CAN I ELIMINATE ALL OF MY DEBT THROUGH BANKRUPTCY?

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 www.utahchapter13.com .

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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 www.dlblaw.com

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

WHAT IS A BANKRUPTCY ESTATE?

A bankruptcy “estate” is defined in Title 11 of the United States Code § 541. It is a very broad definition and includes all legal or equitable interests of the debtor in property, wherever located, as of the commencement of the case. It also includes any property in which the debtor has an ownership interest that is recovered by the trustee if it was merely out of the possession of the debtor.

In certain circumstances, property acquired by the debtor within 180 days after the filing of the case may also be considered part of the bankruptcy “estate”. A Utah attorney should be consulted if there is any question as to whether specific property will be included in the bankruptcy “estate” and the Utah exemptions that may be available to the debtor.