Bankruptcy in Utah
Utah is a shockingly gorgeous state with steep history and a diversity of residents. What other state could claim Butch Cassidy, the Osmonds, and Roseanne Barr? It's native, Stephen Covey, that we'll focus on today, Stephen Covey and his famous quote, "Begin with the end in mind."
When you consider bankruptcy, begin with the end in mind. The end of bankruptcy is indeed the beginning of a fresh start, a clean slate. You get to start over.
If bankruptcy is on your mind, this article is for you because we'll show you:
- How Utah bankruptcy law protects your assets (and differs from the laws other states);
- Whether you should file Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy;
- How to find and select a bankruptcy lawyer; and
- How to prepare to work with a bankruptcy attorney.
How Utah Bankruptcy Law Differs and Protects Your Assets
Utah has its own set of bankruptcy exemptions, which outline the property you can keep and still get a fresh start. These exemptions are different in Utah than in any other state.
- $20,000 of home equity for individual filers and $40,000 for married filers is protected.
- $2,500 of equity in motor vehicles for individual filers and $5,000 for married filers is protected.
- Clothing, household items, and personal items are protected within certain limits.
There are also state protections for wages, alimony, child support, insurances, public benefits, and tools of the trade. Ask you bankruptcy attorney how these exemptions apply to your individual situation.
Your Choices in Filing Bankruptcy in Utah: Chapter 7 or Chapter 13
You will be asked to provide all of your financial details to your lawyer and rightly so. These details determine whether you are eligible to file bankruptcy under Chapter 7 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code or whether Chapter 13 is the better fit.
Specifically, the decision is typically based upon your income, type of debts, amount of debts, life expenses, and goals.
- Chapter 7 is over in 6 months and discharges credit card bills, medical bills, and personal loans.
- Chapter 13 takes 3 to 5 years and may discharge some debts and includes a repayment plan to pay off other debts.
Both offer an end to creditor harassment and a clean slate.
How to Find and Select a Bankruptcy Attorney
Unless your neighbors are famous and lose $80 million like the Osmonds did, you may not know that they have had financial difficulties and filed bankruptcy. This means that it's sometimes hard to get a personal referral.
If you can get a referral, by all means, take it. Otherwise, search out an attorney through the local bar association and the Internet. To find an attorney who is licensed in Utah and focuses practice on bankruptcy, enter "Find a Utah Bankruptcy Attorney" in the search engine.
How to Prepare to Work with a Bankruptcy Attorney
Remember Stephen Covey's words, "Begin with the end in mind." As you begin to wade through the financial paperwork that has become your life, remember the goal, a fresh start.
Collect and organize the documentation for your assets, income, debts, contracts, and any repayments you've already made. You will be asked to fill out lengthy forms. It's worth it.