One of the most important concerns many of our clients have is how bankruptcy will impact their lease on an apartment of home. This concern arises in one of two scenarios: (1) the client-debtor has arrearages and is filing bankruptcy, at least in part, to avoid paying the past-due rent and perhaps avoid immediate eviction; 0r (2) the client-debtor is current and wants stay in the property. We’ll address each scenario in this article. Read more
Once a chapter 13 bankruptcy case is filed, the automatic stay prevents creditors from legally foreclosing, garnishing, repossessing or collecting against the debtor or any individual joint debtors. As part of the chapter 13 filing, the debtor proposes a chapter 13 plan (“Plan”) to reorganize their finances. The Plan will contain provisions to deal with repaying secured debts, taxes and other priority debt. It will also propose a plan to bring leases or secured accounts like car loans and mortgages current, removing judgment liens, and restructuring interest rates and amounts due on secured loans. To ensure success of the Plan, the Debtor must comply with the Plan’s terms and remain current. Read more
One of the most frequently asked questions that we hear in our Utah bankruptcy practice is whether taxes can be discharged in bankruptcy. The answer to such a seemingly simple question is actually quite complicated. Some federal and state income taxes may be eligible for discharge under Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 of the bankruptcy code under certain circumstances. Read more
Frequently clients need to file for bankruptcy, but want to do so without his or her spouse being affected. That raises the questions: Can a married person file bankruptcy alone? How is the non-filing spouse impacted when their spouse files bankruptcy alone? Read more
Chapter 13 bankruptcy in Utah County is a consolidation of debt and a partial repayment over a period of three to five years, based on the debtor’s ability to pay. Sections 1322 and 506 of the bankruptcy code permits bankruptcy courts to reduce the balance or “cram-down” unsecured debt. This essentially converts property that is secured (collateral is attached to the loan like a home, automobile, or other property) to unsecured debt. Because unsecured debt is paid last in a chapter 13 plan, this often means the creditor receives little or no payout during the chapter 13 plan for the unsecured portion. Debts that are not fully repaid during the chapter 13 plan are then discharged. Read more
All Americans have felt the worst economic downturn in American history, since the Great Depression. The affects and repercussions are still being diagnosed, assessed and measured. The damage induced by the Wall Street housing bubble is far more widespread than a weak housing market, negative equity, or high unemployment rates. Read more
Since 2008 the U.S. real estate market has dogged our economic stability. The so-called Great Recession was largely caused by failed exotic mortgages fueled by mortgage-backed securities that created a false value of real estate. Years later, Americans continue to struggle with the resultant negative equity in their homes. Due to foreclosures of many of these doomed properties, home ownership is now the lowest since the great depression. The current low percentage of home-ownership should sound an alarm to American society. Home-ownership, after all, is the bedrock of the American Dream and fuels our economic stability. Yet, the current bankruptcy code is designed to further erode home-ownership.