Trusted Bankruptcy Attorneys in Salt Lake City, Utah
For nearly two decades, the experienced Salt Lake City bankruptcy attorneys at Utah’s Lawyers have provided customized legal solutions for individuals, families, and businesses throughout Utah who are struggling with financial challenges.
We understand when people begin to search for a bankruptcy attorney, they are facing financial difficulties that cause significant stress, anxiety, and even personal or professional consequences which seem insurmountable.
Our Salt Lake County bankruptcy attorneys want to help you put an end to the late fees and interest charges that are weighing you down and stop the collection notices and harassing phone calls that are disrupting your quality of life.
You deserve a fresh start. Depending on your unique financial circumstances, we may be able to help. Contact our Salt Lake City bankruptcy lawyers today to discover the legal remedies that are available to you, so you can take back control of your life.
What are the Different Types of Bankruptcy in Utah?
- Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
To qualify for relief under chapter 7 bankruptcy, the debtor may be an individual, a partnership, a corporation, or another business entity.
Chapter 7 bankruptcy is a form of asset liquidation, where a trustee is appointed to assist with the sale of assets to repay creditors with a percentage of the proceeds. Other debts may be discharged or forgiven. Debts that may not be discharged during a chapter 7 bankruptcy in Utah include student loans, back taxes, and alimony or child support arrears.
- Chapter 11 Bankruptcy in Utah
Chapter 11 is typically used to reorganize a business, which may be a corporation, partnership, or sole proprietorship.
Corporations exist separate and apart from their owners, the stockholders, so chapter 11 filings do not put the personal assets of the stockholders at risk — other than the value of their investment in the company’s stock.
Partnerships, like corporations, exist separate and apart from their partners. However, during a chapter 11 bankruptcy filing, the partners’ personal assets may, in some cases, be used to pay creditors, or the partners may be forced to file for bankruptcy protection themselves.
Sole proprietorships do not have an identity separate and distinct from their owner. This means a chapter 11 bankruptcy case will include both the business and personal assets of the owners-debtors.
Chapter 11 bankruptcy is designed in a reorganization format that involves a trustee who oversees a repayment plan, instead of asset liquidation, which is submitted to a court for approval. The court can approve, alter, or suggest a new plan. These plans can last anywhere from three to five years.
- Chapter 12 Bankruptcy in Utah
Chapter 12 bankruptcy is like Chapter 11 bankruptcy, except that it is specifically designed only for family farmers or family fishers who have regular annual incomes. It is not meant for larger companies or corporations. Under chapter 12, the filing debtor proposes a repayment plan to make installment payments to creditors for all or part of their debts over three to five years.
- Chapter 13 Bankruptcy in Utah
Chapter 13 bankruptcy is like chapter 11 and 12 bankruptcies in format, but for all other individuals — not for family farmers, fishers, larger companies, or corporations. It enables individuals with regular incomes to develop a plan to repay all or part of their debts by making installment payments to creditors over three to five years.
How Do I Know If I Am Eligible to File for Bankruptcy in Utah?
When filing for bankruptcy in Utah, individuals must complete the federal bankruptcy means test to qualify for Chapter 7 relief or to establish payment plans for Chapter 13.
The U.S. Bankruptcy Code requires the qualifying dollar amounts and limitations listed on the means test to be adjusted by state based on median family incomes.
These figures must be adjusted every three years to account for inflation. Effective April 1, 2022, the amounts increased by 11%.
The updated U.S. Census Bureau median family incomes for Utah are:
- One Earner: $70,425
- Two People $77,219
- Family of Three: $90,629
- Family of Four: $101,146
Additional changes that went into effect on April 1, 2022, include:
- Maximum Amount of Unsecured Debt to File Chapter 13 Bankruptcy: $465,275
- Maximum Amount of Unsecured Debt to File Chapter 13 Bankruptcy: $1,395,875
- Maximum Value of Assets Exempt from Individual Retirement Accounts: $1,512,350
- Small Business Total Debt: $3,024,725
Filing for bankruptcy can be extremely challenging, especially if you are unsure about how our Utah bankruptcy laws and the federal codes apply to your unique financial circumstances. We can help you understand your legal rights and options, so you can make informed decisions about your financial future.
Do Married Couples Have to File for Bankruptcy Together in Utah?
The short answer is, no. Utah law does not require you to file a joint petition with your spouse, so the choice is yours.
When determining whether to file jointly, or as an individual, spouses should consider both their current debt and their long-term financial goals. For most married couples, filing a joint bankruptcy claim makes sense when they share significant debt, or filing separately if one spouse enters the marriage with a significant amount of debt.
Other considerations include whether one spouse’s income impacts the other’s ability to qualify for bankruptcy, or if they want to avoid damaging one spouse’s credit, so they may purchase a new home or other large ticket items sooner than later.
Filing for bankruptcy is a deeply personal decision. Our skilled Salt Lake City bankruptcy attorney can walk you through the legal options that are right for you and your family, so you can get your life back on track.
Can My Utah Bankruptcy Petition Be Denied?
Yes. When a Utah bankruptcy petition is denied, it means the filer will still be liable for all debts, essentially leaving the filing ineffective.
Common reasons bankruptcies are denied include concealing, destroying, or falsifying financial information related to the filing. This is typically the result of failing to disclose all financial information, or hiding income, assets, or other property.
The other obvious reasons, like lying or attempting to defraud the Utah bankruptcy courts, will end in the case being denied.
One of the easiest ways to avoid having your bankruptcy discharge denied is to establish a partnership with a skilled bankruptcy lawyer in Salt Lake City, so your full, open, and honest application is presented to the court with confidence.
Experienced Attorneys, Real Results: We are Utah’s Lawyers, Heugly & Bludworth Attorneys at Law
At Utah’s Lawyers, our dedicated Salt Lake City bankruptcy attorneys provide unique legal insight and customized strategies that allow individuals, families, and businesses to confidently outline solutions for their ongoing financial challenges.
We are here to deliver tailored legal solutions that fit your unique needs.