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How Much Is It To File Bankruptcy In Utah

Utah Bankruptcy Means Test

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This is the test that makes sure that people are not abusing the Utah bankruptcy laws by filing Chapter 7 in Utah even though they do have the ability to pay at least some of their debts. The Utah means test for bankruptcy first compares your income with the median household income for a household of your size in Utah. If you are below this income limit, you pass the means test and can move forward with a Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Utah. If you make more than that, the second part of means test calculation may nevertheless allow you to qualify for Chapter 7 relief, if it shows that you do not have the ability to pay your creditors.

Data on Median income levels for Utah

Utah Median Income Standards for Means Test for Cases Filed On or After May 1,2021
Household Size

How Often Can You File Bankruptcy

The National Bankruptcy Forum in discussing this issue may have said it best on the question of how often can you file bankruptcy? As explained on their website:

While you can file bankruptcy as many times as you like, you can only receive a discharge every so often. Wiping away debts and getting a fresh start through the bankruptcy discharge is the primary goal of most debtors. The question then is not really how often can you file bankruptcy? as much as it is how often can you receive a discharge of debts through bankruptcy?

Receiving a discharge of debts after filing bankruptcy can be a huge relief, but sometimes it might be only a temporary reprieve. As the years pass, the bills might start piling up again, and unexpected events like illness or layoffs can overwhelm your finances all over again. In these circumstances, the question how often can you file bankruptcy? is relevant. The answer to that question may feel a bit complicated since it varies depending on what chapter of bankruptcy you filed previously, and what chapter you currently qualify for.

Please see the table below for a clearer breakdown of how often you can file bankruptcy:

Past Bankruptcy

Qualifying For Chapter 7

The means test often determines your eligibility to file Chapter 7. Your annual household income must be below the state average. This figure, which is usually about $95,000 for a family of four, changes every few months. Some regional variations apply. For example, the cost of living is higher in the Ogden/Salt Lake City/Provo region than it is in other areas.

Some other qualifications apply as well. Sometimes, these rules are unwritten. For example, if you file for Chapter 7 despite earning more income than you owe in necessary expenses each month, expect the trustee to ask questions about where the money is going.

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The Chapter 13 Repayment Plan

At the end of 36 months, you are discharged from all dischargeable unsecured debts, regardless of how much your creditors have received. In most bankruptcy courts, including those in the State of Utah, $150-$200 is likely the minimum payment one can make in a Chapter 13 case.

In addition to your plan payments, you must stay current with any ongoing obligations you have to secure creditors, such as your home mortgage and any other secured debt you elect to pay to a creditor directly rather than through the Chapter 13 Plan.

Approval of ANY Chapter 13 Plan of repayment requires a determination by the court that the case is filed and the plan proposed in Good Faith, generally that you are not seeking to hinder, delay or defraud any of your Creditors.

MISSING PLAN PAYMENTS If you are unable to make your plan payments for some reason, we can seek court permission to authorize you to miss the delinquent plan payments.

INCUR DEBT WITH COURT PERMISSION You cannot borrow money exceeding approximately $500.00 during the pendency of your case , without first obtaining court approval. This can be somewhat of a problem if, for example, your car lease expires and you need to get a new car during this period.


First of all, any debt that you CAN discharge in Chapter 7, will also be dischargeable in the Chapter 13.


Help My Income Exceeded The Chapter 7 Means Test Allowable In Utah

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If your median income is above the state median income, you may need to look at part 2 of the means test or at an alternative.

The Means Test is a two-part test, so it is not a simple pass-fail test. If you fail the first section, you can pass the second section and still qualify under Chapter 7.

You can learn more about passing the Chapter 7 means test when income exceeds the median.

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Does A Debtor Lose Any Assets Or Property In A Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

No. Chapter 13 bankruptcy is a non-liquidation bankruptcy, meaning a debtor is allowed to keep all of their assets, even assets that are paid off or free and clear from liens. The trade off is that debtors pay back a portion of their unsecured debts in exchange for being able to keep all of their property. Debtors can even keep property that is not exempt.

Taking Control Through Bankruptcy

Most people file bankruptcy due to circumstances that are mostly beyond their control. Medical bills are a good example. Hospital, surgical, and other medical debt accounts for about two-thirds of bankruptcy filings. Lifestyle decisions sometimes contribute to injury or illness. But no one asks for these things to happen.

Bankruptcy is ideal for people who feel like their financial lives are spiraling. No other debt protection law offers the same one-two-three punch as bankruptcy. This combination is outlined below. So, instead of waiting and hoping for things to get better, you can take control of your own financial future.

