Law Offices of Jonathan R. Bunn 1680 Highway 40 Suite 105 Vernal, Utah 84078 Call (435)714-6500
Stop collection agencies!
Stop harassing telephone calls!
Start getting out of debt!
For a fresh start call (435)714-6500
• Under median income for household size
(Does not apply if debts are primarily business debts.)
• No discharge in a prior Chapter 7 filed within
8 years or a Chapter 13 filed within 6 years.
(There are two exceptions to this rule when you file a 13 first and
then a Chapter 7)
Chapter 7 works best when . . .
One person $61,044.00
Two people $66,641.00
Three people $76,707.00
Four people $86,717.00
Chapter 13 works like debt consolidation with the power of federal law. You can cure missed house payments over three or five years. You can lower the interest rate on vehicle debts and in some cases (cars purchased more than 2 1/2 years ago) just pay what the car is worth now - instead of what is owed. Unsecured debts may or may not get paid in Chapter 13, but are discharged nonetheless.
Chapter 13 works best when . . .
Call me, Attorney Jonathan R. Bunn, at (435)714-6500.
The call is free, the consultation is free and you have no obligation.
When you come to meet with me, you don't need to bring anything and you don't need any money. At our first meeting I'll ask you some questions about your income, your debt and the nature of your debt. I'll ask about property that you own so that I can evaluate your exemptions (there are certain things that are exempt from the claims of your creditors). We'll discuss both chapters of bankruptcy and determine which one works best for you. If you decide to go forward with bankruptcy, we'll have some work to do and some papers to gather, but I will walk you through it and make it as easy as possible.
If you insist on bringing money, bring $33.00 for a single credit report or $66.00 for a joint (husband and wife) report. I order credit reports from CIN Legal Data Services, Inc. That's what they charge me and it's exactly what I will charge you. Yes, you can get credit reports for free, but the CIN report provides more information such as judgment and lien searches, prior bankruptcies and bankruptcy specific addresses for your creditors.
My office is conveniently located in Vernal, Utah at 1680 Hwy 40, Suite 105. I'm in the old Utah State campus right next to the Quality Inn. Park in the back parking lot and my office is on the first floor at the end of the first hallway on your right.
Recently incurred debt is a red flag in a bankruptcy case and creates an inference of fraud.
Credit card charges for luxury goods made within 90 days of filing bankruptcy are presumed to be non-dischargeable debts. Other charges made right before filing bankruptcy create an inference of fraud.
If you are certain that you are going to file bankruptcy, you should stop paying unsecured creditors (credit cards, medical bills, personal loans) and, if you are going to surrender a secured asset (like a car) you should stop paying that creditor as well. The important things are utilities, food, rent, mortgage (for a house you are keeping), car payments (for a car you are keeping) and insurance.
Any payments to family members or friends would be considered a preference payment to an insider and the bankruptcy trustee can get the money back from the family member. If you want to pay a family member or friend money that you owe them, wait until your bankruptcy is over.
Transfers of property within two years before filing a bankruptcy petition must be scheduled. If the transfer was for less than fair market value, the trustee may be able to undo the transfer. Be prepared to account for how you spent the proceeds of any transfer. You should tell your lawyer about any transfers of property for less than fair market value made in the four years preceding bankruptcy.
All transfers of property within two years of bankruptcy must be scheduled and transfers for no consideration, particularly to a family member or friend, will be undone – the bankruptcy trustee will get the property back from whoever you transferred it to. It also creates an inference of fraud.
Most retirement accounts (401(k), IRA, Roth, SEP, Keogh) and pension plans are completely exempt. Neither your creditors nor the bankruptcy trustee can seize those accounts. Don’t turn fully exempt assets into debt payments and tax liabilities.
DO TELL YOUR LAWYER EVERYTHING.
If you want to get an early start, there are some things that I will need to prepare your bankruptcy petition and schedules:
If you can't find some of these things, don't sweat it. We'll figure out how to get the things that we need to file your bankruptcy case.
