Archive for April, 2016

Reducing Vehicle Loan Payments through Chapter 13

“Cramdown” of your vehicle loan can lower monthly payments, reduce the total you pay for your vehicle, and protect you through the process. 

  Our last blog post a couple days ago was about keeping your vehicle by “reaffirming” the vehicle loan under a Chapter 7 “straight bankruptcy.” We ended by stating that reaffirming a vehicle loan can lead to problems. This is especially true if you owe more on the vehicle than it’s worth. We said that a Chapter 13 case “would likely give you more flexibility…  . You may even be able to do a “cramdown,” reducing your…

Keeping Your Vehicle through Chapter 7 Reaffirmation

A reaffirmation agreement is a document you sign excluding your vehicle loan from the legal write-off of your other debts.

  Earlier this month we wrote about the three kinds of debts—secured, priority, and general unsecured. Today we get into secured debts, ones in which something you own secures the debt for the creditor. We start with vehicle loans. Specifically, in a Chapter 7 “straight bankruptcy” case whether you should “reaffirm” your vehicle loan in order to keep the vehicle.

The Reaffirmation Agreement

If you have loan on your vehicle, the lender is almost certainly a lienholder on your vehicle’s…

Debts Unlisted in Your Bankruptcy Case

If you leave any debts unlisted in your “schedules” you risk continuing to owe the debt after your bankruptcy is finished.  

Legal Obligation to List All Creditors

Overall you are required by law to list all your debts and their creditors on your bankruptcy schedules. You can’t do a partial bankruptcy, listing most of your debts but hiding one or two that you don’t want to be affected. You must include every debt on which you are legally obligated.

Debts Not Included May Not Be “Discharged”—Legally Written Off

If you do not include a debt in your formal bankruptcy…

Debts from an Accident While Driving Intoxicated in Utah

Bankruptcy can write off debts for personal injuries and property damage from a vehicle accident. Unless you were driving intoxicated.

Writing Off Debts from Vehicle Accidents  

When you think of debts you want to write off through bankruptcy, credit cards, medical bills, vehicle loans, and such come to mind. These are debts of specific amounts owed on obligations that you entered into voluntarily. But debts can also arise out of more ambiguous obligations, such as claims against you from a vehicle accident.

If you are in an accident, you could be responsible for paying an injured person’s accrued medical bills,…

Which Student Loans Can Be Discharged in Bankruptcy?

You must show “undue hardship” to write off student loans. What does that require?  

Student Loans CAN Sometimes Be Discharged

You may have heard that student loans can never be “discharged”—written off in bankruptcy. Untrue. Some other kinds of debts can’t ever be discharged, such as child and spousal support. But student loans are more like income taxes. Both can be discharged under certain conditions. (See our blog post of last Friday about discharging income taxes.) However, income taxes are usually easier to discharge than student loans. Most of the time you just have to file your tax return and…

Can’t Discharge Unpaid Child or Spousal Support

 Bankruptcy cannot write off child or spousal support. But only if it’s really “in the nature of support.”

Our last blog post was about the conditions under which bankruptcy can discharge—write off—all income tax debts that meet certain conditions. Those conditions are mostly met by the passage of time. In contrast, unpaid child and spousal support is simply not discharged through bankruptcy. Not now. Not ever.

Support is Not Discharged, IF It’s Really Support

There IS one possibility, although admittedly this doesn’t often come into play. The Section of the Bankruptcy Code that defines support refers to a debt “in…

Discharging Income Taxes in Bankruptcy

To permanently write off income taxes, most of the time you just need to meet two conditions.      

Taxes Can Be Discharged (Legally Written Off)

Some special kinds of debts can never be discharged through bankruptcy. Examples are child and spousal support, and criminal fines and restitution. A bankruptcy filing does not write off these kinds of debts.

Income taxes are not like these. Almost all income taxes can be discharged, once a few conditions have been met.

Once the tax you owe meets those conditions, it is discharged exactly like any other debt. The IRS and your state taxing authority…

How to Deal with Criminal Debts in Bankruptcy

Bankruptcy can’t discharge—permanently write off—criminal debts. However bankruptcy can still help in indirect but potentially crucial ways.

If filing a bankruptcy case does not discharge criminal debts, how could it possibly help?

In a number of practical ways, bankruptcy enables you to focus on your criminal defense and to deal with any potential fallout. If you’ve been charged with a significant crime you need to make that your highest priority, financially and emotionally. Here’s how filing bankruptcy can help you do that.

1) Discharge Your Other Debts

If you’ve been charged with a serious crime, you have to figure out…

Debts Not Discharged in Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

Although most debts are discharged—permanently eliminated—in bankruptcy, some are not discharged.

  The vast majority of debts are “discharged”—legally written off—when you file a “straight bankruptcy” Chapter 7 case.

All Debts Discharged Unless Fits an Exception

Bankruptcy law strongly states that as long as you go through the process appropriately your debts will be discharged. That includes all debts unless you have any debts that are on a limited list of the kinds of debts that are not discharged.

Debts that MAY not be Discharged vs. WILL not be Discharged

These exceptions to discharge are of two categories: 1) debts…

Debt Discharge in Bankruptcy

To get a fresh financial start, your most important tool is debt discharge–the permanent legal write-off of your debts.

Whether you file a Chapter 7 “straight bankruptcy” or Chapter 13 “adjustment of debts” with your Cache Valley bankruptcy lawyer, both are designed to finish with a discharge of all or most of your debts. A discharge gives you permanent relief from your debts. It does so by making it illegal for your creditors to take any further collection action on them.

Chapter 7

Most Chapter 7 cases finish in less than 4 months with a court order discharging all or…