A Utah bankruptcy lawyer helps you before, during, and after the case. Attorneys give you solid advice about your debt relief options. Bankruptcy and non-bankruptcy alternatives are usually available. During the case, an attorney handles the complex paperwork and represents you at bankruptcy hearings. After the case, a lawyer can work with you on the quickest and most effective way to raise your credit score.

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Confirming The Utah Bankruptcy Exemptions

This list includes commonly used Utah bankruptcy exemptions, but others exist. Also, Utah periodically updates its exemption amounts and sometimes adds new exemptions. To find the most current laws, visit the Utah Code . Also, consider consulting with a Utah bankruptcy attorney to ensure that you’re protecting all of your property properly.

Chapter 7 & Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Specialists

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Are you feeling overwhelmed and underwater? Are you struggling to find a way to make ends meet? Well, were here to help. Here at Bankruptcy Utah, weve helped hundreds of Utah families find financial peace, and we can help you too.

We understand that filing bankruptcy is a difficult decision to make. No one chooses such a pathway lightly. However, with the help of an understanding and experienced professional, the process can go much more smoothly. We can help you determine whether its time to file either Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Conversely, if bankruptcy isnt the right solution for you at this point, we can help you find other financial solutions that will end the stress and strain.

We believe that filing for bankruptcy is not the same as admitting defeat. Rather, its acknowledging that theres a road block in front of you, keeping you from moving forward. Many individuals file for bankruptcy in order to get a clean slate. After going through the process of bankruptcy, theyre able to financially recover from past setbacks, and achieve the good fiscal standing that theyve worked for.

Our team is ready to help. We can discuss your options and help you understand the pros and cons of each.With our expert advice, you can feel empowered to make the right decision for you and your family. Call today for a free, no-obligation consultation with our caring team.


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Go To Court To File Your Forms

Even though court is conducted in both, Salt Lake City and St. George, you can only file the forms for your Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Utah at the Salt Lake City location. You can also mail all of your paperwork to the court if travelling to Salt Lake City is too much of a burden. However, keep in mind that if there is a problem with any of your forms, the actual filing date for your Utah bankruptcy may be later than expected. If you are going to the court in person for the purpose of filing Chapter 7 in Utah, plan on getting there well before 4 o’clock as the clerk’s office stops accepting paperwork from people just starting the process of at 4 PM. Before you head to the courthouse, make sure you have your picture ID as that is necessary to enter the building, and be prepared to pass through courthouse security on your way in.

No Federal Bankruptcy Exemptions In Utah

Some states allow you to choose between using the state exemptions and a list of federal bankruptcy exemptions. In Utah, however, you do not have this choice you must use the Utah bankruptcy exemptions.

Although you can’t use the federal exemptions in Utah, you may use any of the federal non-bankruptcy exemptions. The federal non-bankruptcy exemptions protect property such as federal retirement accounts and veterans’ benefits. You can use both the federal non-bankruptcy exemptions and the state exemptions you don’t have to choose between the two lists.

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Local Bankruptcy Lawyers Explain Your Options And Exemptions

In most cases, all it takes is one catastrophic event or one turn of bad luck to take you from financially stable to drowning in unmanageable debt. Perhaps you suffered an injury or illness that left you with crushing medical debts. Maybe you lost your job or made an investment that failed to pay off. Whatever the reason, if you are struggling with overwhelming debt, then filing for bankruptcy may be a viable option to help you reclaim control of your finances. Despite the stigma sometimes associated with bankruptcy, this process can help you end creditor harassment, save your house from foreclosure and discharge certain debts that you cannot repay. The details of the process will depend on your circumstances and the type of consumer bankruptcy you choose to file. However, the end goal is still the same: eliminate your debts and give yourself a fresh start financially.

There are two main types of consumer bankruptcy: Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. Although either can relieve you of unwanted debts, they work very differently. An experienced Utah bankruptcy lawyer can offer you advice on which choice is best for your unique situation, and may be able to offer you bankruptcy alternatives as well. Below, local attorneys explain the basics of both types of bankruptcy and list the exemptions you may be able to use in your case.

When Should A Debtor Consider Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

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Attorneys at Beutler Law Offices can analyze your case during a free consultation and help you weigh the pros and cons of filing a chapter 13 case, as well as determine your projected monthly payment and how the plan would work. You can call or text Beutler Law Offices 24/7 to determine if chapter 13 bankruptcy is right for you during a free consultation.

