Claimed Lawyer ProfileQ&A
- Free Consultation
- Rates, Retainers and Additional Information
$850 flat fee (plus court filing fee) for most Chapter 7 Bankruptcy cases
Jurisdictions Admitted to Practice
- Michael G. Sundwall, P.C.
- - Current
- Attorney, Managing Partner
- Anderson & Sundwall, P.C.
- Law Clerk
- Legal Aid Society
- Law school internship assisting low-income individuals in various family law issues.
- Law Clerk
- Utah Legal Services, Inc.
- Law school internship assisting elderly, low-income individuals by preparing wills, trusts and other estate planning documents.
- University of Utah
- J.D. | Law
- University of Utah
- B.A. | Accounting
- Honors: magna cum laude
- Utah State Bar # 07780
- Salt Lake Community College
- Guest Lecturer
- - Current
10 Questions Answered
- Q. I was served I responded they never filled. I was served again. What are my rights?
- A: Sounds like you were served with a 10-day summons. The plaintiff can you use a 10-day summons to serve a lawsuit (summons & complaint) without having to pay the court filing fee. Once the papers are served, the plaintiff has 10 days to file a lawsuit. The summons should have stated on it that you are not required to respond or file an answer to the complaint unless the lawsuit is filed within 10 days after you were served. If it was not filed within 10 days, the plaintiff has the right to have you served again, then file within 10 days. Sorry, but you still must defend against the newly served papers. Your rights have not changed because the plaintiff failed to file the complaint within 10 days after service of the first 10-day summons.
- Q. I need help understanding Utah Sec. 78B-2-309(2). Someone is trying to use it against us saying they no longer owe us.
- A: The Utah code section you reference is a statute of limitations on written contracts. It says you cannot collect on a debt created through a written contract more than six years after that became do or the most recent payment was made. However, this statute limitations applies to unsecured debts. If you had a deed of trust properly executed and recorded at the County Recorder against the home, there is no statute of limitations. Your dad would be collectible indefinitely unless some action was taken in the bankruptcy court to have the second mortgage stripped. This can be done when the total debt exceeds the value of the house. Absent those circumstances, your deed of trust should still be enforceable.
- Q. Am I allowed to file an exemption on a piece of property I own if it's not my primary residence?
- A: Utah homestead exemption laws allow you to exempt up to $5,000 for an individual or $10,000 for a married couple of equity in real estate that is not being used as your primary residence.
- Q. If my son files for bankruptcy does his student loan debt go away?
- A: The short answer is: Not likely. There is an exception in the law for the discharge of student loans if you can demonstrate "undue hardship". Every client who files bankruptcy is experiencing some form of undue hardship. The bankruptcy judges are extremely reluctant to grant an "undue hardship" discharge of student loans. Congress has made it crystal clear to the courts that student loans should not be discharged in bankruptcy except in the most extreme cases of hardship. In conclusion, although it is theoretically possible to have student loans discharged through a bankruptcy filing, in practice it is nearly impossible.
- Q. Can a Utah judge turn down a bankruptcy petition?
- A: There are two types of "Utah judges". There are judges that preside over matters in Utah state courts and federal judges that preside over matters in Utah's federal courts. Utah judges in Utah state courts have no authority to "turn down" or dismiss a bankruptcy petition. Utah has 4 Bankruptcy Court judges who are federal judges. A Bankruptcy judge in Utah can dismiss a bankruptcy petition for many reasons including fraud or serious abuse of the bankruptcy laws. This happens very rarely.
- Q. I have 2 judgments, but filed chapter 7 after they were placed. Can they be renewed even though the debt was discharged
- A: This answer assumes that you reside in Utah and the judgments were entered in Utah. If you reside in another state, the law on enforceability and renewable of judgments will vary. In Utah, if the judgments were entered prior to your bankruptcy filing, and if the judgment creditor filed the proper paperwork with the County Recorder, then the judgments serve as a valid lien against any real property (home, condo, land) that you own in the county in which the judgments were recorded. If that is the case, your bankruptcy attorney can generally file a routine motion to have the judgment liens avoided through the bankruptcy case. Once a court enters an order avoiding the judgment liens, they are no longer valid and any attempt to renew the judgment would be a violation of the 'automatic stay' or 'permanent injunction' of the bankruptcy laws. If you own real property and no motion to avoid liens was filed in your case, the judgment liens would still be valid and could be renewed to serve as liens against real property. If you own no real property, the answer is much simpler. The judgments (if properly listed and sent notice in your bankruptcy case) have been discharged along with all other unsecured debt and cannot be renewed without violating the law.
- Q. will bankruptcy stop my Driving privileges from being suspended?
- A: Yes. Even if you file bankruptcy after your license has been suspended, you can have it reinstated immediately upon filing bankruptcy and taking written verification to the appropriate office. In my experience, the Utah Driver License Division is very familiar with the fact that the federal bankruptcy law supersedes the Utah state law that allows for suspension of a drivers license for an uninsured or underinsured driver.
- Q. Is there a cap on how many times you can file bankruptcy?
- A: The short answer is: There is no limit to the number of times you can file for bankruptcy protection. You can file a Chapter 7 case (straight discharge) only once every 8 years. However, you can file a Chapter 13 case at anytime, but you must be willing to make at least a small token monthly payment for a minimum of 3 years. You should also be aware that repeated attempts to file Chapter 13 cases that are dismissed can result in the loss of some of the bankruptcy law protections. For example, if you file a Chapter 13 case and it is dismissed because you could not keep current on the monthly bankruptcy payments, you could lose your ability to retain a car or other collateral in a subsequent bankruptcy filing.
- Q. Bankruptcy and transitional housing-do the same rules apply as landlord/tenant relationship?
- A: Yes. The same rules apply. It makes no difference that you are in a transitional housing program. The designation of resident or tenant in the lease agreement is inconsequential.
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