Stay up to date with all the latest changes to the bankruptcy law with Justin M. Myers Blog. If you are facing bankruptcy or foreclosure and need to file Chapter 7 or 13,Salt Lake City Justin M. Myers Attorney can help you
Many people assume that filing bankruptcy means that you have to get rid of everything you own. They think that they will have to give up their car or their home, even though they have spent years paying for these items. Thankfully, this type of thinking is generally not true in either Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy. In Chapter 13, you will work with your Salt Lake City bankruptcy attorney to develop a payment plan that works for you. In a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you may want to consider using a reaffirmation agreement.
Understanding Reaffirmation Agreements
Most debtors enter bankruptcy because they want to discharge their debts. However, there may be some debts that you would like to keep paying on for various reasons. You may be able to discharge your other debts while still maintaining your current obligation to a specific creditor.
There is nothing in the bankruptcy code that stops you from voluntarily continuing to pay debt obligations once you are in bankruptcy. However, you may need to take steps to let your creditor know that you want to keep paying for that debt. In those situations, you will enter a “reaffirmation agreement” with that creditor. This agreement lets the creditor know that you plan to keep paying on the debt even though you have filed for bankruptcy.
Once you enter a reaffirmation agreement, you are contractually bound to keep paying on that debt, often as if the bankruptcy never occurred. Because the legislature was concerned about debtors entering these agreements without fully understanding them, there are special procedures that must be followed if you want to use a reaffirmation agreement.
Why Would You Use a Reaffirmation Agreement?
While the vast majority of debtors will want to discharge all of their debts, there are situations where a reaffirmation agreement might make sense. The most common examples are vehicles and houses because these debts have property to secure them. In fact, most debts that are reaffirmed have property attached to them.
Reaffirming a house or a car might make sense for several reasons, including the following examples.
One of the main hurdles or reasons for bankruptcy is child support and alimony payments and arrears outstanding on these payments. Sometimes the Utah Office of Recovery Services can be cutting up to 25 percents of the parties paychecks to help pay of their arrears. Thankfully there are methods to help manage these payments.
Under the bankruptcy code, there is no discharge for “court-ordered support obligations” under chapter 7 and chapter 13 bankruptcy claims. This includes child support and alimony. The reason for this is because the recipients of these payments such as child support and alimony require these to survive on a day to day basis, therefore bankruptcy does not stop you from keeping these obligations.
Child Support and Alimony in Bankruptcy Chapter 13 applications
While your obligations cannot be avoided, any arrears that are there because of child support and alimony is classed as a priority debt. The arrears can be placed in your payment plan and be paid over a three to five year period and are done at the expense of other creditors. This can be very helpful as most people who are paying back their arrears at 25 percent of their paycheck then the amount they will then be paying back the will of a substantially lower amount than that.
If there are clients who have incomes that cannot cover both debts and child support and alimony arrears then the other option is to file for chapter 7 bankruptcy. This will then completely dissolve any ordinary debts allowing them the financial ability to pay arrears and keep current with all the payments regarding support.
Other debts that are incurred due to divorce
There can be many other debts that are related to a divorce such as joint debts that have to be paid by just one spouse are treated with more leniency and in some cases may be completely eliminated by chapter 13 bankruptcy claims.
How a Salt Lake Bankruptcy Attorney can help your claim
An experienced Salt Lake Bankruptcy Attorney will help you by having all the up to date details of the law at their fingertips and be able to assess your case and give you all the options that you have available to you. For your best options call us on 1-801-505-9679.
Filing for bankruptcy can be a big decision and a Salt Lake City bankruptcy attorney can help you through this difficult time. Justin M. Myers does not judge your situation but instead helps you breathe after falling into financial trouble. Bankruptcy can be seen as a shameful last resort for many debtors. It doesn’t have to be. It is a fresh start and a new chapter on your journey. With every decision there are pros and cons. We have found the biggest ones for clients just like you.
