Archive for November, 2013

Giving More Thanks for Bankruptcy

Even though it’s already past Thanksgiving, there’s plenty more to be thankful for in the bankruptcy laws.   In the last blog post we covered the following five big benefits of bankruptcy to be thankful for:   #1: The Automatic Stay: immediately stopping virtually all collections procedures against you. #2: The Discharge of Debts: permanently writing off all or most of your debts. #3: Property Exemptions: protecting all or most of your possessions from your creditors. #4: Limited Non-Dischargeability: the exceptions for the discharge of debts are reasonable. #5: Vehicle Loan Reaffirmation:  voluntarily excluding this debt from discharge usually enables you…

Giving Thanks for Bankruptcy

This Thanksgiving, we have much to be thankful for among the basketful of benefits provided by the bankruptcy laws in Utah and in the rest of our Nation.   #1: The Automatic Stay: Bankruptcy stops just about everything that a creditor could do to you or to your property.  It stops garnishment of paychecks and bank accounts, lawsuits, judgments, home foreclosures, tax liens and levies, and vehicle repossessions   Filing bankruptcy stops these if they are in process, and also prevents them from starting in the first place. This protection happens the instant your bankruptcy case is filed. So if your attorney…

Practical Bankruptcy in Utah: Filing without Your Spouse if You Need Different Solutions

Although rare, sometimes the best option is for one spouse to file a Chapter 7 case and the other a Chapter 13 case.   Usually married couples file bankruptcy together. Their debts and assets are intertwined enough that if they both need relief, they need the same kind of relief. The last two blog posts were about situations in which spouses do not file bankruptcy together because one of them does not need its benefits. But what if you both need help, but different kinds of help? After all, two people can have different debts, different assets, and other financial differences,…

Practical Bankruptcy in Utah: Filing without Your Spouse if Most of Debt Is in Your Name

You can file without your spouse if the main reason for doing so is that you believe only you are liable on the debts, but you should be very careful about doing so and get solid legal advice first.   The last blog post listed some situations when you should consider filing a bankruptcy without your spouse. Today’s covers one of those situations. The Benefits of Filing Alone Any decision, including whether to file a bankruptcy case with or without your spouse, involves weighing costs and benefits. The potential benefits of filing alone include:

1) not harming a spouse’s credit record …

Practical Bankruptcy in Utah: Should You File a Chapter 7 Case without Your Spouse?

Although you can file a “joint case” together with your spouse, you are not required to do so. And sometimes the best option is to file alone.   Situations for Filing Bankruptcy without Your Spouse The decision to file a bankruptcy case with your spouse and not just by yourself is often a very easy one. Most of the time you both need relief from creditors, usually because you are both legally obligated on the same debts. You both need to either discharge (legally write off) debts or to get more time to pay certain ones (such as recent income taxes)…

Practical Bankruptcy in Utah: Avoid Not Getting the “Automatic Stay” Because of Previous Bankruptcy Filings

If you filed two bankruptcy cases in the last year that got dismissed, you need to ask the court in order to get the protection of the “stay.”   The Non-Automatic Automatic Stay Imagine if you filed a bankruptcy case but after doing so your creditors could still legally continue collecting on your debts. Our last blog post referred to losing the protection of the automatic stay 30 days after filing a bankruptcy case. This happens if a prior bankruptcy was filed within a year and dismissed (closed), unless before those 30 days expire the debtor satisfactorily explains to the bankruptcy…

Practical Bankruptcy in Utah: Avoid Losing the “Automatic Stay” because of a Previous Bankruptcy Filing

Be prepared to justify why you should be allowed to file a second bankruptcy case within a year, or maybe just wait out the year.    The Automatic Stay One of the most important and immediate benefits of filing bankruptcy is the automatic stay. That’s the federal law that immediately stops creditors from chasing you and your assets when your bankruptcy case is filed. It also usually keeps them from doing so as long as your case is open. You certainly don’t want to miss out on this tremendously important benefit of bankruptcy, especially if you lose it unexpectedly just when…