Monday, August 26, 2013

What is a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy?

A Chapter 13 bankruptcy is filed by individuals who are either capable of paying back a portion of his or her debt or need to file it to protect assets that cannot be protected in a Chapter 7.  It can also be filed when a debtor is behind on mortgage payments and is  about to lose their home.

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy is a “reorganization” bankruptcy.  It is basically a court-supervised debt repayment plan.  Chapter 13 Bankruptcy allows you to restructure your debts into a payment plan that you can afford.  Also, in a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy, there is no mandatory liquidation of your assets, which means you usually keep all of your property.

First your Petition is filed, most actions by your creditors are blocked or suspended by the “Automatic Stay.”  The Automatic Stay prohibits your creditors from collecting on most types of debts.  While in a Chapter 13, the debtor is protected by the Bankruptcy Court from collection actions. The law prohibits creditors from taking actions to collect debt without the Court’s permission. This include repossessing cars and foreclosing on real estate. For this reason, a Chapter 13 is an attractive option that can help save your assets.  

Monday, August 19, 2013

Utah Bankruptcy Do's and Dont's

Bankruptcy Do's:

  • Do be open and honest with your attorney — We handle all personal information matters with confidentiality and privacy. Be sure to tell us everything so we can file your bankruptcy petition accurately.
  • Do continue making payments on property you wish to keep — If you are in default, your creditors can repossess the vehicle or begin foreclosure on your home. We can help even up to the last moment, but it is best to avoid it altogether.
  • Do consider adjusting your tax withholding status — The goal is to get close to no refund. If you get a refund, it is considered an asset in Chapter 7 or could affect your Chapter 13 plan.

Bankruptcy Don'ts:

  • Don't use your credit cards — Once you decide to file bankruptcy, do not incur additional debt that you cannot pay. In some cases, that debt may not be discharged. You should not use your credit cards within 90 days of filing.
  • Don't hide your property — Even though you may fear losing your property, transferring it to another person may be seen as fraudulent.
  • Don't pay off personal loans — If you owe money to family members, now is not the time to repay them. Let the bankruptcy court determine the priority of your creditors and handle it through the proper channels.
  • Don't spend your retirement money — You have worked hard and do not want to lose the nest egg you have saved for retirement. By taking an early withdrawal from those accounts, however, you face penalties and taxes. It is not worth it. In fact, retirement accounts are often exempt in bankruptcy.

Learn About Your Options Today During A Free Consultation! Call us at 801-478-6823 or 801-614-8066.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Utah Bankruptcy Exemptions

When you file Chapter 7 bankruptcy, the bankruptcy code states that certain assets that belong to the debtor become part of the bankruptcy estate. A trustee is appointed to sell these assets and that the proceeds are to be distributed to the creditors as a partial compensation for their loss. However, bankruptcy code allows certain Federal or State exemptions so that individuals who file bankruptcy are usually able to keep most or all of their property.

Utah allows individuals to exempt all or part of various forms of property including equity in a home and car, insurance benefits, pension benefits, and household personal property. Utah Exemption statutes were last updated in May of 2013, and provide specific detail and dollar amounts for each available exemption.