Keep future income
In most cases, the property obtained after bankruptcy will not be included in the bankruptcy estate. However, if the property is acquired within 180 days of filing it can be included.
Get a fresh start
The advantage of a Chapter 7 bankruptcy is for the debtor to start anew. You will be free of paying certain debts that are eliminated off your credit. You will essentially start at almost 0 depending on student loans and property you may have. You will be able to rebuild your credit. Debts are typically discharged within 60 to 90 days.
No repayment plan
Unlike other bankruptcy plans, Chapter 7 does not require the debtor to repay any debts. The qualified debts are discharged and the debtor no longer has to worry about them.
The pros sound great! But with every pro there is a con. Each situation is unique and you should speak with an experienced Salt Lake City bankruptcy attorney.
Loss of Credit Cards
Since Chapter 7 bankruptcy essentially wipes out all your debt, that means you will lose all of your credit cards. You may not be able to obtain a new credit card for 1 to 3 years after. Often times, new cards will come with a high interest rate.
Bankruptcy Stays on Credit Report for 10 years
Creditors may be apprehensive to lend to you if they see a bankruptcy on your credit report. Although, you may be relieved of all of your debt within 6 bankruptcy remains on your report. So you may not have any debts to worry about but rebuilding your credit can be difficult.
Student Loan Debt is not removed
Student loan debt can be stifling and many debtors think that it will go away when filing for bankruptcy. That is not true. Student loan debt will not disappear during a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. You will still have to repay that debt.
For many debtors, the pros outweigh the cons. Each case is unique and should be discussed with an experienced Salt Lake City Chapter 7 bankruptcy attorney. Chapter 7 bankruptcy may not be the best option for you, Justin M. Myers can discuss other options specific to your circumstances to determine the best course of action. To schedule your initial consultation, call us today on 1-801-505-9679.
When you start to experience significant financial difficulties, chances are that your mortgage payment is one of the first financial commitments you become concerned about. After all, it is literally the payment that keeps a roof over the heads of you and your family but will also be one of your biggest monthly outgoings. Did you know that, when you are considering bankruptcy, and even after you have filed for bankruptcy, you could be able to modify your mortgage? A mortgage modification involves changing the terms of your loan, but remaining with the same loan and lender. It can be available to those with poor credit while refinancing your mortgage tends to require good credit. In fact, mortgage modification has been designed specifically for those in financial difficulty.
Do I Qualify for Mortgage Modification in Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 Bankruptcy?
The short answer to that question is yet. In both Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy, your Salt Lake City attorney could help you to secure mortgage modification. The specific requirements will depend on your mortgage lender but, in general, you could be eligible if you can satisfy the following criteria:
Your total housing costs account for at least 31% of your monthly income
Your financial difficulties mean you are at risk of defaulting on your mortgage payments, or you are already delinquent
Your mortgage is underwater, meaning you owe more than the house is worth
Your financial circumstances render you ineligible for refinancing
If your mortgage modification is approved, both your interest rates and your repayments will reduce. Your Salt Lake City bankruptcy attorney will provide advice specific to your circumstances when you discuss your modification with them but, generally, if you request mortgage modification before filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you can keep your home as long as you keep your mortgage repayments up to date. If you request modification after filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy but before discharge, your lender is obliged to consider your request.
On the other hand, when you are facing Chapter 13 bankruptcy, your bankruptcy filing must notify the court of this request, even when it has not gone through. Your lender must consider your application, whatever stage of Chapter 13 bankruptcy you have reached. However, after filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, if your mortgage modification is approved, you must declare the reduced outgoings, which will normally result in increased repayments to your creditors.
