Archive for May, 2015

Making Sense of Bankruptcy: Understanding Utah Criminal Case Debt Obligations

Bankruptcy can allow you to focus on your criminal defense costs and debts in Utah, as well as potentially avoid other expenses.   Here’s the sentence that we’re explaining in today’s blog post, phrase by phrase:

Criminal fines, fees and restitution can’t be discharged (written-off) through bankruptcy, but if you’re being charged with, or already been convicted of, a significant crime, bankruptcy can discharge your other debts so that you can pay your criminal ones, enable you to pay crucial non-criminal debts and expenses, and either prevent or address related civil lawsuits.  

Criminal vs. Civil Debts There is…

Making Sense of Utah Bankruptcy: Erasing a Judgment Lien from the Title to Your Home in a Chapter 7 “Straight Bankruptcy”

A judgment lien puts a cloud on the title to your Utah home. Bankruptcy can often get rid of the underlying debt and the judgment lien as well.   This is the sentence that we’re explaining today, phrase by phrase:

A judgment lien that attaches to your home can be permanently removed (“avoided”) in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy under certain conditions.

Judgment Liens A judgment lien on your home is dangerous. It is a claim imposed against the equity in your home that arises from a judgment against you. In many circumstances the creditor which got the judgment lien can…

Making Sense of Utah Bankruptcy: Does Filing a Chapter 7 “Straight Bankruptcy” Stop a Home Foreclosure or is a Chapter 13 Needed?

A Utah Chapter 7 case can stop a foreclosure just as well as a usually more complicated Chapter 13 one, but then what?   The sentence that we’re explaining today, phrase by phrase, is the following:

Filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy will stop a pending foreclosure sale and will buy you only a limited amount of time, but that may be enough time to make a deal with your lender to cure the mortgage arrearage, to get a modification to your mortgage, or to leave when it’s convenient for you.

Chapter 7 vs. Chapter 13 To overly simplify,…

Making Sense of Bankruptcy: What Happens if My Chapter 7 Trustee in Utah Wants to Take Something from Me?

You may or may not care if the Utah trustee takes an asset from you, you can fight and/or negotiate, or you can benefit from letting it happen.   Here’s the sentence that we’re explaining today:

Usually in a Chapter 7 case the bankruptcy trustee does NOT take anything from you because everything you have is “exempt,” but if he or she does believe something of yours is not exempt and wants to take it to distribute among your creditors, you can object and get a ruling in your favor, or you can pay to keep your property, …

Making Sense of Utah Bankruptcy: How Can Bankruptcy Write Off My Debts?

If I legally owe debts in Utah, and maybe even have a court judgment saying I do, how can bankruptcy wipe away those debts and erase that judgment?     Here’s the sentence that we’re explaining today: If you are legally obligated to pay a debt, and even if you have had a court confirm that you owe the debt through a judgment in favor of the creditor against you, filing a consumer bankruptcy case and going through the necessary steps to successfully complete the process, results in the “discharge” of that debt forbidding the creditor from ever collecting

Making Sense of Utah Bankruptcy: How Does Chapter 7 Handle the Collateral Securing My Debts?

When you file a  Chapter 7 “straight bankruptcy” case in Utah you can keep and pay for collateral or return it and not pay the debt.   Here’s today’s sentence that we’re explaining to help make sense of bankruptcy:

If a debt is truly secured by collateral you usually have the option of keeping that collateral and paying the debt—likely in full regardless of the value of the collateral—or giving the collateral back to the creditor and usually paying nothing more on that debt.

Verifying that the Collateral Actually Secures the Debt A debt that is legally secured by something…

Making Sense of Utah Bankruptcy: What Is a No-Asset Chapter 7 Case?

Most people who file a Utah Chapter 7 “liquidation” case don’t have anything liquidated because everything they own is protected.   Here’s the sentence we’re explaining today:

A “no-asset” Chapter 7 case is one in which the bankruptcy trustee assigned to your case determines, after reviewing your bankruptcy and related documents and questioning you at the “meeting of creditors,” that either everything you own is covered by property exemptions or whatever that is not is not worth liquidating.

Chapter 7 “Liquidation” When you file a Chapter 7 “straight bankruptcy” usually you have two main goals: 1) to get…

Making Sense of Utah Bankruptcy: Is My Income Low Enough to Pass the “Means Test”?

Most people in Utah qualify to file a Chapter 7 “straight bankruptcy” by having low enough “income.”   Our last blog post a couple days ago was about choosing between Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. As we said, to qualify for filing a Chapter 7 case your income needs to be low enough or your expenses high enough to pass the “means test.” Most people who file a Chapter 7 case have income low enough so that they pass without needing to get to the expenses part of the test. Here’s how to determine whether your income is low enough.…

Making Sense of Utah Bankruptcy: When a Consumer Chapter 7 “Straight Bankruptcy” is Appropriate

Assuming you are a Utah consumer who needs serious relief from your creditors, when should you do a Chapter 7 bankruptcy instead of a Chapter 13 one?   Here’s the sentence we’re explaining today:

If you qualify under the means test, consider filing a Chapter 7 case when you don’t need the extra help of a Chapter 13 case to protect your assets, deal with divorce debts, pay taxes you can’t discharge, catch up on your home mortgage(s) or property taxes, and/or reduce payments on your vehicle loan.

Qualifying under the Means Test To file a…

Making Sense of Bankruptcy in Utah: How to Protect Your Co-Signer

The “co-debtor stay” gives you an extraordinary way in Utah to take care of debts that someone co-signed for you.   In our last blog post a couple days ago we explained the “automatic stay” by discussing the highlighted words of this sentence: Filing a consumer bankruptcy case immediately stops and then prevents almost all actions by creditors against you personally or against your income and assets. But beyond protecting you—the person filing the bankruptcy case—bankruptcy law goes a big step further by also protecting someone who co-signed a debt for you. That co-signer is protected in spite of not…