Are you a resident of Utah and thinking of filing for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy? If so, you will have to participate in credit counseling before you file, complete the bankruptcy petition and other required forms, and file those forms in the Utah bankruptcy court. After filing, you must complete debtor counseling before receiving your discharge.
Although most of the bankruptcy process is governed by federal law, there is some Utah-specific information you will need to know before filing. Much of this information you can get online. In this article, you'll find out how.
For more information on the filing process, see Filing for Bankruptcy.
In order to qualify for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you must show that you received credit counseling from an agency approved by the U.S. Trustee in Utah within the six month period before you file for bankruptcy. You'll also have to take a debtor education course before you get a bankruptcy discharge.
To learn more about this requirement, including the rare exceptions, see Credit Counseling & Debtor Education Requirements in Bankruptcy.
Utah has a set of bankruptcy exemptions which help determine what property you get to keep in Chapter 7 bankruptcy and play a role in how much you repay unsecured creditors in Chapter 13 bankruptcy.
Some states allow debtors to choose between the state exemption system and a set of federal bankruptcy exemptions –but Utah is not one of them. In Utah, you must use the state exemptions--the federal bankruptcy exemptions aren't available.
To learn about Utah's exemptions for your home and car, see The Homestead Exemption in Utah and The Motor Vehicle Exemption in Utah. To find other Utah exemptions and to learn more about exemptions and how they work, visit our Bankruptcy Exemptions area.
When you file for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you must complete a bankruptcy petition, a number of schedules containing detailed information about your finances, and several other forms, including a lengthy form known as the "means test" (for Chapter 7) and a similar form for Chapter 13.
For a list of the forms, see The Bankruptcy Forms: Getting Started.
For more information about each of the official forms, including how to find them and fill them out, see Completing the Bankruptcy Forms.
When you file for bankruptcy in Utah, you must compare your income to the median income for a household of your size in Utah. If your income is less than the median, you will be eligible to file for Chapter 7 and, if you choose to file for Chapter 13, you can use a three-year repayment plan (rather than five years). This is called the means test.
If your income is above Utah's median income, you still might qualify for Chapter 7, but you'll have to provide detailed information about your expenses and payments on secured debts in order to find out. Most Chapter 13 filers also have to provide this information.
You can find all of the national and Utah-specific figures you'll need for the means test forms on the U.S. Trustee's website at www.justice.gov/ust. Click on "Means Testing Information."
Some judicial districts and bankruptcy courts require bankruptcy filers to complete additional "local forms." To find out if your court requires additional forms, go to the court's website. (Below you'll find a link to Utah's bankruptcy courts.)
Since there is only one judicial district in Utah, you don't need to worry about the rules for filing in the correct judicial district.
The main office is in Salt Lake City, but there are also offices in St. George and Ogden.