AREAS OF PRACTICE

Bankruptcy

Nobody likes dealing with debt. And when your financial debt become unmanageable, hiring a bankruptcy attorney in Utah will help to resolve your debt issues and pay off your creditors. Whether you’re considering declaring bankruptcy for yourself or for your business, the attorneys at Anderson & Rogers will analyze your situation and help you achieve the best possible outcome.

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Under Title 11 of the United States Code, consumers and businesses are provided with a number of bankruptcy chapters that allow for relief from creditors. These chapters can stop garnishments, prevent foreclosures, and even put an end to collection efforts and those harassing phone calls.

CHAPTER 7 (LIQUIDATION)

In Chapter 7 bankruptcy, a Utah bankruptcy attorney from Anderson & Rogers will work with you to cancel most, if not all, your debts. Acting as trustee, our attorneys will arrange to sell off (or liquidate) some of your assets in order to pay your creditors. The entire process can take up to six months, but will usually only require one trip to the courthouse.

How to File

Filing for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy requires you to fill out a petition, as well as a number of forms describing your property, your debts, your income and expenses, as well as your property history over the last two years. This can include any property you’ve owned, sold, or given away, and any money you have spent to procure that property. You may also fill out a form describing your “exempt property,” or property you are allowed to keep during the bankruptcy process. Exempt property might be clothing, household furnishing, Social Security payments you haven’t spent, and other home equity.

By filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, the court can apply an Order of Relief (also known as an “automatic stay”) on your debts, which will prevent creditors from collecting your assets, property, and bank account. A Utah bankruptcy attorney from Anderson & Rogers will help you know what forms you need to fill out, and will keep your best interests in mind if you need to liquidate you assets.

At the end of the bankruptcy process, the court will erase or discharge most of your debts; however, you may still be responsible for some debts such as child support, back taxes, and student loans. The court may also declare some debts as non-dischargeable, particularly those incurred by fraud or other malicious acts on the part of the debtor.

Eligibility

You will not be able to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy if you have already received a discharge in the past six to eight years. You may also not qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy if your financial situation allows to you complete a Chapter 13 repayment plan. Contact our Utah bankruptcy attorneys at Anderson & Rogers, and we will help you determine the best route to help you get out of debt.

CHAPTER 13 (REORGANIZATION)

Chapter 13 bankruptcy allows you to keep your property by making repayments to your creditors over the course of three to five years. A Utah bankruptcy attorney from Anderson & Rogers will work with you and the Court to establish a repayment plan that fits in with your income.

How to File

Prior to filing, you need to receive credit counseling from a United States Trustee office-approved agency. This step is necessary, as it will help you establish a debt management plan and budget to make the repayment process easier. After paying the filing fee, and working with a Utah bankruptcy attorney to fill out the right forms, you will need to work out a repayment plan that describes in detail how you intend to pay off your debts, as well as how much your regular payments will be.

The length of your repayment plan depends largely on your income versus the size of your debts, and can take up to three to five years. Once the repayment process is complete, any remaining debts that are eligible for discharge will be erased. You will receive a Chapter 13 discharge of debt once you can show that you are current on your priority debt payments, and that you have completed a credit counseling course.

Chapter 13 bankruptcy requires you to pay certain debts in full. These debts are referred to “priority debts,” and they can include child support and alimony, wages owed to employees, as well as tax obligations. Your repayment plan must also include provisions for “secured debts” such as car or mortgage payments, as well as “unsecured debts,” like credit card payments or medical bills.

Eligibility

To be eligible for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you must be able to prove to the Court that you can afford to repay all your debts. Consequently, if your income is too low, or you have difficulty finding steady employment, you may not qualify for Chapter 13. Having a debt burden that is too high might also prevent you from filing. Contact an experienced Utah bankruptcy attorney from Anders & Rogers to determine your eligibility.

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