this type of bankruptcy, you may be able to stop a foreclosure.

The U.S. Trustee Program will apply the median family income data to all cases filed on or after March 15, 2009. This median family income data will be adjusted again after the Census Bureau updates the data. In Utah, for cases filed after March 15, 2009, the median income for a single wage earner is $48,832; for a family of two, it is $56,816; for three, $63,796; and for four, $71,919. Add $6,900 for each individual in excess of four.

You must also obtain approved credit counseling before you can file bankruptcy and file any overdue tax returns within weeks of filing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

If you are not eligible for Chapter 7 but must instead file Chapter 13, the court will decide, based on your income, expenditures and basic needs, what amounts can go to your creditors every month over a three- to five-year period. You will then have to keep up with your payments until the bankruptcy is discharged.

If you are feeling overwhelmed by debts, it might be time to think about the option of bankruptcy. A qualified bankruptcy lawyer in the state of Utah can help you. Contact one today. Set up a consultation with a bankruptcy attorney in your area today in order to figure out which plan is the right fit for you. They have the expertise it takes to guide you through the entire bankruptcy proceeding.


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