The automatic stay is found at Section 362 of the Bankruptcy Code (Title 11) and it acts as an injunction against your creditors. From the moment that you file a bankruptcy petition creditors are prohibited from:
(1) Commencing or continuing lawsuits
(2) Enforcing judgments and garnishments
(3) Taking or exercising control over your property
(4) Creating, perfecting or enforcing liens
(5) Any act (even telephone calls) to collect a debt
(6) A setoff to collect a debt
The automatic stay is a powerful feature of filing for protection under the bankruptcy code which can only be exercised by filing a bankruptcy petition. Calling a bankruptcy attorney or meeting with a bankruptcy attorney does not invoke the automatic stay. Only actually filing a petition with the bankruptcy court creates the automatic stay.
A creditor that willfully violates the automatic stay can be held in contempt by the bankruptcy court.
I can get your petition and schedules prepared just about as fast as you can get me the information that I need to prepare it. Take another look at the "Things that I will need" tab.
In a Chapter 7, after filing the petition you will attend a Meeting of Creditors 20 to 40 days after filing. Creditors and others have 60 days to object to discharge or dischargeability (rarely happens) after the Meeting of Creditors. After that date has passed, and if you have completed all of the other requirements (I will make sure that you do) you will be entitled to an Order Discharging your Debts. So, from the first meeting with me until discharge, about 90 days or so.
In a Chapter 13, you will propose either a 36 month plan (below median income) or a 60 month plan (above median income). You will make a single payment to the Chapter 13 Trustee for all of your debts except the continuing payment on your home mortgage. When you have made the last payment, the Trustee will certify that fact to the Court, and you will be entitled to an Order Discharging your Debts. Any arrearage on your mortgage will be satisfied and you will be entitled to the titles to your cars. All of your other dischargeable debt (not student loans and some taxes) will be discharged.
When you filed your bankruptcy case you were protected by the Automatic Stay. After discharge, you are protected by the post-discharge injunction which prohibits creditors from attempting to collect debts that were discharged in bankruptcy. You don't owe those debts anymore after discharge.
It's possible, but most of our clients only attend a single Section 341 Meeting of Creditors. Although these meetings are sometimes held in the court house, it's not court.
At the Meeting of Creditors, the Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 Trustee will be able to ask you questions about your petition, schedules and, in Chapter 13, proposed plan.
Sometimes creditors attend the meeting and sometimes they do not.
I will attend the meeting with you and I will answer all of your questions about the meeting before we go.
If you previously filed a Chapter 7, you have to wait eight (8) years for a discharge in another Chapter 7 case.
If the first case was a Chapter 7, then you have to wait four (4) years for a discharge in a case filed under Chapter 13.
From Chapter 13 to Chapter 13 is two (2) years.
From Chapter 13 to Chapter 7 the time period is six (6) years, but there are two exceptions: If you paid unsecured creditors in full or if you paid at least 70% of the claims and the plan was proposed in good faith and was your best effort.
So, to recap: 7 to 7 is 8 years; 13 to 13 is 2 years; 7 to 13 is 4 years; 13 to 7 is 6 years.
However, there might be times that you would want to file a Chapter 13 even if you were not eligible for a discharge. You may need the immediate protection of bankruptcy.
For Chapter 7, attorney's fees usually run between $1,200.00 and $2,000.00 for a consumer case. I will quote you a firm fee when I know more about your case. Yes, we can work out payment arrangements. The filing fee (court costs) for Chapter 7 is $335.00.
For Chapter 13, typically you do not pay any attorney's fees up front. The bankruptcy court allows a fee to be paid through the Chapter 13 plan in an amount that depends on whether you are above or below median income and whether you are paying more or less than $200.00 per month into the plan. Court costs in Chapter 13 are $310.00. Although I prefer that you pay those at filing, they can be paid over time.
Do this first
Things NOT to do
Things that I will need
The Automatic Stay
How long does it take?
Do I have to go to Court?
What if I filed before?
What's this going to cost?
We are a debt relief agency. We help people file for bankruptcy relief under the Bankruptcy Code.
Call (435)714-6500 for an absolutely no cost, no obligation consultation!