DO I NEED AN ATTORNEY TO FILE BANKRUPTCY IN UTAH?

In Utah corporations and partnerships must have an attorney to file a bankruptcy case. Individuals, however, may represent themselves in bankruptcy court. However, it is very important that a bankruptcy case be filed and handled correctly.  In Utah contact The Law Office of Douglas Barrett LLC for a FREE Bankruptcy consultation.

HOW DO I FIND A BANKRUPTCY LAWYER?

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 www.bankruptcyguy.com

WILL BANKRUPTCY WIPE OUT ALL MY DEBTS?

Yes, with some exceptions. Utah Bankruptcy will not normally wipe out:

(1) money owed for child support or alimony, fines, and some taxes;
(2) debts not listed on your bankruptcy petition;
(3) loans you got by knowingly giving false information to a creditor, who reasonably relied on it in making you the loan;
(4) debts resulting from ‘‘willful and malicious’’ harm;
(5) student loans, except if the court decides that payment would be an undue hardship;
(6) mortgages and other liens which are not paid in the bankruptcy case (but bankruptcy will wipe out your obligation to pay any additional money if the property is sold by the creditor).

I recommend that you consult with an experienced Utah Bankruptcy Lawyer to determine what your risk and liabilities may be if you file for bankruptcy protection.

IS THE BANKRUPTCY COURT A STATE OR FEDERAL COURT?

The U.S. Bankruptcy Court is part of the federal judiciary. Each of the 94 federal judicial districts handles bankruptcy matters, and in almost all districts, bankruptcy cases are filed in the bankruptcy court. Bankruptcy cases cannot be filed in state court.

Can I transfer my assets to a friend or relative before I file for Bankruptcy?

NO. This is something we call a “fraudulent conveyance”, do not do this, you can get yourself in big trouble. Often right exemption planning ( where you legally arrange your assets to take full advantage of your allowable exemptions) can legally achieve the same results that you are trying to through a fraudulent conveyance. So don’t make a mistake that will cost you a lot more later on. For more information on Utah bankrupcy visit www.dlblaw.com

CAN MY UTILITY COMPANY CUT OFF SERVICES IF I FILE BANKRUPTCY?

Public utilities, such as the electric company, cannot refuse or cut off service because you have filed for bankruptcy in Utah. However, the utility can require a deposit for future service and you do have to pay bills which arise after your bankruptcy is filed. More information regarding Utah bankruptcy can be found at www.dlblaw.com

IN BANKRUPTCY WHAT ARE CLAIMS?

In a broad sense, a claim is any right to payment held by a person or company against the debtor(s) and the debtor’s bankruptcy estate. A claim does not have to be a past due amount but can include an anticipated sum of money which will come due in the future.
The written statement filed in a bankruptcy case setting forth a creditor’s claim is called a Proof of Claim. Under the Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure, with a few limited exceptions, claims filed by creditors, except governmental units, in chapter 7, 12 and 13 cases, must be filed within ninety (90) days after the first date set for the meeting of creditors. More information on Utah bankruptcy can be found at www.dlblaw.com