Although having a bankruptcy lawyer isn’t required by law when you file for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 in Utah, experts say it is highly advisable. For any legal matter, in fact, it is a good idea to have an experienced attorney on your side. Read on for some reasons you should hire a bankruptcy attorney to handle your case.
Qualifying for Chapter 7 and Chapter 13
The differences between Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy can be difficult to understand, and consequently, many people are unsure which filing option to choose. An experienced bankruptcy lawyer can evaluate your case to recommend the correct filing option. This involves completing a means test, or comparison of your income to similar households in the state, to determine which type of claim is right for your situation.
In addition to providing expert advice on filing options, your attorney can help make sure you meet the other qualifications for bankruptcy in Utah. For instance, our state requires that you receive credit counseling prior to filing for bankruptcy, along with debtor education before your debts are discharged.
Understanding Utah Bankruptcy Exemptions
Federal exemptions may be used to protect property in some states, but in Utah, debtors must use the state-specific exemption system. A bankruptcy lawyer can help you understand and effectively use the available exemptions to their greatest scope.
For example, Utah allows homeowners to exempt up to $30,000 of their home or other property, and in some cases, more than one parcel of land can be protected. Through the motor vehicle exemption, it is possible to exempt up to $5,000 in equity in your car, although certain restrictions apply. By working with an attorney who understands the Utah statutes, you will be more successful at keeping the maximum allowable amount of your property.
Filing for Bankruptcy in Utah
Filing for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 is a complicated process. You must complete all of the official forms, including a bankruptcy petition, as well as procedural forms and a number of schedules pertaining to your property and finances. A professional bankruptcy lawyer understands the intricacies of our state’s law and can make sure that all paperwork is properly completed and filed in a timely manner. An attorney also can make sure that all of your creditors are notified and help you file your paperwork with the courts.
If you are considering filing for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13, hiring an experienced attorney is the best way to ensure a successful outcome for your claim. To learn more or to schedule a free consultation on your case, contact Lewis Adams and Associates in Salt Lake City. We understand the difficult situation you face, and we will work with you throughout the process. Contact us today if you need an experienced bankruptcy lawyer on your side.