There are several steps required to file for bankruptcy relief in the State of Utah. I am going to go over how to file with our law firm. I will outline each step to get you going.
The first step is really figuring out which chapter you are going to file. There is chapter 7 (an eraser to all of your debt); a chapter 13 (a repayment plan over 3 to 5 years); a chapter 12 (for family farmers or fisherman); and a chapter 11 (for businesses or people with many assets).
Once you know which chapter of bankruptcy to file, you need to get some information together and you need to complete many pages of paperwork.
Here is the list of information you would need:
Step One to File Bankruptcy
You are going to need to obtain pre-bankruptcy credit counseling from an approved agency. You need to get a “credit counseling certificate” before we can file your case. You can have them fax the certificate to me at 801-676-5508. Sometimes the companies take 5-10 days to issue the certificate, so I recommend that you get it done ASAP. We reccomend that you go to www.debtorcc.org – it will cost you about $14.95. This is mandatory. Without this, you cannot file a bankruptcy case.
Step Two to File Bankruptcy
We need you to bring in your Social Security Card.
Step Three to File Bankruptcy
We need you to bring in your Drivers License
Step Four to File Bankruptcy
We need you to bring in your last 6 months of paycheck stubs. This is a requirement because the Bankruptcy Code requires us to make a determination of your disposable income. This can only be done with your last six months of paycheck stubs.
-> What if I don’t have my last 6 months of paycheck stubs? Great question: You go to your Human Resources Department at work (“HR”) and you ask for copies.
-> What if I haven’t been working the entire last 6 months? No problem, just give us what you have from when you were working.
-> What if I am self employed. No worries, you just need to complete a profit and loss statement, we are happy to provide you with one, just ask. We will also need a monthly business budget from you and we have a questionnaire for you to complete.
Step Five to File Bankruptcy
We need you to bring in your most recent mortgage statement. If you don’t own a home, no problem, bring us your lease or a copy of your rent statement (if you get one). If you don’t have a lease or rental agreement, just let us know. Not a problem.
Step Six to File Bankruptcy
We need you to bring in all of your debts, invoices, statements, bills and other paperwork that you have for any financial obligation that you have. For example, if you have any credit card bills, medical bills, car loan statements, dental invoices, past due cell phone bills, cancelled cable contracts or any other bill or information about people you owe money to, we want that. Bring it in.
Step Seven to File Bankruptcy
We need you to bring in your last 2 years of state and federal tax returns. If you haven’t filed your tax returns, you need to. The current bankruptcy code states that if you haven’t filed your tax returns for the last 8 years, the court will dismiss your case. This is bad news. A dismissal essentially means throwing your case out of court. So if you don’t have them done, get them done.
Step Eight to File Bankruptcy
We need copies of your last month’s bank statement from all financial accounts you have. This would include any retirement accounts, credit union accounts, etc. Keep in mind the after your case is filed, we will need a statement that covers the date of your case filing.
Step Nine to File Bankruptcy
If you have made any monetary charitable contributions to any church or charity in the last 60 days, we need you to bring proof or documentation of those contributions with you when you come in. Most people aren’t making money donations to charities when they are looking at bankruptcy, but if you are, that’s okay, we just need proof of it, so bring it in.
Step Ten to File Bankruptcy
Have you ever filed for bankruptcy before? If you have, we need to know when and where you filed.
Step Eleven to File Bankruptcy
Schedule your first meeting with us to do an intake. You can do this over the phone or in person, your choice. Give us a call now (801) 676-5506.
After Your Bankruptcy Case is Filed
After your case is filed, you will need to take a course on personal financial management. Go to www.debtorcc.org and get the second class. It’s also called the “Debtor Education Certificate.” This is mandatory and if you don’t get this course done in time, your case can close without a discharge. The discharge is the court order that states you no longer owe the money listed in your bankruptcy case.
Question: How long will bankruptcy stay on my credit report?
I suggest you watch this video where a lawyer from our office explains how long a bankruptcy stays on your credit report:
How to File for Bankruptcy Conclusion
Well, I hope you’ve got those steps down now. Feel free to bookmark this page and come back if you have any questions or concerns. As an attorney, one of my favorite things to do is speak with people and take care of my clients. I love helping people, that is why we do bankruptcy work.
If you are ready for bankruptcy help or need additional information, please give us a call right now for your Free Consultation (801) 676-5506.
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States
Telephone: (801) 676-5506