Southern Utah Bankruptcy Attorney
Are you struggling with debt and feeling overwhelmed? Do you live in the Southern Utah area? Do you have creditors calling you at work or at random inconvenient times? Are you afraid of being sued or having your creditors take your home? Is the stress from not being able to pay debt keeping you up at night? Whether due to a loss of business, divorce, disability, job loss, or even simply a lack of proper financial planning and oversight, financial hardship can cause incredible strain on you and your family and business. Bankruptcy relief exists to help debtors get a second chance by reorganizing and eliminating debt. Regardless of the circumstances surrounding your financial problems or the reasons you may be considering bankruptcy, we are confident that our knowledgeable attorneys can help you find an ideal approach that will allow you to move forward in life.
Tony Jones is a seasoned bankruptcy attorney here at Ruesch & Reeve PLLC, Tony has practiced bankruptcy law for 20 years and has managed cases in Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. He sat on the Board of the Utah Bankruptcy Lawyers Forum from 2006-2015 and served as Vice-president from 2007-2010.
Is Bankruptcy Right for Me?
Deciding whether to file for bankruptcy and what type of bankruptcy, will depend on your financial circumstances and goals. There are three types of bankruptcy we explore with each client during our initial consultation. Chapter 7 offers a way to discharge and eliminate debt but may require the surrender of some assets. Chapter 13 (for individuals) and Chapter 11 (for businesses) involve the reorganization and repayment of debt under the protection of the bankruptcy court.
When you file for bankruptcy, an automatic stay is placed on all collection efforts against you. This can put an immediate stop to:
- Creditor contact and harassment
- Creditor lawsuits
- Wage garnishment
- Car repossession
- Sheriff’s sales
Ruesch & Reeve PLLC can guide you through your bankruptcy options so that you know every advantage and disadvantage of bankruptcy when deciding if bankruptcy is right for you.
With new laws it's not worth it to file for bankruptcy
False. The new law effective October 2005 allows you to quality for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy if your household income is less than your state’s median, or if you pass a “Means Test” to see if you have qualifying, low disposable income.
I have to have a large amount of debt before qualifying for bankruptcy
False. The question to ask is, “Is my debt load overwhelming compared to the amount of disposable income I currently have?”
I will lose everything I own including my car and home
False. Every state has exemptions which allow you to keep bare necessities. Insert link to info below in red. A place to live and a way to drive to work could be considered bare necessities.
It will take at least seven to ten years for my credit to recover from bankruptcy
False. Even with a bankruptcy showing for up to ten years, you can begin to build credit immediately after filing. The national average shows credit can be recovered in as little as eighteen months.
Everyone will think I'm a bad person if I file for bankruptcy
False. Someone must specifically be searching for your bankruptcy to find it in the public record. Always remember that bankruptcy provides relief. It is not a punishment demanded by your creditors. Law makers enacted laws to allow people to financially have a fresh start.
After I file for bankruptcy creditors can still garnish my wages
False. In Chapter 7 bankruptcies any wages you earn after the filing are yours to keep. Chapter 13 bankruptcy includes a pre-approved plan to pay off debt over a specific amount of time. In this case part of your earnings will be applied to your debts.
The following is a list of property that is generally exempt from seizure or collection under Utah law
- Burial plot for you or anyone in your family; ;
- Health aids that are reasonably necessary ;
- Public Benefits such as General Assistance, Social Security, Disability, Unemployment, Worker’s Compensation, ;
- Benefits used for medical, surgical, or hospital care for you and your dependents ;
- Veterans Benefits ;
- Child Support ;
- Alimony and separate maintenance ;
- Money or assets in a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO) ;
- One clothes washer & dryer, refrigerator & freezer, stove & microwave, and sewing machine ;
- All Carpets in use at your house ;
- Food and other provisions sufficient for 12 months for you and your family ;
- Clothing that is reasonably necessary (not including jewelry or fur coats) ;
- Beds and bedding for you and your immediate family ;
- Artwork depicting or produced by you or immediate family (unless such artwork is held as part of a trade or business) ;
- Insurance proceeds, judgment, or settlement that are compensatory for bodily injury or wrongful death to you or to someone for whom you are or were a dependent ;
- Cash value of Life insurance policy ;
- Pensions, IRA, 401(K) plans and retirement plans ;
- Sofas, chairs, and related furnishings reasonably necessary for one household, up to a total value of $500 ;
- Dining and kitchen tables and chairs reasonably necessary for one household, up to $500 per debtor ;
- Animals, books, and musical instruments, up to a total value of $500 ;
- Heirlooms or other items of “particular sentimental value” up to a total value of $500 ;
- Implements, professional books, or tools of your trade, all having a total value not exceeding $3,500 ;
- Motor vehicle (1) not exceeding $2,500 in value, used primarily for daily transportation, and not used for recreational purposes ;
- Cars with equity up to $2,500 ;
- House or primary personal residence with equity up to $20,000 per debtor ;
- Real property that is not primary personal residence with equity up to $5,000 per debtor ;