Has Your Mortgage Modification Been Denied? This May Be Why
While your mortgage lender is obliged to consider your modification application in certain circumstances, they do not have any obligation to approve it. As experienced Salt Lake City Chapter 7 attorney and Chapter 13 bankruptcy attorneys, we have assisted countless clients with applications for mortgage modifications and, when your application is denied, it may well be for one of the following reasons:
Your mortgage lender does not believe that you can afford the mortgage, perhaps due to losing your job or receiving a reduced income
You are unable to provide the required documentation
You have already received a mortgage modification in the recent past
The lender believes that your current terms are affordable
If you grew up in Utah since the 1990s, you may have spent time in the Seven Peaks Water Park in Provo, where the array of water slides, pools and attractions brought tourists flocking for over two decades. When it first opened in 1989, the water park was one part of a resort, which also comprised the former Excelsior Hotel, the water park itself, and a golf course. In the mid-90s, the resort started to suffer financial difficulty, with the owners filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy for the first time.
Over the past few years, there has been some upheaval at Seven Peaks Water Park, including changes in ownership and a pending lawsuit relating to these changes. Parkprovo LLC has now filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy once more, with more details expected to be discussed during oral arguments on May 4.
Filing for Chapter 13 Bankruptcy in Salt Lake City? It Need Not be Daunting When You Work with an Excellent Attorney
It is not only businesses who face severe financial hardship and, when your debts have become insurmountable, and are causing you considerable amounts of stress and worry about your future, Chapter 13 bankruptcy may be a good way to regain control of your financial situation. Setting a budget, and sticking to it, can seem like a difficult task but, when you work with an empathetic and experienced Salt Lake City bankruptcy attorney, you can set a budget which is manageable and has the greatest chances of succeeding. While it may be tempting to be overly frugal in an attempt to repay your debt as quickly as possible, this can be unsustainable, leading to further financial woes.
Chapter 13 bankruptcy can be a suitable option for those who are currently experiencing problems with debt, but who also have a regular source of income. If you feel like you are just about managing your debt on your current income, but could easily be sent into a spiral by an unexpected expense, such as a large medical bill, for example, you may be a prime candidate for Chapter 13 bankruptcy.
Chapter 13 bankruptcy involves setting a debt repayment plan, where you will repay your debt over a period of between three and five years. Using a court-approved payment plan, Chapter 13 carries several advantages over Chapter 7 bankruptcy, one of which is the lack of risk to your property, as you are actually repaying your debt over time.
When you are facing bankruptcy, it is essential to seek expert legal advice relating to the most suitable option, as failing to comply with the terms of your bankruptcy could make your financial situation significantly worse.
Speak to a Salt Lake City Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Attorney Today
Whether you have researched carefully and are certain you wish to file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy or know that you have a serious problem with your debt and need to find the most suitable solution, an expert Salt Lake City attorney can help you make the right decision.
When your debts have become overwhelming, whatever the reason behind this may be, it is almost certain that you will be feeling incredibly stressed, perhaps a bit confused about how best to proceed, and worried about how your future may look after you file for either Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy. There is a wealth of information available online about all aspects of debt management and bankruptcy, however, as with almost everything else you may be researching on the internet, it is important to know how to separate the fact from the fiction. Bankruptcy can be daunting enough without falling foul of online scaremongering and fallacies, so our Salt Lake City Chapter 7 bankruptcy attorney will soon dispel some of the most common myths you may have believed.
Bankruptcy is nothing to be ashamed of, and you are far from being the only person in Salt Lake City currently contemplating it as an option. In fact, in 2016 alone, Utah saw over 11,000 people file for bankruptcy, with around 6,800 filing for Chapter 7, and almost 5,000 opt for Chapter 13. While you are trying to decide which option is most suitable for you, you should seek legal guidance and support from an experienced Salt Lake City bankruptcy attorney. In the meantime, here are a few myths you should not let deter you from putting an end to your mounting debts.
When You File for Bankruptcy, You Will Lose Your Home
It is easy to understand why this particular bankruptcy myth has gained so much traction, as it is human nature to focus on what worries us most. What could be more worrying than potentially losing your home, particularly if you have young children to think about? The truth of the matter is considerably less traumatic and, although Chapter 7 bankruptcy will require some property to be liquidated, certain properties can be exempted. Both Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 offer some alternatives to losing a property, which can be discussed with your Salt Lake City bankruptcy attorney.
