Chapter 7 Bankruptcy In Utah

Nothing is more stressful than to be in deep financial troubles, plus non-stop phone calls from creditors threatening you with lawsuits. Whatever the reason you fall behind on your bills, mortgages, and other financial obligations, you don’t have to go through this traumatic experience.

If you are in debt and have no or few non-exempt assets, filing Chapter 7 Bankruptcy may be the best alternative for you.

So, how does it work?

First of all, you need to understand what Chapter 7 bankruptcy in the state of Utah means. After then, you can determine if you are qualified to file such a case. Secondly, you have to know the importance of hiring experienced bankruptcy lawyers to assist you in these challenging times. If you think that working with bankruptcy professionals will cost you more with charges, that may be a bad idea. In our years of experience in this kind of case, we have witnessed our clients who actually saved money, which you will find out why as we walk you through what you should expect in filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

What is Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?

Unlike Chapter 13 bankruptcy where you need valuable assets to qualify, Chapter 7 cases are preferred by creditors who have no or few non-exempt assets. Also in Chapter 13, you must pay on a monthly basis for three to five years, depending on your repayment plan. But with Chapter 7, you are given a “fresh start” without the burden of making monthly payments for the distribution to your creditors. 

Chapter 7 allows the trustee to collect and sell all your non-exempt assets, pay you any amount exempted and then pay your creditors with the net amount of your liquidation, plus a commission for the trustee who is overseeing your case. Note that certain debts under Chapter 7 cannot be discharged as follows:

  • Alimony
  • Child support
  • Fraudulent debts
  • Student loan
  • Fines and penalties for violating the law (traffic tickets, criminal restitution)
  • Recent income tax debts (within 3 years), and other tax debts

In most cases in Chapter 7, you are able to completely eliminate all of your debts such as large credit card debt, medical bills, and other unsecured bills, as well as a few assets. However, one of the risks of this case is losing some of your exempt assets if you do not have non-exempt assets like electronics with values that are worth selling. That is why it is important to know which assets are exempt and non-exempt. Furthermore, note that the value of your non-exempt assets is not what you originally paid for, but what they could be sold at an auction. In other words, they cost much lower than what you paid for when you bought them because their value depreciates.

What are important exemptions?

  • $500 for sofas and related furnishings ($1,000 for joint filers).
  • Up to $2,500 of equity (value minus debt) in a vehicle ($5,000 for joint filers).
  • Your 401(k) plan, IRA, KEOUGH or other ERISA qualified plan.
  • Unlimited amount of equity in washer, dryer, microwave, stove, refrigerator, freezer, sewing machine, carpets in use, beds and bedding, family clothing, and 12 months of provisions.
  • Up to $20,000 of equity in your home ($40,000 for joint filers).

What assets can you lose?

  • Luxury items, including luxury household goods
  • Income tax refunds
  • Funds in your bank account on the date that you filed
  • Non-business related tools
  • Accounts receivable, if you are self-employed
  • Vehicles, if there is equity over the protected amount
  • Business related tools over the protected amount

Benefits of Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

Chapter 7 can be completed three to six months after filing. After then, your debt can be removed and you are allowed to start anew.

 

  1. Lower attorney fees
  2. No repayment plan
  3. You don’t need to pay monthly for three to five years.
  4. When you file, any income after filing is yours.
  5. No debt limits

Why do you need a bankruptcy attorney?

Of course you can file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy without an attorney especially if your case is simple. But in any case, hiring an experienced lawyer is a good idea. 

 

  • Chapter 7 cases are different and it is more complex if you own a business. In this case, hiring a lawyer is the best decision you could ever make. Along with this, working with bankruptcy professionals is also favorable for you if you have a significant amount of assets, have income above the median level in Utah, and have creditors who can file lawsuits against you.
  • Filing Chapter 7 can be time-consuming and intimidating especially if you have little knowledge about the law. There are certain processes that you need to accomplish – from accurately filling out forms to attending hearings. But if you hire an attorney, who is an expert about such cases, you can free yourself from frustrations and stress.
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