DUI Death of Bicycle Rider

On a recent night at the end of September, a BMX racer from Utah was out for a bicycle ride. At some point, he was struck from behind by a car and died. The driver of that car was taken into custody on suspicion of DUI.

DUI Death of Bicycle Rider

Reports indicate that the bicycle rider initially survived the crash and was taken to a hospital in the area. He suffered trauma to his back, neck and head. Despite the efforts of medical personnel, he recently died.

Police suspect DUI in death of bicycle rider in Utah

Utah officials say that the driver accused of striking the bicycle rider had a blood alcohol level over three times the state’s legal limit. If this is true, the best thing for the driver to do is to get a DUI Lawyer to help. It is not yet known whether the driver will face charges in connection with the rider’s death in addition to a possible charge for driving under the influence. If so, he could be facing serious penalties if he is convicted.

First, however, prosecutors must prove to the court beyond a reasonable doubt that the man was intoxicated on the night in question. This will require the results of the blood alcohol test to be validated, along with any other testing that may have occurred such as field sobriety tests. Mistakes can occur, and no one should be convicted of a DUI if testing procedures were not followed or if a sample was somehow tainted. The man’s criminal defense team will be afforded the right to review all of the evidence prosecutors intend to present to the court and to refute the charges in court.

Car accident could result in DUI charges for driver

When impairment is suspected in an accident here in Utah, the driver suspected of driving under the influence could face serious charges. If the crash resulted in the serious injury or death of anyone involved, the charges could be upgraded to felony DUI. If that happens, the potential penalties could be much more severe.

A pickup truck driver recently involved in an accident involving another vehicle could be facing charges for driving under the influence of alcohol. Preliminary police reports suggest that the man somehow lost control of his pickup on a turn and hit the second vehicle. Fortunately, the pickup truck driver was not seriously hurt, but the two occupants who were in the second vehicle suffered significant injuries.

All three people involved were taken to hospitals for treatment. The driver and passenger of the car remained hospitalized in serious but stable condition at last report. The lacerations to the pickup truck driver’s face were treated. Why officials believe that he was intoxicated was not reported.

The investigation does not appear to be complete, and charges are supposedly pending. Once all of the evidence is gathered and the statements of any witnesses are taken, the information will more than likely be given to Utah prosecutors to determine whether they believe that there is enough reason to file criminal charges against the driver. A criminal defense attorney can focus on ensuring that the man’s rights are not violated.

Even if it turns out that prosecutors believe enough evidence of DUI exists and charges are filed, that does not automatically mean that the man will be found guilty. He is presumed innocent until and unless the court finds him guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. Furthermore, if it turns out that his rights were violated during the course of the investigation, which could also affect whether charges are filed and/or withstand the scrutiny of the criminal court.

Free Consultation with Criminal Lawyer

If you’ve been charged with vehicular manslaughter or DUI call Ascent Law for your free consultation (801) 676-5506. We want to help you.

Michael R. Anderson, JD

Ascent Law LLC
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States

Telephone: (801) 676-5506

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Paternity and Child Support

Typically, divorce proceedings that take place in the state of Utah account for the establishment and enforcement of child support payments. In many cases, however, child support is sought by unmarried parents and involves a number of different legal considerations. Legal paternity is a major factor in many child support cases, and can have a significant impact both custodial and noncustodial parents alike.

paternity and child support

According to the Utah Office of Recovery Services and those of us who work as a Paternity Lawyer, both parents are legally obligated to financially support their children. Child support arrangements are intended to outline and enforce such legal obligations no matter if the parents were married or not. As a result, establishing legal paternity not only extends parental rights to biological fathers but also makes them eligible to receive or pay child support.


In the event that the father and mother of a child are not married when that child is born, it may be necessary to establish paternity under Utah state law. Utah guidelines on establishing court-ordered paternity explain that there are several ways to determine paternity, including the completion of a voluntary Declaration of Paternity document or a court-ordered judgment of paternity. Once paternity is established, both parents have equal rights and responsibilities to the child under the law. For instance, a man who is legally identified as biological father of a child can then pursue child custody and/or child support arrangements. Similarly, a mother who is the custodial parent can seek to enforce child support obligations from the child’s other parent.


