Bankruptcy is a legal process allowing an individual or business to have some or all of their debt discharged. It is almost always considered as a last resort because it can have some negative long-term consequences which must be considered, even if you eventually decide that they are outweighed by the benefits. Since it's a creation of federal law, bankruptcy is handled in federal courts. Therefore, the rules and procedures governing it in Utah will be the same as everywhere else in the country. Individual courts in American Fork, Utah will have some unique rules, however, so you should consult with a local lawyer before you file.
Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in American Fork, Utah
In American Fork, Utah, there are 2 commonly-used types of consumer bankruptcy: Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. Chapter 7 involves liquidation of part of a debtor's assets. It requires that a certain percentage of the debtor's property to be sold to pay off as much debt as possible. The majority of property that most people own, however, is exempt. This usually includes homes, vehicles, retirement accounts, and others. These are not available to creditors.
Once the non-exempt property is sold, the rest of the dischargeable debt is cleared. Some forms of debt, however, is non-dischargeable, including student loans, criminal fines, and others. If most of your debt in American Fork, Utah is not dischargeable, Chapter 7 may not be the best option.
Chapter 13 Bankruptcy in American Fork, Utah
In American Fork, Utah, Chapter 13 is quite different from Chapter 7. Chapter 13 may or may not be the best choice for you; this depends on the facts of your particular situation. Chapter 13 Bankruptcy involves a court setting up a revised payment plan, which allows the debtor to pay off most or all of his debts over a longer period of time, through monthly payments that should, assuming that the debtor is willing to make a few sacrifices, be manageable.
Which Type of Consumer Bankruptcy Should I File in American Fork, Utah
The answer to this question depends strongly on your individual situation. If you have enough stable income to manage a payment plan, and a lot of non-exempt property that you are unwilling to part with, Chapter 13 may be a good option. If you don't have much stable income, and most of your property is exempt, Chapter 7 might be better.
In any case, you should talk with a local American Fork, Utah bankruptcy lawyer. Your lawyer can advise you of your options and inform you of their likely consequences. This will make it much easier for your to make an informed choice.