All Your Debts Will be Wiped Out When You File for Bankruptcy
This myth may not be too concerning, but it is inaccurate and misleading at best. While much of your debt will be cancelled when you file for bankruptcy, you will remain liable for certain debts such as child support, criminal restitution, and student loans. Should you opt for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you will be required to complete a repayment plan before being discharged.
You Will Never Be Able to Get a Mortgage, or Other Credit, Ever Again
Again, this is a myth. While you should be very careful when entering into credit agreements in the future – after all, you do not want history to repeat itself – providing you manage your finances well in the future, you should be able to get a mortgage, or secure other finance options going forward. Although bankruptcy can remain on your credit file for up to ten years, you could find that filing for either Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy can actually lead to your credit score recovering more quickly than had you not filed. You may be able to start rebuilding your credit using a secured card shortly after being discharged from bankruptcy, and you could successfully obtain a mortgage within around two to four years, on average. Bear in mind that these timescales are intended as a guide only, and not a guarantee.
Considering Bankruptcy? Speak to a Salt Lake City Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Attorney Today
If your debts have become unmanageable, bankruptcy can be a far preferable option to continuing along your current route of stress and worry. When you discuss your circumstances with an experienced Salt Lake City attorney, they can recommend either Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy as the most suitable option.
The decision to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy should never come out of the blue with little to no preparations in advance. In fact, there is a certain protocol that you need to follow in the months before filing for bankruptcy.
First and foremost, it is advised to consult with a Salt Lake City Chapter 7 bankruptcy attorney in order to find out whether or not Chapter 7 is the right plan for you. If you and your attorney decide that filing for bankruptcy is the right choice, follow this protocol if you want your bankruptcy case to go smoothly with no legal or financial headaches whatsoever.
Don’t pay creditors. “Wait, what?” we bet you are thinking right now. But let us explain. While making routine payments can actually help you to qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, consider what kind of payments you are making in the months before filing for bankruptcy. Any large or “suspicious” transactions to creditors could be considered “preferential transfers,” which would hurt your case. Speak to an experienced attorney to come up with a personalized plan as to which payments should and should not be made prior to filing for bankruptcy.
Do not take out a new loan. Avoid any new debts and loans in the months before filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, as the creditor may consider your actions fraudulent, thinking that you were never intended to pay it back and filing for bankruptcy was your excuse to not pay it back.
Avoid unusual transactions. If you are about to go bankrupt, common sense would tell you to be picky about what you buy. So avoid buying luxury goods, transferring titles of cars or business to your relatives, or removing your name from your business in the months prior to filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Such actions can raise suspicions or be viewed as fraud.
Be completely honest. Even though it is required to be 100% truthful when filing for bankruptcy and providing any sort of information about your debt, assets, and financial status, do consult with a Salt Lake City Chapter 7 bankruptcy attorney before filling out any documents in order to avoid being accused of fraud and/or charged with crime.
Be smart from a legal point of view. And that also translates to: hire a skilled lawyer to represent you and provide you with top-notch legal help. You want to be smart about every move that you make before filing for bankruptcy, as even a tiny mishap or error may lead to irrevocable consequences.
Do not think that you can get away with fraud. Fraud is never tolerated in bankruptcy filings, and courts in Salt Lake City and all across Utah are very serious about punishing people for trying to get away with dishonest or illegal activities.
Before filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, do keep in mind that you will have to participate in a pre-bankruptcy credit counseling. Also do not forget that bankruptcy filings become public records, so there can be privacy concerns that you may want to consider.
Seek legal help from our best bankruptcy attorneys in Utah at the JMM Legal today. Get a free consultation by calling our offices at 1-801-505-9679 or fill out this contact form.
Bankruptcy has a number of benefits for debtors who are struggling to keep up with their financial obligations. The biggest advantage is perhaps the most well-known—debtors receive debtor forgiveness for nearly all of their debts at the end of the bankruptcy process. However, bankruptcy offers another very significant benefit: the automatic stay.
