Monthly Archives: July 2015

How do bankruptcy filings compare in a county by county analysis of Utah? (Who is the top bankruptcy county in Utah?)

(Okay, no one has asked me this question directly, but I saw an article that laid it out so nicely that I had to write about it.

Lexingtonlaw.com did a great Lexington Law U.S. Bankruptcy Report on June 23, 2015.  I have seen no competitor’s study to contradict it, and it agrees with the anecdotal numbers I see here in Utah.

bk filings by county

Unfortunately, my map is not interactive.  Go to the actual map here, and as you hold the mouse over a county, it will give you the

County Name

State

BK/10,000 residents.

For example, if you hold the mouse over Utah County, it will show that Utah County is in the state of Utah and has 32.7 bankruptcy filings per 10,000 residents.

As the honor of having the most filings per capital in Utah, Tooele County has 96.3 bankruptcy filings per 10,000 residents.  I love people from Toole, but I’m still not setting up a shop out there.

What is a bankruptcy “proof of claim?”

Not to be obnoxious, but it is a document giving proof of your claim.  proof of claim

When a debtor files bankruptcy, it stops his creditors dead in their tracks.  A bankruptcy trustee is appointed to adminster the case, and if there is any money to be paid out to creditors, it is the trustee who will be making those payments.  In a chapter 7, there is usually not a payout to creditors, but in a chapter 13, there usually is.

If a creditor wants to get paid, then he must file a “Proof of Claim” with the court, which says how much he is owed, whether the debts is secured/unsecured, priority/nonpriority/etc.  Here is a link to the standard form, with an explanation on how to fill it out.

In a chapter 13, if you are a creditor, you ALWAYS want to file a Proof of Claim.  Even if it looks like there will be no payout, things change.  The debtor may have a huge tax refund or a large inheritance, and you won’t get paid unless you file by the deadline.

In a chapter 7, if you are a creditor, you probably DO NOT need to file a Proof of Claim.  The only exception is when the chapter 7 trustee mails you a Trustee’s Request for Creditors to FIle Claims.  This means that the chapter 7 trustee has discovered some kind of asset that he can sell off and use to pay a portion of money back to the debtor’s creditors.

 

Can I add new debts/creditors to my bankruptcy after I file the case?

Maybe.  add new creditors

If you incur a debt after you file the case, then you cannot add it (except for a conversion discussed below).  This means that if the event that caused the debt happened before you filed the bankruptcy, then you can add it.  If the even occurs after you filed, then you’re stuck with it, and your bankruptcy doesn’t cover it.

So let’s say you have an emergency room visit a month before going bankrupt.  They don’t bother sending you to bill until after you file bk.  Yes, we can add that bill, because your er room visit happened before you went bankruptcy.

On the other hand, you file bankruptcy, and then get in a car accident the next day.  We cannot add this bill, because the car accident happened after filing.

Now there is an exception:  if you convert your case, then you can add new debts up to the conversion.  So, let’s say that you are in a chapter 13 but just can’t keep up the payments.  Even worse, your have some new medical bills happen during your chapter 13.  If you convert this case to a chapter 7, then you can add those bills to your chapter 7 (even if they happened after you filed the original chapter 13).