Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in Utah
Chapter 7 bankruptcy is designed for debtors in financial difficulty who no longer have the ability to pay their existing debt obligations. Typically a debtor may have enough to pay rent, buy food and pay utilities and other living expenses. However, the money runs out before the month does. If that describes your situation, perhaps we can help. Utah has been hit hard with the current recession. Maybe we can help relieve some of the stress. Call (801) 676-1950 for your free consultation.
What is Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?
Chapter 7 is one of several chapters under the Bankruptcy Code that allow for relief from overwhelming debt. (Title 11 of the United States Code, Chapter 7) It is the kind of bankruptcy most people think of when they think of bankruptcy. It is often referred to as a full bankruptcy or liquidation bankruptcy because a debtors’ assets can be taken and sold (converted to cash), and used to pay your creditors. In exchange, the debtor is relieved of most of his or her financial obligations. However, most people filing bankruptcy in Utah under Chapter 7 never lose anything. Most of the personal assets they own are exempt assets, meaning those assets cannot be taken and sold.
What are Exempt Assets?
Bankruptcy exemptions vary from state to state. In Utah, items of a personal nature and items one might consider essential to maintain a household are exempt. For example, clothing, beds, bedding, washer, dryer, refrigerator, stove, sewing machine, and miscellaneous household furnishings are all part of the exemptions for Utah and most states. Homeowners are allowed to exempt up to $20,000 in equity in their home, up to a total of $40,000. A debtor is allowed up $2,500.00 of equity in his or her car. There are several other exemptions regarding a number of specific items. In most cases, there are exemptions to protect most, if not all, of your property. Even if assets are available in a bankruptcy setting, typically unless there are assets that exceed a total of $1,000 or more, liquidation of those assets do not occur and are considered burdensome and of inconsequential value to the bankruptcy estate.
What is a Bankruptcy Discharge?
At the end of the bankruptcy case, debtors receive a discharge of most of the financial obligations listed in their schedules. Credit card debt, medical debt, personal loans, pay day loans, judgments, repossessions and other miscellaneous debt can be discharged. However, there are certain obligations that non-dischargeable. Congress has determined that obligations for domestic support, such as alimony and child support should not be dischargeable. Other obligations that are non-dischargeable, include student loans, certain taxes and/or fines owed to governmental agencies. Certain debts may be determined to be non-dischargeable. For example, a debt may non-dischargeable if the obligation was obtained in bad faith or through some sort of fraud.
How do I Qualify for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?
Congress has created a mathematical formula to determine eligibility under Chapter 7 bankruptcy. It is called a Chapter 7 means test. The Chapter 7 means test is a two-step process. It begins with a comparison of your monthly income to the median or average income for a family that is the same size as yours in Utah. If your income is at or below the median income, you qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. If your income is higher than the median income, the next step is calculating disposable income, or income that is left over after certain living and other necessary expenses. If your disposable or excess income is less than $100 per month, you may still qualify under Chapter 7 of the Bankruptcy Code. We will assist you in determining your eligibility to file for bankruptcy protection in Utah under the Chapter 7 Means test.
How to Choose a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Attorney
There are a lot of Bankruptcy Lawyers in Utah, some a very good at what they do and others unfortunately are not. The right bankruptcy attorney can make a very significant different in the outcome of your case. There are deadlines that need to be met, information that needs to be delivered in an effective and timely manner and information that should be relayed to the client that too often times isn’t.
We strongly suggest that you consider very carefully the attorney that you choose to help you with your situation. Of all the Bankruptcy lawyers in Utah Lewis P Adams is among the top of the list. He takes pride in providing big firm experience with the service and attention to detail that comes from a small bankruptcy office.
Bankruptcy Lawyers in Utah have a lot of ways of convincing you to do business with them. If your serious about finding a good one try visiting with them yourselves. A lot of times you can get a quick idea who would be an attorney you would want handling your case and who would not. With the number of Bankruptcy Lawyers in Utah increasing by 43% over the last ten years, there are plenty to choose from with all different experience levels.