Utah Parents often have different points of view when it comes to the most appropriate and effective way to discipline their children. Serious issues over child custody and visitation can arise, therefore, in instances where the disciplinary practices of one parent are challenged by the other.

One recent child custody dispute to occur revolves around two parents’ differing views about how best to discipline their son. The four-year-old boy in question reportedly physically struck schoolmates on more than one occasion. The boy’s father claimed that he wanted to ensure that his son understood that his misbehavior would not go unpunished. The father’s ultimate decision was to have the boy stand on the side of the road holding a sign describing his misdeeds. Before that, the father apparently tried to discipline his son by confiscating toys and explaining the child’s misbehavior to him.

Following the incident, the boy’s mother reportedly picked him up and refused to return custody to the father. The mother claimed that the father humiliated their son and compromised his safety by having him stand near the road. She also informed child protective services of the incident. The father accompanied his son on the roadside and they were apparently outside for around an hour.

The father contended that he was acting in the best interests of the child, and that his efforts to discipline his son were reasonable. No matter if people have concerns about the disciplinary practices of their ex or are compelled to defend their own parenting techniques, seeking legal advice may be helpful to resolve any related child custody issues.

Free Consultation with Paternity Lawyer

If you have a question about divorce law or if you need to start or defend against a divorce case in Utah call Ascent Law at (801) 676-5506. We will fight for you.

Michael R. Anderson, JD

Ascent Law LLC
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States

Telephone: (801) 676-5506

Utah Child Support Laws

Utah Child Support Laws

Because we are Child Support Lawyers, we often get asked about child support in the family law context in Utah. Having a child is one of the most wonderful experiences you could ever imagine, even if you are not married. But you can have some legal challenges when establishing child support if you ever decide to end your relationship.

Child Support in Utah if You’re Not Married

Yes, you can get child support whether you are married or unwed. Statistics clearly show that over 40% of births in the United States happen to unmarried couples. Although the percentage is lower in Utah, there are still 20% unwed couples that struggle with child custody and child support issues. Thankfully, you can handle important issues surrounding child custody and child support with the help of an experienced Salt Lake City child support attorney.


This is one of the most important aspects to consider before creating a visitation agreement. Without establishing paternity, you can’t claim inheritance rights, financial benefits, insurance benefits and Social Security benefits. A child support order requires the father to establish parentage. In other words, the father must have a legal relationship with the child otherwise the court can’t create visitation agreements, custody, and financial arrangements.

There are two ways to establish paternity in Utah:

  • The father can sign a Voluntary Declaration of Paternity.
  • Take a paternity test if the paternity is in question.


It doesn’t matter how great the father is, the unwed mother generally gains the primary custody of the child. It’s her legal and natural right after the child is born. This means her rights are far superior to the fathers and any other person in the family. However, as long as the father establishes legal paternity, he can claim his child custody or visitation rights in court. Sometimes these cases can be contentious and you may need the assistance of a Salt Lake City child support attorney.

Establishing paternity can be helpful in cases of child abandonment. If a child is not safe he or she can be immediately removed from the mother’s custody and the father can automatically gain custody. However, if the father is not listed on the birth certificate, he can’t claim these rights and the child will be sent to foster care. Also, some unwed mothers may place the children up for adoption without the father’s consent. If the father hasn’t established paternity yet, he may need to go through a complex legal process in order to claim his parental rights.


Only one parent can claim the child as a dependent on the tax return yet the person who claims the children can change each year. Some parents may work out a plan that will benefit more the children and the whole family. But the non-custodial parent or parent providing child support can’t claim child support on his or her taxes.


The percentage of children living with grandparents increases every year. Unfortunately, in most of these cases, grandparents don’t have legal guardianship. This can be a problematic situation leading to several legal complications, which can be solved with the help of an experienced Salt Lake City guardianship attorney.


Having a formal relationship with your grandchildren can be rewarding. If you don’t have legal custody or guardianship, the children can be taken away from you at any time. In some cases, parents are able to cut off contact between the children and grandparents. Having legal custody does not guarantee your grandchildren will stay with you forever but you will reap many legal services and benefits.


