Bankruptcy Chapter 7
We will help you learn what you need to do next.
For clients in Utah, Chapter 7 will help to erase credit card debt, medical bills, judgments, garnishment, and protect personal property including your home and car, provided the values thereof do not exceed your allowed bankruptcy exemptions. You may think that new bankruptcy legislation prohibits the filing of a Chapter 7, but this is only one of the numerous bankruptcy myths. It is quite simply not true.
The Filing Process
To file a Utah Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you must first file a petition, schedules, and statement of financial affairs with your bankruptcy court. The schedules must list all of your creditors, your property, and your monthly income and expenses. The court filing fee for a Chapter 7 is currently at $335. Before you can file, you must participate in and complete an approved credit counseling course. This course may be taken online, in person, or via the phone. The fee associated with these counseling services run from $16-50, depending on the course you choose. All courses carry the same weight for filing, so you may use the cheapest if you so desire. We will help you find the best course for you.
Filing a claim immediately creates an automatic stay. In other words, your creditors are no longer permitted to contact you, whether by phone, letter, or any other form of communication. This stay can also stop garnishments as long as it is filed in enough time before your next pay day.
After filing and completing the counseling course, the next step is to attend a 341 Meeting with a trustee who will be appointed to you by the bankruptcy court. Attorney Anthony Saunders will attend that meeting with you so you know what you can expect.
After the meeting you will be required to complete a court-approved financial management course. This will be administered in a similar manner to the credit counseling course with a fee ranging from $11-22.
After this, you will receive a discharge to wipe out your debts. Exceptions to the discharge include taxes you may owe to the IRS or state, student loans, alimony, maintenance or support payments, secured debt, OWI (Operating While Intoxicated)-related debts, and fraud-related debts.
Utah also offers several exemptions to your personal property as well. We will work with you to protect your property under the law using these exemptions. For a complete list of these sections, please contact our law firm.
You may file for a Utah Chapter 7 and receive a discharge only once per 8 years.
If, during the last 6 months, your income exceeds the median income for your family size, and you fail to pass the means test that is part of the bankruptcy schedules, you will need to file for a Chapter 13 reorganization instead.
Contact us today.