Archive for August, 2013

Practical Bankruptcy: Stopping a Vehicle Repossession with Chapter 7 in Utah

Filing a “straight bankruptcy” Chapter 7 case stops the repo man even if he’s about to grab your car or truck. What happens next, and do you really want to keep that car when you can walk away owing nothing?   The moment your bankruptcy case is filed, the “automatic stay” of federal bankruptcy law is imposed on your creditors, stopping all of their collection activity. In our last blog we showed how that applied to phone calls from creditors, their lawsuits and garnishments. Vehicles present a special situation. Step by step, how does the automatic stay stop the repossession? How…

Practical Bankruptcy: A Utahn’s Immediate and Broad Protection from Creditors

How filing bankruptcy immediately protects you and your assets from collection attempts by your creditors.   The “automatic stay” of federal bankruptcy law stops virtually everything that your creditors could do against you, starting the moment your case is filed and throughout the time the case is open.  But how does this actually work? How can it be immediately effective? What happens if a creditor doesn’t know about it?  Or what if it knows but disregards your bankruptcy filing and tries to get a judgment or continues to garnish your wages? The Example The best way to show how this works…

Declines in Educated Americans’ Income After the Great Recession — Can you be a Student without a Loan?

Income has gone down since the official end of the recession in spite of more education.  Why does Utah have  one of the most educated Citizenry in America and one of the Highest Bankruptcy Rates?    The last blog introduced a report released last week by Sentier Research, a data-analysis company. The report was authored by former high officials and statisticians of the U.S. Census Bureau, using the Bureau’s data. Its general results are eye-opening enough: the nation’s median income went down not just during the official recession but even more so during the supposed recovery, and that this…

It’s Not Just You–The Income of Utahns Has Been Declining While Real Inflation has been Increasing During the “Recovery”

Not only have our incomes continued to go down since the recession officially ended, they’ve gone down more than they did during the recession. On top of that add under reported inflation, and you have the inverse of the misery index of the 1970’s.     The recession officially ended June 2009. But since then we have had the weakest recovery since the Great Depression, eight decades earlier. A report released last Wednesday, August 21, 2013, confirms what you have likely been feeling: household income, which fell steeply during the official recession, continued falling after the “recovery” began. According to respected…

The Basics: How a Chapter 13 Case is Completed in Utah

Considering the length of a Chapter 13 case, and also its many advantages, you need to know what it takes to successfully finish it.   After filing a Chapter 13 “adjustment of debts” bankruptcy case, attending its “meeting of creditors,” and getting court approval of your plan at the “confirmation hearing,” your case is on its way. Besides making your plan payments each month, what else has to happen before your case is completed? “Debtor Education” Just as in Chapter 7, besides completing a “credit counseling” class—usually done online before filing bankruptcy– after filing you must also complete a “debtor…

The Basics: Chapter 7 From Filing to Finish

Before getting into something, you should know how to see it through to the end. Like what it takes to successfully complete a Chapter 7 bankruptcy case in Utah.   After filing a Chapter 7 “straight bankruptcy case” and going through the “meeting of creditors” about a month later, in many cases at that point just about all of the work is done. It’s just a matter of waiting another two months or so after that “meeting” for your debts to be formally “discharged” (written off) and the case to be closed. But even in simple cases there is a…

The Basics: The Chapter 13 “Confirmation Hearing” for Utah Debtors

In Utah, you almost never attend the “confirmation hearing,” it may take only a few seconds, but it’s crucial because there your plan gets airborne.   The Chapter 13 Plan As we said in the last blog about the “meeting of creditors,” a Chapter 13 “adjustment of debts” case is all about “the plan.” The plan is a roadmap, proposed by you and your attorney, which outlines who you will pay, how much, and when. It’s based on a detailed set of bankruptcy laws which rather tightly govern your rights as to your creditors, but also provide some measure of…

The Basics: The Chapter 13 “Meeting of Creditors” in Ogden for Logan and Northern Utah residents

The “meeting of creditors” is for finding any kinks in your payment plan, and hopefully straightening them out.   Chapter 13 “adjustment of debts” is all about “the plan.” The Chapter 13 plan is a detailed statement of who you will pay, how much, and when, and also includes a bunch of related commitments. Everything about the Chapter 13 process, including its so-called “meeting of creditors,” revolves around getting the plan approved by the bankruptcy judge, and put into practice. As such, the “meeting of creditors” is the opportunity to meet a representative of the Chapter 13 trustee, see what if…

Fall 2013 Financial Peace University Class Slated

We have a new Dave Ramsey Financial Peace University Class slated to begin 22 August 2013 at 7:00 p.m.   This is the new 9 week course that debuted last year.  The class will be held at our office downstairs in a large meeting room.  The address is 95 West 100 South, Suite 240.  It is the Century Square office building behind Ellen Eccles Theater and across the intersection from Logan High School.  We don’t charge anything for the class.  To attend you simply need to purchase the materials from Dave Ramsey for between $100 and $150.   The materials come with…

The Basics: The Chapter 7 “Meeting of Creditors” in Ogden for Logan and Northern Utah Debtors

The Basics: The Chapter 7 “Meeting of Creditors” In most Chapter 7 “straight bankruptcy” cases the “meeting” is short and straightforward. But you do need to take it seriously.  You may have already heard—in just about every Chapter 7 bankruptcy case, you will NOT have to go to court. But you DO go to a formal meeting, usually lasting 5 to 15 minutes, called misleadingly the “meeting of creditors.” You may hear it also referred to as the “341 hearing,” named after the section of the Bankruptcy Code which addresses it. Understanding what this meeting is all about should help…