Are you considering filing for bankruptcy in Utah? Hiring an experienced attorney is critical for a successful outcome.
The legal processes involved are highly complex and require both understanding and experience with federal and state laws and regulations.
For a better idea of what to expect, take a look at the three important considerations below.
Qualifying to File for Bankruptcy in Utah
A means test, in which your income is compared to the median income in Utah, is the legal basis for determining which type of bankruptcy you can file. And, to prove income, you will be required to provide federal tax returns.
So, if you did not file tax returns last year, you will have do so before filing a claim for bankruptcy in Utah.
The Bankruptcy Act also mandates that you attend specific educational courses as a part of the process. Within the six months prior to filing, you must take a credit counseling course through an agency approved by the U.S. Trustee’s office. Finally, before obtaining a discharge of your debts, you must complete a debtor education class.
An experienced Utah bankruptcy attorney can provide referrals to approved agencies and courses that can be completed online, over the phone or in person.
Available Exemptions for Bankruptcy in Utah
Some states use an established set of federal bankruptcy exemptions to determine which type of property is exempt from creditors and which is protected.
This is not an option when filing for bankruptcy in Utah, however, as our state has its own exemption system.
The homestead exemption allows you to protect up to $30,000 of your home’s value, as long as it is your primary personal residence. The motor vehicle exemption covers up to $5,000 in equity, but only for one eligible vehicle.
If you are married and file jointly with your spouse, you can double the amounts of these exemptions.
Completing Utah Bankruptcy Forms
A daunting amount of paperwork must be completed when filing for bankruptcy in Utah, and much of it is complex and difficult to understand.
In addition to the bankruptcy petition, you must provide detailed schedules that stipulate your assets and liabilities. You must also file forms that detail your expenses and income.
Certain local forms, including notices and amendment cover sheets, also are required for some Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcies in Utah. Every form must be complete and accurate. Otherwise, the court may dismiss your case or may challenge the discharge of your debts.
Working with an experienced attorney ensures that all of your documents are completed and filed properly, providing the only way of truly protecting yourself.
Contact Lewis Adams and Associates to learn more about the legal process and requirements for filing both Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 in Utah. We are located in West Jordan, and offer a complimentary consultation to determine your eligibility for filing bankruptcy in Utah.