Bankruptcy is a legal process allowing an individual or business to have some or all of their debt absolved. 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 ultimately decide that they are outweighed by the benefits. Since it's a product of federal law, bankruptcy is handled in federal courts. Therefore, the rules and procedures governing it in Utah will be the same as anywhere else in the country. Particular courts in Smithfield, Utah will have some unique rules, however, so you should consult with a local lawyer before you file.
Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in Smithfield, Utah
In Smithfield, Utah, there are 2 commonly-used forms of consumer bankruptcy: Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. Chapter 7 bankruptcy involves a liquidation of some of the debtor's assets, which pays off part of his or her debt. Once this is done, the remaining debt is absolved. Fortunately for debtors, many types of property are exempt from liquidation, including homes, vehicles, basic personal items, and retirement accounts.
Once the qualifying property is sold, and the funds transferred to the creditors, the dischargeable debt is cleared. Some types of debt, however, can't be absolved in Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in Smithfield, Utah. These include student loans, criminal fines, and taxes, among others. If most of your debt can't be absolved, Chapter 7 might not be the best choice for you.
Chapter 13 Bankruptcy in Smithfield, Utah
Chapter 13 bankruptcy in Smithfield, Utah is markedly different. It may or may not be a better option than Chapter 7, depending on the facts of your individual case. Chapter 13 Bankruptcy involves a court setting up an adjusted payment plan, which allows the debtor to pay off most or all of his debts over a prolonged 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 Smithfield, Utah
This depends entirely on the facts of your individual case. If you have a decent amount of steady income, and a large amount of non-exempt property which you don't want to part with, Chapter 13 might be the best option for you. If most of your property is exempt, and you don't have much steady income, Chapter 7 might be the best option.
Regardless of your situation, you should speak with an attorney in Smithfield, Utah who is experienced in bankruptcy before making a decision. They will be able to advise you of your options, and the likely outcomes of each one, allowing you to make a much more informed decision.