Written by the Upsolve Team.
Updated September 30, 2020
Are you a resident of St. George who is struggling with debt or financial issues? We have a solution for you. Filing bankruptcy in St. George allows you to either eliminate or restructure your debt to make sure that you can afford to take care of your family. You will be pleasantly surprised to realize how easy the St. George Bankruptcy process can be with just a little guidance. St. George, Utah has a high poverty rate of 15.5%. Households in St. George, Utah, have a median yearly income of $54,022, which is considerably less than the national median yearly income of $60,336.These are two reasons why residents of St. George consider filing bankruptcy.
The most common type of bankruptcy is Chapter 7 bankruptcy; it’s often the quickest and simplest form of bankruptcy. Although there are some income restrictions on Chapter 7 bankruptcy, it’s available to almost everyone. Chapter 13 bankruptcy, on the other hand, takes three to five years. When filing Chapter 13, you repay a certain percentage of your debts and have to live within a strict budget. The St. George bankruptcy Court Trustee will monitor your budget. A person filing bankruptcy in St. George has to decide whether to file for protection under Chapter 7 or Chapter 13, depending on the specific circumstances.
Usually, Chapter 7 bankruptcy in St. George is what most individuals think of when they consider bankruptcy. A Chapter 7 bankruptcy liquidates your unprotected assets so that you can pay off as much of your debt as possible without losing those items everyone needs to live. You cannot discharge certain debts in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy in St. George, like alimony, child support, and certain taxes.
Bankruptcy often comes with many negative myths and misconceptions. A common misconception in St. George bankruptcy cases is that people think they will end up losing all their property if they file for bankruptcy, which is not true. Some people believe that they need money to pay a bankruptcy lawyer just to find out about bankruptcy protection in Utah. In fact, you can getfree legal help.
St. George Bankruptcy Lawyers - Estimated Cost
Bankruptcy attorneys in Utah assist individuals who need to file for bankruptcy. A lawyer in St. George can help you fill out all the paperwork and gather all the necessary documents. The cost of a bankruptcy lawyer in St. George, Utah, varies from $595 to $1,200. Many factors affect the cost of hiring a bankruptcy lawyer, including the type of bankruptcy, the complexity of the case, and filing fees, among others. If you are filing bankruptcy in St. George and your case is simple, you can save money by filing St. George bankruptcy on your own. Hiring a lawyer is a good decision if your case is complex. You can also benefit from a free consultation that many attorneys offer.
How to File Bankruptcy in St. George, Utah for Free
Don’t have the resources to hire an expensive bankruptcy lawyer? Want to know how to file bankruptcy in St. George for free? Don’t worry as you are not alone. This valuable City Guide will help you through the bankruptcy filing process. If you are considering filing bankruptcy in St. George, follow these simple steps.
Collect Your St. George Bankruptcy Documents
Collect all the documents you will need for filing bankruptcy in St. George. This will save you a lot of trouble later on. St. George bankruptcy documents usually include your bank statements, student loan records, paycheck stubs, and your tax returns. Everyone filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy in St. George has to provide the Bankruptcy Court with a list of all their creditors. This will allow the Court to send a notice of your bankruptcy to them as soon as possible. Some additional documents that you will need are copies of your 401k or pension statement, your personal identification, and your original social security card. Being organized and meticulous will help you in completing your St. George bankruptcy forms efficiently.
Take Credit Counseling
This is an important step when filing bankruptcy in St. George. You will have to take pre-bankruptcy credit counseling in Utah from an approved agency. Before you or your lawyer can file your St. George bankruptcy case, you will need to obtain a “credit counseling certificate.” This is course is mandatory. Without this, you can’t file your bankruptcy case. This credit counseling course costs between $10 and $50, and you can complete the course quickly within ninety minutes either over the phone or online. Cura Debt and Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Utah are two approved credit counseling agencies in the city.
Complete the Bankruptcy Forms
The bankruptcy forms are the schedules and statements that you provide to the Court when you file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy in St. George. These bankruptcy forms include a list of expenses and income, a form to claim several property exemptions, and other relevant financial information. Once you complete this paperwork, creditor collection actions and you will be stopped by the automatic stay until your Utah bankruptcy discharge is entered. Also, make sure you check out the Utah District Bankruptcy Court’s page for people filing without an attorney. Filing bankruptcy in St. George imposes strict disclosure requirements on all filers, so make sure your information is accurate and complete before you check this step off your list.
Get Your Filing Fee
While you are filing bankruptcy in St. George because you do not have enough money in order to meet your financial obligations each month, note that filing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy in St. George does incur a filing fee of $335.
This filing fee includes the following:
You may qualify for a fee waiver in some cases; if you do, you will have to complete this fee waiver application. You can also ask the Court to pay your fee in installments if you don’t qualify for a fee waiver.
Print Your Bankruptcy Forms
The Court only allows bankruptcy lawyers to file documents on behalf of their clients through the Court's electronic filing system. So, if you are filing bankruptcy in St. George without a lawyer, you will have to submit your bankruptcy forms to the Court in paper. If you don’t have access to a printer at home, you can easily find a local print shop in St. George. It’s recommended that you print out two copies for convenience, one for filing with the Bankruptcy Court, and one for your personal records, so that you know what bankruptcy documents you submitted to the Court for your Chapter 7 bankruptcy in St. George. Don’t print the copy for the Bankruptcy Court double-sided as the clerk's office won’t accept that.
