Bankruptcy Attorney Brent J. Jensen
Are you facing financial instability? Have you fallen behind on loans, medical expenses or other bills? Are you facing a garnishment? Is your home in foreclosure? Put an end to your financial troubles by filing an appropriate bankruptcy with the help of an experienced bankruptcy attorney. Brent J. Jensen has been helping people handle their debt issues for over 30 years. Our law firm offers prompt and reliable bankruptcy services. Call now or send us an email to schedule a free consultation today.
General Bankruptcy Information
WHAT IS BANKRUPTCY?
The purpose of the bankruptcy laws is to provide relief to those who are overburdened by debt by preventing creditors from collecting on their debts. Bankruptcy can stop and eliminate garnishments and can even delay foreclosures and allow you to save your home.
There are several types of bankruptcy. The two most common types of consumer bankruptcy are Chapter 7 and Chapter 13.
Chapter 7 is often called a “fresh start bankruptcy.” This is the most common type of bankruptcy, accounting for up to 75% of all filings. The purpose of this chapter is to make debts unenforceable (meaning they are “discharged”) so that individuals can start over financially. To qualify to file Chapter 7 in Utah, all you have to do is live in Utah for at least 91 days and have an income below the Utah median income for your family size.
Chapter 13 is often called a “wager earner repayment plan.” This bankruptcy is similar to a debt consolidation loan, except that the monthly payments are made to the Chapter 13 Trustee, who then distributes the money according to a plan filed with your petition. If you file Chapter 13, your attorney will write the repayment plan for you and with your approval.
THE AUTOMATIC STAY
One of the most important things about filing bankruptcy is the automatic stay. The moment you file any bankruptcy, a “stay” arises automatically by action of law and immediately prevents most creditor actions against you. Creditors cannot legally file a new legal action against you, continue any existing collection actions (including a foreclosure), garnish your wages, or even contact you by letter or phone. Because it takes up to 14 days after you have filed before the Court’s written notice will arrive in the mail, some creditors may accidentally contact you during that time, but they cannot take any money from you.
Unfortunately, the automatic stay does not stop all actions against you. The automatic stay does not stop criminal matters, domestic cases (divorce and paternity matters), license hearings (driver’s and professional), tax refund interceptions, Social Security claims, government audits, 401(k) loan payments and domestic support garnishments. If you have filed a bankruptcy in the last year, the automatic stay also may not protect you in a new filing, so be sure to discuss this with the attorney. The automatic stay also ends if the Court grants a motion to lift the stay.
WHAT BANKRUPTCY DOES
Bankruptcy stops debt collection actions against you and will discharge your debts. “Discharge” means that creditors cannot legally force you to pay any debt you owe them. However, bankruptcy does not mean that those debts have ceased to exist. In other words, in bankruptcy your legal obligation to pay a debt is removed by a discharge, but the debt itself will still technically exist and, therefore, may still appear on your credit report.
Bankruptcy stops foreclosures. This is only temporary in Chapter 7, but can be made permanent in Chapter 13. Bankruptcy also stops garnishments and, in some cases, can even get you a refund of some of the money taken by earlier garnishments. Bankruptcy can also stop repossession of cars, trucks and furniture, if you file in time.
WHAT BANKRUPTCY DOES NOT DO
There are some things a bankruptcy cannot do.
Bankruptcy cannot discharge any debts you incur after your bankruptcy has been filed.
Bankruptcy cannot discharge certain types of debts. For example, a Chapter 7 will not discharge debts for alimony, child support, criminal fines, most taxes, court-ordered penalties, and student loans. Fortunately, in a Chapter 13, these debts can be paid through the plan.
Bankruptcy cannot get rid of certain creditor rights. For example, secured creditors will always retain their rights in the security. Therefore, if you want to keep the couch you bought from the Department Store or the car you bought from the Auto Dealership, you will have to make arrangements to pay for them. In a Chapter 7, you do this by reaffirming that debt and making monthly payments to the creditor. In a Chapter 13, you pay the debt as part of your monthly Chapter 13 repayment plan.
Finally, bankruptcy cannot protect every co-signer. In a Chapter 7, if you have a friend or relative who co-signed on one of your debts, that co-signer will still be liable to pay that debt after you file even though you will not have to pay the debt yourself. In a Chapter 13, you can protect your co-signers by agreeing to pay that debt 100%.
Why You Want Me To Be Your Bankruptcy Attorney
Free Initial Consultation Your first consultation is always FREE. On your first visit I can tell you whether bankruptcy relief is right for you, so it will never cost you to find out how a bankruptcy can help you. If bankruptcy is not for you, I can refer you to another attorney who can help you.
I have been in private bankruptcy practice for over 30 years and have filed hundreds of Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy cases in Utah. I have spent many hours in Bankruptcy Court and in hearings with the Trustees.
I am your local bankruptcy lawyer who understands the working methods of the local Trustees. I live in Orem and maintain my office on Center Street in Orem, Utah County, Utah.
When you call my office, you will speak with me if I am in the office. I will personally answer all your bankruptcy questions. I interview each of my clients personally and never turn initial interviews over to a paralegal or secretary.
Fast and Efficient
If necessary, I can file your case today (see the Emergency/Quick Filing link on the right). If you do not need an emergency filing, your case will normally be ready to file within 2-4 days after you provide us with your completed questionnaire, required documents and full payment.
My office staff is well trained to maintain your privacy, so you never have to worry that any of your confidential information will be disclosed or lost. Every document you give us is electronically scanned and stored in a private file, and then the original documents are either returned to you or shredded.
Personal Legal Representation
I will be there with you when you meet with the Trustee. In the rare occurrence that you ever have to appear in Court before one of our Bankruptcy Judges, I will also be right there with you.
I realize that not everyone can meet with an attorney during normal business hours. Therefore, in addition to my formal office hours from 9am to 5pm, Monday through Friday, I am also available to meet with you by appointment after hours on most weekdays and on Saturday afternoons. I never work on Sundays.