Income Tax Refunds and Utah Bankruptcy

Some people come to see their income tax refunds as a yearly bonus. In reality these refunds are usually caused by a taxpayer having paid too much in taxes during the past year. Sometimes people have even come to rely upon these refunds for planned yearly spending to catch up on bills, go on vacation, buy necessities, etc. Because of this reliance upon income tax refunds, those looking at filing for bankruptcy are often dismayed to find that the bankruptcy court may seize part or all of their refunds. How might this be avoided?

The first thing someone looking to file bankruptcy must understand is the idea of the “bankruptcy estate.” Every asset they have, or have the right to receive, at the time they file their bankruptcy is filed is considered a part of the bankruptcy estate. Every asset, to the extent not considered exempt, is subject to being taken by the bankruptcy trustee to distribute to the debtor’s creditors. Avoiding this taking of assets is one of the goals the person looking to file for bankruptcy, and should be the goal for an experienced bankruptcy attorney.

The best way to avoid loss of the refund is to work with an experienced bankruptcy attorney. At the Law Office of Douglas Barrett, LLC we can help you determine when to file your tax return and when to file for bankruptcy protection. There are a many, many, many possible pitfalls for the unsuspecting bankruptcy filer in Utah. Visit us at for more information

Why should I file a Preemptive Bankruptcy?

The following are situations in which someone might want to consider bankruptcy as an option when faced with litigation where:
• the outcome is not likely to be favorable;
• the cost of defense is crippling;
• the possibility of a judgment in excess of the Chapter 13 debt limits; or
• findings of fraud are likely.
Waiting until the end of the litigation may be too late for relief in bankruptcy from adverse consequences.  However, as with all such matters, consulting a Bankruptcy Attorney early in the process is the best idea. More information on Utah Bankruptcy can be found at



The simple answer is no. For the most part, credit card debt is generally subject to discharge, but in some instances it may not be. For example, credit that was issued based on fraudulent information by the debtor will not be discharged. Other debt, such as child support, spousal maintenance, and outstanding taxes will likewise not be discharged. The only way to know about your personal situation is to discuss your case with a bankruptcy attorney. In Utah you can find a consumer bankruptcy attorney on the web at .

How Do I Get Personalized Bankruptcy Service?

I was recently asked this question by a lady who called my office.  She had been getting the run around from a Bankruptcy Mill.  These are places that try and do as many bankruptcy cases as they can to turn a profit – some of these places are not even lawyers they are paperwork prepares.

You Deserve Personalized Bankruptcy Service!

It is important to realize that filing Bankruptcy is a lot like a dating, if you do not choose the right person it is destined for failure. That is not to say that you won’t get your Bankruptcy discharge if you use a Bankruptcy Mill, but rather that the Bankruptcy Process will be a lot more stressful than it should be. If you work with a bankruptcy attorney that you trust and that you know is there with you every step of the way, the Bankruptcy Process is a lot less stressful! If you are filing for Bankruptcy, you already have enough stress in your life, why add to it? You deserve personalized service during this stressful time! You deserve a Bankruptcy Attorney who limits the number of clients taken on each month so that you can be provided with personalized service!

Schedule Your Free Personalized Bankruptcy Strategy Session Today!

If you are ready to file for Bankruptcy and want the personalized service that you deserve, contact me today for your FREE Bankruptcy Strategy Session, by calling me at (801) 221-9911. I limit the number of clients I take on each month so that I can give each of them the personalized service you deserve.

You Can You Declare Bankruptcy by Saying It in Public?

In an episode of The Office, when Michael Scott’s finances are tight, he screams, “I declare bankruptcy!” His accountant Oscar says, “Hey, I just want you to know that you can’t just say the word bankruptcy and expect anything to happen.” Michael replies, “I didn’t say it, I Declared It.” Of course, Oscar is right. Filing for bankruptcy requires preparing numerous documents, taking classes and paying a filing fee.  Sometime I wonder if congress purposefully created so many requirements just to limit the number of bankruptcies that are filed.  I know there are a lot of people who should file a bankruptcy but do not choose to do so because it seems overwhelming.  It does not need to be that way – a competent bankruptcy attorney can help you make the process doable and the right step for you.  In Utah visit us on the web at


As with any area of the law, it is important to carefully select an attorney who will respond to your situation. The attorney should not be too busy to meet you individually and to answer questions as necessary. The best way to find a trustworthy bankruptcy attorney is to seek recommendations from family, friends or other members of the community, especially any attorney you know and respect. You should carefully read retainers and other documents the attorney asks you to sign. You should not hire an attorney unless he or she agrees to represent you throughout the case. Remember when you meet with an attorney you are hiring someone to work for you. Ask them questions just like you were conducting a job interview, consider asking:

• Where they went to school?
• How long they have been an attorney?
• How long they have practiced in the field of bankruptcy?
• How many bankruptcy cases do they file a year?
• Ask if you have a problem, can you call them directly to discuss the problem?

In bankruptcy, as in all areas of life, remember that the person advertising the cheapest rate is not necessarily the best. Document preparation services a/k/a ‘‘typing services’’ or ‘‘paralegal services’’ involve non-lawyers who offer to prepare bankruptcy forms for a fee. Problems with these services often arise because non-lawyers cannot offer advice on difficult bankruptcy cases and they offer no services once a bankruptcy case has begun. There are also many shady operators in this field, who give bad advice and defraud consumers.

When first meeting a bankruptcy attorney, you should be prepared to answer the following questions:

• What types of debt are causing you the most trouble?
• What are your significant assets?
• How did your debts arise and are they secured?
• Is any action about to occur to foreclose or repossess property or to shut off utility service?
• What are your goals in filing the case?

To schedule an appointment with a experienced Utah attorney for a free consumer bankruptcy consultation visit my website


Under limited circumstances, a creditor may be able to block a bankruptcy discharge of his debt. For example, if a creditor can prove that he gave a loan in reasonable reliance on a financial statement which was false in important details and given with the intent to deceive him, he may avoid having the debt discharged. If a creditor tries to avoid the discharge for this reason and fails, the bankruptcy judge may order the creditor to pay for the debtor’s attorney fees and costs in defending the action.

These are just examples of problems that may occasionally arise in a bankruptcy proceeding. They are among the many matters which you should discuss in detail with your attorney prior to filing for bankruptcy.