Go to Court to File Your Forms
Now it is time to bring the bankruptcy forms and your credit counseling course certificate to the Court so you can file your Utah bankruptcy case. You can only file your bankruptcy forms for the Chapter 7 bankruptcy in St. George at the Salt Lake City location. You’ll go to the Frank E. Moss United States Courthouse to file your paperwork. Although you can mail all your paperwork to the Court, it is better to visit the courthouse in person as you cannot afford any mistakes in the filing process. You can find the hours and directions to the Court directly on its website. Keep in mind that the Court is closed on federal holidays.
Mail Documents to Your Trustee
Once you sign your St. George bankruptcy paperwork, the Court will appoint a Trustee to handle your bankruptcy case. Your Trustee will review all your paperwork and then distribute the nonexempt property, if any, to your creditors. No later than fourteen days after filing bankruptcy in St. George, you will have to provide your Trustee with a copy of all pay stubs that you’ve received in the sixty days before your bankruptcy case was filed. Make sure that you submit this declaration if you don’t have all your paycheck stubs. Your Trustee might also send you a letter after your bankruptcy case has been filed, requesting you to submit specific documents to their office.
Take Bankruptcy Course 2
Although the credit counseling course that you took before filing bankruptcy in St. George made you eligible to file a Utah bankruptcy, you’re not automatically eligible to get a bankruptcy discharge entered in the case. The second bankruptcy counseling course, also known as financial management or debtor education, can only be taken after your bankruptcy has been filed. The course is designed to educate people on making sound financial choices so that they won’t have to seek St. George bankruptcy relief in the future. There are a couple of approved debtor education providers in Utah, and one of them is Access Counseling, which has the best rates, even for a married couple. Make sure you complete the debtor education course as soon as possible after your bankruptcy filing and don’t forget to submit the certificate of completion to the Court when done.
Attend Your 341 Meeting
The Court will soon inform you of when the 341 meeting or meeting of creditors will be held. The meeting usually takes only about 5 to 10 minutes. You will have to attend the 341 meeting and answer any questions about your St. George bankruptcy forms, finances, and other topics. You do not have to do much for making sure you’re prepared for the 341 meeting. On the day of your 341 meeting, the most important thing is to bring your picture ID as well as proof of your social security number.
Dealing with Your Car
While it may seem like filing bankruptcy in St. George can make it hard to keep your car, it is not true. In most cases, you won’t lose your car during your bankruptcy case, provided your equity (market value of the vehicle minus any debt associated with the vehicle) in the vehicle is fully protected by an exemption. If your vehicle is worth considerably less than what you still owe on it, a redemption can be a better way to deal with your vehicle. If you would like to surrender your car to the lender, then the lender will file a motion with the Bankruptcy Court and ask permission to retake your car. Some creditors simply wait for the automatic stay to expire a certain period of time after filing bankruptcy in St. George.
Utah Bankruptcy Means Test, Bankruptcy Forms, and Exemptions for St. George
Utah Means Test
As it would be unfair to allow anyone to file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy in St. George without regard for their ability to repay their debts, all filers must first pass the Utah Means Test for bankruptcy.
If your income is more than the Utah median household income for a household of the same size, then you will have to complete the Means Test calculation. The purpose of the Utah bankruptcy Means Test is to ensure that people who make enough money to pay at least some of their debts don’t abuse the system. Your average household income is determined by the past 6 calendar months. Find out about the Chapter 7 income limits to make sure you are accurately filing bankruptcy in St. George under Chapter 7.
Median Income Levels for Utah
Utah Median Income Standards for Means Test for Cases Filed On or After May 1, 2020
|Household Size||Monthly Income||Annual Income|
Poverty Levels for Utah
Utah Fee Waiver Eligibility for Cases Filed On or After May 1, 2020
Eligible for fee waiver when under 150% the poverty level.
|Household Size||State Poverty Level||Fee Waiver Limit (150% PL)|
Utah Bankruptcy Forms
Note that the Utah bankruptcy forms are a combination of all national forms and a few local forms that are used only in St. George bankruptcy cases. For a comprehensive overview of the forms you will need, read the Utah guide for bankruptcy forms. The Court has compiled a comprehensive checklist for everything and has made this Unrepresented Debtor Packet that contains all the required forms for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy in St. George available on its site for free. This makes things simple if you are filing on your own. Complete all these Utah bankruptcy forms when you are filing bankruptcy in St. George.
Although it might not seem like it, everything that you own is considered your asset when you file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy in St. George. Utah bankruptcy exemptions help protect at least some of your property. These exemptions determine the property you can protect from your creditors when you are filing bankruptcy in St. George. There are some federal bankruptcy exemptions and federal nonbankruptcy exemptions in Utah. Individuals usually keep exempt property when they file a Chapter 7 case. Utah periodically updates these exemption amounts and at times adds new exemptions. You can find the most current laws by visiting the Utah Code. The state’s homestead exemption allows filers to protect as much as $30,000 of the equity of their primary personal residence.