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 www.dlblaw.com

 

Press Release: 2015 Utah Legal Elite

Douglas L. Barrett, for the tenth consecutive year, has been named as one of the “Legal Elite” lawyers in the State of Utah in a recent poll conducted by Utah Business, a state-wide publication. The announcement was made in the March 2015 Legal Resource Guild of the magazine.
The “Legal Elite” represent those Utah lawyers who their peers believe are the very best in their respective areas of practice. Barrett was selected for his expertise in “bankruptcy law.”
Mr. Barrett opened his own bankruptcy practice in Orem in 2001. He is well known for his aggressive representation of consumer debtors. During the past several years he has helped thousands of people file for bankruptcy protection in the U.S. Bankruptcy Courts. He is a member of the Utah State Bar Association, the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys and has been a frequent speaker on consumer bankruptcy law and personal finance issues throughout the state.

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.
For more Utah bankruptcy information 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 HERE.

WHAT IS THE BANKRUPTCY “MEANS TEST”?

Your eligibility for bankruptcy protection is determined in part by your household income. The Bankruptcy Code requires that you calculate your median income by looking at your gross income earned by you, your spouse and any other working member of your household during the 6 months proceeding the current month. You then have to add up all the income and divide by 6 to arrive at a number. This number is then compared to a median income table provided to us by the Census Bureau and the United States Trustee’s office. This calculation is called the “median income test.”
If you are over the median income, then a presumption of abuse arises as to your eligibility for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy and you must proceed to perform additional calculations (these additional calculations are called the “means test.”).
The addition of the median income and the means test to the consumer bankruptcy process has made bankruptcy a lot more complicated both for lawyers and for individuals. Many lawyers who used to handle bankruptcy cases no longer do so because of the complexity of the median income/means test process. My best advice is to speak with an experienced lawyer about your case. Ask the lawyer how long they have been filing bankruptcy cases for clients and how many cases they file a year. As with most things in life, experience matters. An experience Utah bankruptcy lawyer can be found at www.dlblaw.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.

WHAT ARE BANKRUPTCY JUDGES? HOW ARE THEY APPOINTED?

A U.S. bankruptcy judge is a judicial officer of the U.S. district court who is appointed by the majority of judges of the U.S. court of appeals to exercise jurisdiction over bankruptcy matters. The number of bankruptcy judges is determined by Congress. The Judicial Conference of the United States is required to submit recommendations from time to time regarding the number of bankruptcy judges needed. Bankruptcy judges are appointed for 14-year terms. More information on Utah Bankruptcy can be found at www.dlblaw.com