Archive for June, 2013

Getting Out of a Chapter 13 Case Filed Jointly with Your Ex-Spouse

If you are married and are in a Chapter 13 case with your spouse, what are the options for one or both of you changing or leaving the case?     A Chapter 13 “adjustment of debts” case usually lasts three to five years. A lot can happen in that length of time. If you filed the case jointly with your spouse but are now experiencing marital difficulties, what are your options? There are many ways to get out of a jointly filed Chapter 13 case. Dismissal You can almost always dismiss a Chapter 13 case. That is, you can just voluntarily…

CAN You File a Bankruptcy After Divorce and After a Previous Bankruptcy?

There are special considerations if you filed bankruptcy before your divorce and now need to think about filing another one.  In the last blog we introduced three very practical suggestions to consider if you are now hurting financially and you and/or your ex-spouse filed a bankruptcy at some point BEFORE your divorce. Although the rules about when you can file a new bankruptcy case are not directly affected by your divorce, knowing the quirks in the timing laws and how they may particularly apply in the post-divorce context may make all the difference for you. Were You, In Fact, a

Does Divorce Affect WHEN You Can File a Bankruptcy If You Filed an Earlier One with Your Ex-Spouse?

There are special considerations if you filed bankruptcy before your divorce and now need to think about filing another one.   Divorce usually results in a major financial hit no matter how well or badly you fared in the divorce decree. Even if you and your ex-spouse filed bankruptcy sometime before the divorce—to deal with the fallout from the Great Recession, for example—you may be seriously considering bankruptcy again after the divorce. There are some relatively clear rules about when you can file a bankruptcy after doing one earlier. In this blog we’ll cover those rules briefly, and make clear that…

Q&A on Divorce and Bankruptcy

  Here are the direct answers to some important threshold questions about bankruptcy and divorce.   Q: If you and your spouse are considering getting divorced, can you both still file a bankruptcy together? A: Yes, as long as you are still legally married you can legally file a joint bankruptcy. But whether you should is not a simple question. Sometimes it’s a wise step. Other times it could be a disaster. At the very least, you and your about-to-be ex-spouse should get thorough, independent legal advice about it. Q: If you are still legally married, can one of the spouses…

Should You File a Bankruptcy With a Spouse When Planning on Divorcing?

Under the Bankruptcy Code and other Utah laws, they CAN file a joint bankruptcy. SHOULD they? Do they need separate bankruptcy attorneys?   They CAN File Together A “joint case” is defined by the Bankruptcy Code as simply one filed “by an individual… and such individual’s spouse.” “Spouse” is not defined in the Code, but could only possibly refer to someone who is legally married to the “individual.” So, spouses contemplating divorce can file bankruptcy together according to bankruptcy law. Debts and Assets Are as of the Date of Filing The hidden question is whether it’s better to file…

What Are the Odds of an Audit of Your Bankruptcy Case?

By law a certain number of cases must be audited for debtors’ “material misstatements.” But how does 0% chance of being audited sound to you?   Our last blog referred to an ongoing system of independent audits of Chapter 7 and 13 cases looking for “material misstatements” by the individuals filing those cases. What are these audits looking for, what are your odds of getting audited, and why are these audits not worth worrying about—at least not today? Purpose of the Audits The intent of these audits was to combat fraud by consumers filing bankruptcy. The passage of the 2005…

What Constitutes a Bankruptcy Crime in Utah? Are You in Danger of Committing One?

What you do and do not need to be worried about when it comes to “bankruptcy crimes” This is the last in a series of three blogs about crimes and bankruptcy. The first blog was about how bankruptcy can help deal with one of the potential consequences of a criminal accusation against you, specifically to fight false or exaggerated claims by alleged victims. The second blog was about using bankruptcy as a way to help deal both with the legal costs of defending criminal charges and with a criminal conviction’s financial impact. Today’s blog is about potential crimes arising out…

Charged with a Crime? Consider Bankruptcy Because of Its INDIRECT Benefits

Bankruptcy can’t write off criminal fines or restitution. But it can help in other crucial ways.   Our last blog was about how bankruptcy can help deal with the consequences of a criminal accusation against you, specifically in fighting claims by alleged victims. But bankruptcy can be an essential option in much broader ways. Focus Your Financial Resources on Your Criminal Defense The first way bankruptcy can help is by writing off (“discharging”) all or most of your current debts so that you can concentrate all your available resources on defeating the criminal accusations. If you have been charged with…