What is the Automatic Stay?
By the time many debtors file bankruptcy, they are being hounded by creditors. They may receive borderline harassing phone calls, frightening letters, or they may have been hauled into court as an attempt to collect on outstanding debts.
Bankruptcy stops all collection efforts. If a creditor does not stop the phone calls, letters, or garnishments immediately, they can face sanctions from the bankruptcy court. Your bankruptcy “stays” or pauses all collection efforts and legal actions, including most foreclosure proceedings. The stay is an automatic benefit that starts the moment that your bankruptcy petition is filed.
The timing of your bankruptcy filing is particularly crucial because of the automatic stay. For example, if you are facing foreclosure of your home, you need to speak with a Salt Lake City bankruptcy attorney immediately to get the protection of the automatic stay.
Why Do Debtors Get the Automatic Stay?
Debtors get the benefit of the automatic stay because it puts all creditors in the same position when you file bankruptcy. Fair treatment of creditors is a vital aspect of bankruptcy, and the automatic stay helps accomplish that goal. When bankruptcy begins, creditors can no longer fight to be first in line for money; the bankruptcy code sets out precise guidelines as to who should get paid first and how much.
In the case of Chapter 13 bankruptcy, the stay forces creditors to work with you to create a repayment plan that addresses debts in accordance with the requirements of the bankruptcy code.
Exceptions to the Automatic Stay
While the automatic stay is broad, it does not cover every action against a debtor. For example, it generally will not affect:
Actions to establish child support, custody, or visitation
Certain tax proceedings (such as audits and deficiency notices)
Criminal prosecutions and investigations
Actions related to alimony or spousal maintenance
The perfection of certain types of liens (such as mechanic’s liens)
Actions to exclude someone from Medicare or a different kind of federal health plan
Divorce proceedings are tricky. They can continue as to the divorce itself. However, if the separation involves a property settlement, that must wait until after the bankruptcy has concluded. Aspects of the divorce that do not affect property or assets can often continue. In some circumstances, the parties may agree to ask the court to pause the entire proceeding so that everything can be addressed at one time after the bankruptcy is over.
If you are considering bankruptcy, and you may need to act quickly to protect your rights, you need to speak with a Salt Lake City bankruptcy attorney. Do not wait until the last moment—and do not wait until it is too late! Call Justin M. Myers today.
Are you thinking of filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy to stop foreclosure, save property, and reorganize your debts? Then you may want to check out the following information to learn more about Utah’s laws governing bankruptcy.
It is true that the vast majority of bankruptcy regulations and rules are governed by federal law, but Utah imposed quite a few exceptions and limitations of its own that you need to be aware of if you are filing for bankruptcy in Salt Lake City or elsewhere across the state.
How to file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy in Utah?
Our Salt Lake City Chapter 13 bankruptcy attorney Justin M. Myers outlines five steps when filing for bankruptcy in the state of Utah:
Schedule and attend credit counseling before completing forms;
Complete the Chapter 13 bankruptcy petition;
Fill out other required forms relevant for your particular case (find out which forms you should complete by consulting an attorney);
File the petition and forms with the Utah bankruptcy court; and
Complete debtor counseling to be entitled to receive discharges.
Pre-bankruptcy and pre-discharge counseling in Utah
If you want to file for bankruptcy in Salt Lake City or elsewhere in Utah, you will have to participate in credit counseling by an agency approved by the U.S. Trustee in Utah. When filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy in Utah, you need to show documents proving that you received credit counseling at least six months before filing.
But your bureaucratic hula-hooping does not end there. After the filing, and right before you actually reap the benefits of Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you have to take a debtor education course before getting the sought-after bankruptcy discharge, our Salt Lake City Chapter 13 bankruptcy lawyer explains.
Federal vs state bankruptcy exemptions in Utah
If you are filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you are probably wondering what property you get to keep. While many states in our nation allow bankruptcy filers to choose between federal bankruptcy exemptions and state exemptions, Utah does not offer you a choice.