Some of the reasons to consider filing a chapter 13 bankruptcy over a chapter 7 bankruptcy include:

  • When a debtor wants to save a home from foreclosure
  • When a debtor wants to stop tax levies or garnishments and repay back taxes interest free over a 3-5 year period
  • Reduce high interest auto loans down to as low as 3-4%, or to cram down negative equity and reduce the overall balance owed on the auto loan in some cases
  • When a debtor wants to stop back child support or alimony garnishments.
  • When a debtor is a higher earner and above the median income or otherwise does not pass the chapter 7 means test.
  • When a debtor has received a discharge in a chapter 7 case within the past 8 years

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Talk To A Bankruptcy Lawyer

Need professional help? Start here.

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    Chapter 13 Attorney Fees

    Other Fees

    There are just a couple other small fees to consider relating to filing bankruptcy. There is a $12,95 fee to take a second online course after your case is filed and in my office I charge $50 to assist my clients with completing and filing their reaffirmation agreements. Call or text me now to discuss your situation and get the answers you need to move forward.

    Utah Bankruptcy Clinic

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    Complete The Bankruptcy Forms

    The bankruptcy forms are the documents that are provided to the court when you file your Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Utah. In order to make the process more streamlined and ensure that everyone is fully aware of all disclosure requirements, the forms are the same for everyone filing Chapter 7 in Utah. If you hire a lawyer, they will complete the forms based on the information and documentation you provide to their office. If you don’t have a lawyer you can access all of the forms you need to complete for free online, including this 49-page instruction manual to guide you. Depending on your circumstances, Upsolve may also be able to help with this step. Regardless of how you do it, when it’s done you should take a deep breath and walk away for a few minutes, then come back to everything and carefully review all questions and your answers. Filing bankruptcy in Utah imposes strict disclosure requirements on everyone, so make sure your information is complete before checking this step off your list.

    Bankruptcy Filing Fees And Other Costs

    What happens when you file a chapter 7 bankruptcy in Utah?

    Bankruptcy court fees depend largely on the kind of bankruptcy.

    For both Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy, youll be responsible for paying fees just to have the bankruptcy court hear your case. These can include

    • Filing fee The cost to file for Chapter 7 is $335, and $310 for Chapter 13.
    • Credit counseling fee If you want to file for bankruptcy, youre required to receive credit counseling first. Many agencies charge a nominal fee for this service, which can cost around $50, according to the Federal Trade Commission. If you cant afford to pay, you may be able to get the fee waived.
    • Additional fees You must take a debt education course after you file for bankruptcy in order to get a discharge. The cost can range from $50 to $100, according to the FTC. If you cant afford the fee, you may be able to get the provider to lower its fee or waive it completely.

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    Preventing Bankruptcy Exemption Problems

    Exempt your property carefully. The bankruptcy trusteethe court-appointed official assigned to manage your casewill review the exemptions. A trustee who disagrees with your exemptions will likely try to resolve the issue informally. If unsuccessful, the trustee will file an objection with the bankruptcy court, and the judge will decide whether you can keep the property.

    Example. Mason owns a rare, classic car worth $15,000, but the state vehicle exemption doesn’t cover it entirely. Believing that the car qualifies as artat least in his mindMason exempts it using his state’s unlimited artwork exemption. The trustee disagrees with Mason’s characterization and files an objection with the court. The judge will likely decide the vehicle doesn’t qualify as art.

    Purposefully making inaccurate statements could be considered fraudulent. Bankruptcy fraud is punishable by up to $250,000, 20 years in prison, or both.

    Utah Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Or Utah Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

    There are several situations where a Chapter 13 is preferable to a Chapter 7. A Chapter 13 bankruptcy is the only choice if you are behind on your mortgage or business payments and you want to keep your property, either in Utah or another state, at the end of the bankruptcy process. A chapter 13 bankruptcy allows you to make up their overdue payments over time and to reinstate the original mortgage agreement. In general, if you have valuable property not covered by your Utah bankruptcy exemptions that you want to keep, a chapter 13 filing may be a better option. Also, people file Chapter 13 bankruptcy because they have too much income to file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy or have the kind of debt that is non- dischargeable in a Chapter 7 . However, for the vast majority of Utah residents who simply want to eliminate their heavy debt burden without paying any of it back, Chapter 7 provides the most attractive choice.Advantages to a Utah Chapter 7 filing:You receive a complete fresh start. After the bankruptcy is discharged the only debts you owe will be for secured assets on which you choose to sign a Reaffirmation Agreement.You have immediate protection against creditors collection efforts and wage garnishment on the date of filing.Wages you earn and property you acquire after the bankruptcy filing date are yours, not the creditors or bankruptcy court.

    There is no minimum amount of debt required.Your case is often over and completely discharged in about 3-6 months.

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