Every person or couple who files for bankruptcy must go through a legal process. Once you begin this process, it will help determine the magnitude of your debt problem, whether or not you should file, and what kind of bankruptcy would benefit you most. Additionally, this process helps protect you from aggressive creditors and misunderstandings. It can be a bit detailed, but if you need to file for bankruptcy in Utah, you need to know a few things about the process.
STEP ONE: ATTEND UTAH BANKRUPTCY COUNSELING
Before you are allowed to file for bankruptcy, you must attend credit counseling. This is a straightforward course that teaches efficient finance- and debt-management; you will be taught how to determine whether or not you will be able to pay off any debts you may incur in a timely manner, how to avoid getting into trouble by amassing debt you cannot repay, and how to relieve yourself of your debt, among other useful things. You may be called upon to make a debt management plan for yourself; at this point, you must decide whether or not you want to go forward with your plan to file for bankruptcy. This course must be attended within six months prior to your filing date; it is best to do this as soon as you can.
STEP TWO: BANKRUPTCY INFORMATION AND DETERMINATION
In order to ensure that your bankruptcy is based on accurate information, thereby avoiding legal disciplinary action, you must gather information and fill out paperwork. This paperwork is simply a summary of your financial situation, including a list of your creditors, the amounts of debt you owe, your average income, and other relevant pieces of information. Once you have gathered all of your required information, you must take the Means Test; this is a simple test that uses that information (and a bit of math) to determine whether or not you qualify for a Chapter 7. If you do qualify, you will have the option to do so; however, you are not required to file a 7 if you’d rather file a 13.
STEP THREE: FILING BANKRUPTCY DOCUMENTS AND MEETINGS
The actual act of filing is not a difficult one. You will need to appear in court and meet with your attorney, but once you have filed, you will be granted an automatic stay. This means that your creditors will not be allowed to contact you or harass you in any way. You will be able to go forward without worrying about your creditors. You will also be required to meet with your creditors to discuss your bankruptcy or negotiate with them. As long as you have been fully honest about your situation and your assets, your bankruptcy filing process should go smoothly; all you need to do is follow procedure.
This is a very basic step-by-step list of the things that need to occur for you to file for bankruptcy in Utah. For more specific details as they pertain to your case, please call us at 801-394-2336 to schedule your free, bankruptcy consultation.