In the state of Utah, you are governed by the state exemption system, which provides you with bankruptcy exemptions regulating what kind of property you can keep and how much of your unsecured debt you will have to repay.
Utah median income to qualify for Chapter 13 bankruptcy
Like any other state in our country, Utah sets forth its own median income requirements to qualify for Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcies. When filing for bankruptcy in Salt Lake City or elsewhere in Utah, you will most likely have to provide detailed information about your expenses and debt payments as part of the so-called “means test” (for Chapter 7) and a similar lengthy form for Chapter 13, Form 22C.
Basically, the form obliges you to compare your income to the median income for a family of your size. In Utah, the state median household income by family size as of the date of publication is $48,176 for one earner, $55,555 for a family of two, and $59,626 and $64,780 for a family of three and four respectively.
If your household is larger than that, add $7,500 for each individual in excess of 4.
Our Salt Lake City Chapter 13 bankruptcy attorney from the JMM Legal explains that when filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, most filers use a three-year repayment plan, which is also known as the means test. While Chapter 7 bankruptcy filers are required to provide information about their expenses and payments on secured debts, most Chapter 13 filers have to include that information in the Form 22C in order to qualify, too.
Get local bankruptcy forms to file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy in Utah
There may be some additional “local forms” that you have to fill out when filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy in Salt Lake City or anywhere else in Utah. Only an experienced lawyer can help you figure out whether or not you will be required to complete any additional forms.
Contact the JMM Legal to schedule a free consultation with our attorneys. Let us help you navigate the legal aspects of filing for bankruptcy in Utah to save your time and headaches. Call our offices at 1-801-505-9679 or fill out this contact form for a free case evaluation.
Going through bankruptcy once can be soul-destroying, and may take years to recover from, both financially and emotionally. Can you imagine how you would feel if you then had to file for bankruptcy yet again? It would be fair to assume that this would involve considerable emotional turmoil, relating to both your current financial circumstances, and the uncertainty of your fiscal future. Of course, you are sure to hope that multiple bankruptcies never feature in your life but, sometimes, your solvency is not entirely under your own control. If you have faced bankruptcy previously, or at least experienced some less than perfect cashflow issues, you may be aware that there is more than one option available to Salt Lake City residents who are overwhelmed by debt. Depending on your circumstances, your Salt Lake City bankruptcy attorney can advise on whether Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy is most appropriate.
For now, here is a question for you – how many times can you file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy?
The Truth about Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in Salt Lake City, and You
The answer, surprising as it may be, is that there is no limit under Utah law as to how many times an individual can file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
If you feel like bankruptcy is the only way forward for you, you must speak to a Salt Lake City Chapter 7 bankruptcy attorney immediately, as there are qualifying criteria involved, not to mention the complex nature of this area of the law. In the meantime, here are some of the truths and conditions relating to filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy on more than one occasion.
If you have previously filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, and received a discharge within the past 8 years, refiling will mean you do not receive another discharge
If you were not afforded a discharge previously, re-filing for Chapter 7 could mean you can finally receive one
The time limit (8 years) is calculated from your date of discharge, not your date of filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy
Upon being discharged from Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you can file for Chapter 13 immediately. If you are considering this option, it is essential that you consult an experienced Salt Lake City Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy attorney immediately, before taking any action
Working with an Experienced Salt Lake City Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Attorney (However Many Times You Need To)
When your finances appear to be in dire straits, and you start to consider bankruptcy as a viable option, you should not attempt to go it alone. Bankruptcy law can be incredibly complex, and making the wrong choice between Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 could have a long-lasting impact on your life.
To make sure your bankruptcy is handled as smoothly and as painlessly as possible, you should work with an experienced Salt Lake City Chapter 7 bankruptcy attorney. To get started, schedule your free initial consultation today – call Justin M. Myers, Attorney-at-Law, LLC on 1-801-505-9679.