The Utah Bankruptcy Process Has a Number of Steps
Salcido Law Firm – Guiding You Through the Bankruptcy Process
The bankruptcy process may seem overwhelming to you, but it doesn’t have to be – especially when you have the bankruptcy attorneys of Salcido Law Firm on your side.
We handles all aspect of your personal and business bankruptcy cases and serve all of Utah. You won’t find a more thorough and dedicated team of bankruptcy lawyers in the state.
There are several steps in the bankruptcy process.
First, you should request a free consultation. Meet with one of our lawyers to determine your eligibility for bankruptcy and to have your questions answered.
Second, sign the retainer agreement. After meeting with us for your free consultation and you decide to have Salcido Law Firm represent your interests to help you through the bankruptcy process one of our attorneys will go over our retainer agreement. The retainer agreement is the document that sets forth an attorney client relationship between you and Salcido Law Firm. The Retainer Agreement also sets forth the cost and fees associated with filing for bankruptcy. Salcido Law Firm strives to provide the best bankruptcy services available for a reasonable price. You will certainly find “cheaper” bankruptcy services, but you get what you pay for. We also offer a guarantee that if you find a service that provides less expensive services for an attorney who is as experienced as we are in bankruptcy law, we will match their price. There are also law firms who offer more expensive bankruptcy services, but we are confident that we have set our price schedule to reflect reasonable rates for the type of quality service our Salt Lake City bankruptcy attorneys will provide. Remember, you get what you pay for.
Third, we have to work through gathering information. In order to file for bankruptcy protection you will need to enter the amount of each of your debts and the contact information of each of your creditors. You will also need to enter information relating to your annual income and taxes, your monthly expenses, your assets, and basic personal information such as how many children you have. You will also need to provide your vehicle information. We will ask you to provide certain documentation including copies of your paycheck stubs for the past six (6) months, copies of the registration of each of your vehicles, the last six (6) months of bank statements, copies of your tax returns for the last four (4) years, copies of your W-2s for the past four (4) years, and verification of any charitable contributions you have made int he past 12 months.
Fourth, you will need to do your credit counseling. In a Utah bankruptcy before you can file a petition for bankruptcy protection you will need to take a credit counseling course. Such courses do not last long and you can generally do it in just a couple of hours. Once you completed the credit counseling course you will be issued a certificate of completion. The certificate of completion is then filed with your bankruptcy petition in the bankruptcy court. Salcido Law Firm is your one stop shop for your bankruptcy needs. With our bankruptcy services we include the credit counseling course in our bankruptcy package and we set you up with a preferred provider so that you can complete your credit counseling course as soon as possible and without the need to spend time looking for a course to take.
Fifth, we file the bankruptcy petition. The petition starts the bankruptcy process and once it is filed your creditors are automatically stayed from trying to collect from you. They are limited by the bankruptcy process to recover any amounts owed. The petition is a meaty document which includes all of your financial information. We have to list out all of your secured and unsecured creditors, your debt, your assets, your income, your tax liability, your ownership interests in companies and other relevant financial information. All of this information will allow the U.S. Trustee to evaluate your financial circumstances and determine whether you are indeed eligible for bankruptcy and should be discharged form your debt. The court filing fee to file your bankruptcy petition is several hundred dollars. Currently it is just under $400 and that fee can change at any time as it is the court that determines how much should be paid. There are circumstances in which the fee can be waived. To find out if you qualify to have the filing fee waived talk to one of Salt Lake City bankruptcy attorneys. If you are facing a financial emergency such as the imminent foreclosure of your house, call Salcido Law Firm as we can file a bankruptcy petition for you that same day which will stop the foreclosure, assuming you qualify for bankruptcy protection.
Sixth, we will attend the meeting of creditors. If you file either a Chapter 7 bankruptcy or a Chapter 13 bankruptcy your creditors will receive notice of the pending bankruptcy. Once you file your bankruptcy petition your creditors have to stop their collection efforts and are instead required to go through the bankruptcy process to recover what they can. Your creditors will also be given the opportunity to meet with you and the U.S. Trustee in order to investigate the reasoning for your filing bankruptcy and to attempt to discover their potential for recovery as well as to try to discover any fraud in the bankruptcy process. The creditors obviously do not want you to fraudulently use the bankruptcy process to avoid legitimate debts. This meeting is called the “meeting of creditors” and is permitted under Rule 341 of the Bankruptcy Rules of Procedure. The meeting of creditors will occur approximately 45 days after you file for bankruptcy protection. At that meeting the U.S. Trustee will go over your bankruptcy petition to evaluate your assets and liabilities and your creditors will have the chance to question you on only very basic matter to determine what happened with their loan. It is not a place for interrogation, however, so your creditors cannot solicit testimony from you. Typically your creditors will not show up. Sophisticated lenders realize that if the money isn’t there it isn’t there and won’t waste their time attending a meeting of creditors. The meeting typically does not last very long, only 15 to 20 minutes.
Seventh, in a Chapter 13 bankruptcy we will formulate a repayment plan, which will last from three to five years. Each month for those three to five years you will have to make a payment to the U.S. Trustee who will then disburse the funds to your creditors. This results in a very efficient process and generally works well for the debtor (you) because you only have to worry a bout making one payment. You do not have to worry about paying each of your creditors individually. Further at the end of the repayment period your debt is discharged and you can start fresh.
Eighth, you will need to take a financial management course. When you file for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy or Chapter 13 bankruptcy in Utah there are various requirements that you must meet both before filing and after filing. Before filing you have to attend a credit counseling course and file a certificate of completion of that course with your bankruptcy petition. After filing for bankruptcy you have to attend a financial management course. The course typically only lasts 2 hours and teaches about how to develop an efficient budget, how to better manage your money, the appropriate use of credit, and it provides certain consumer information to help you become a more savvy consumer. Like the credit counseling course, you have file your certification of completion of the financial management course with the bankruptcy court. Providers of the financial management course must be approved by the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Utah. When you hire Salcido Law Firm our helpful attorneys and staff will streamline the process for you so that you don’t have to waste your time searching for an approved provider at a decent cost.
Finally, your debts will be discharged. The ultimate goal of filing a Utah bankruptcy is to achieve a discharge of your debts. The bankruptcy attorneys at Salcido Law Firm guide clients through bankruptcy every day. We take our clients through the gates of financial freedom by helping them get a fresh start through the bankruptcy process. In a Chapter 7 bankruptcy or Chapter 13 bankruptcy you commence the bankruptcy process through the filing of a bankruptcy petition with the Utah bankruptcy court. After the U.S. Trustee has been able to review your entire case which includes all of your assets and liabilities, and once your creditors have the opportunity to intervene if they desire, the U.S. Trustee will approve you to complete the bankruptcy process, which ends with a discharge of your debts. What this means is that your creditors are paid out of the bankruptcy estate and your liability for any remaining debt obligations is removed. In other words, you do not have to pay back those debts. They disappear through the bankruptcy process. In a Chapter 7 proceeding discharges can typically occur within about four months from the date of filing your petition. A Chapter 13 bankruptcy proceeding a little bit different because you are on a Chapter 13 repayment plan which generally lasts from 3 to 5 years. Thus, in Chapter 13 proceedings, your debt is not discharged until you have completed the repayment plan.
Let’s Get Started
The bankruptcy process won’t take that long, especially when Salcido Law Firm is on your side. Give us a call at or 801.413.1753 to set up a free consultation. Email us if you prefer. Either way, we’ll get you started right away.