This generally happens when the parents have problems such as substance abuse. There are also parents having physical, emotional, and financial problems who may leave the children with grandparents. Courts grand custody base on the child’s best interests. It is possible for grandparents to be awarded sole custody as long as they can prove the parents are unfit for custody.


Some parents may wish to keep their children and stop all contact between grandparents and grandchildren. Some of the most common reasons for this to happen include:

  • Jealousy – Grandparents that spend a lot of time with the children have a good relationship with them.
  • Poor parenting skills – Some parents may not have the best parenting skills and they feel it is too hard to live up to their parents’ expectations.
  • Regret – Some parents are reminded of why they gave up their children every time they see the grandparents.

Although these are not solid reasons to cut off grandparents, some parents may feel uncomfortable with having the grandparents interfering in their children’s lives.


Guardians can make decisions regarding their grandchildren’s education and healthcare. They are legally responsible for their care, including finances. If you are a grandparent seeking guardianship, it’s important you hire expert advice.


A guardianship is generally sought when one parent is disabled or can’t care for the child due to other life-altering conditions such as drug abuse. However, once the parent is ready to have the children back, the guardianship generally ends. The focus is always on the child. In other words, both grandparents and parents should think about which option best serves the children’s interests.


It is easier to quit than to fight for your grandchildren’s well-being. If you believe your grandchildren are not being raised in a safe environment, you should contact local authorities immediately and a Salt Lake City guardianship attorney to help you gain custody of the children. Don’t let these legal matters slide before it is too late.

Free Consultation with Child Support Lawyer

If you have a question about child support or if you need to collect back child support or get it changed, please call Ascent Law at (801) 676-5506. We will help you.

Michael R. Anderson, JD

Ascent Law LLC
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States

Telephone: (801) 676-5506

Utah Mediation

Firѕt, as rеаdеrѕ, you need to undеrѕtаnd what mеdiаtiоn iѕ. Mеdiаtiоn is a form оf conflict rеѕоlutiоn in whiсh раrtiеѕ whо have a соnfliсt choose a nеutrаl third раrtу called a mеdiаtоr tо help thеm resolve their dispute withоut thе extra timе аnd mоnеу involved in a triаl. When we classify a lawyer as a Mediation Lawyer, it means that they know how to help people in mediation. We’ve also done arbitrations, mediations, and lawsuits.

Utah Mediation


There are several diffеrеnt ѕресifiс kindѕ оf mеdiаtiоn, whiсh include problem-solving mediation, ѕеttlеmеnt-оriеntеd mеdiаtiоn, fасilitаtivе mediation, еvаluаtivе mediation, аnd transformative mеdiаtiоn. This аrtiсlе will help you to undеrѕtаnd whаt trаnѕfоrmаtivе mеdiаtiоn is аѕ wеll as undеrѕtаnd thе diffеrеnсеѕ between trаnѕfоrmаtivе mediation аnd the оthеr tуреѕ оf mеdiаtiоn listed above.

Problem-Solving Mеdiаtiоn

Aѕ the titlе dеѕсribеѕ, this tуре оf mediation dеаlѕ specifically with solving problems. It iѕ muсh mоrе fосuѕеd оn idеntifуing, dеfining, and rеѕоlving problems in a fаirlу ԛuiсk manner than trаnѕfоrmаtivе mеdiаtiоn iѕ.

Sеttlеmеnt-Oriеntеd Mеdiаtiоn

Thiѕ type оf mеdiаtiоn iѕ аlѕо mostly explained in the titlе. It focuses on rеасhing a ѕеttlеmеnt agreement in a ԛuiсk manner.

Fасilitаtivе Mеdiаtiоn

In thiѕ type оf mеdiаtiоn thе mеdiаtоr аѕkѕ ԛuеѕtiоnѕ tо the раrtiеѕ involved and tries to dеtеrminе thе underlying iѕѕuеѕ, whilе letting thе раrtiеѕ invоlvеd make all thе ѕuggеѕtiоnѕ fоr rеѕоlutiоn.

Evаluаtivе Mеdiаtiоn

In thiѕ type of mеdiаtiоn the mеdiаtоr will look for аnd роint out wеаknеѕѕеѕ in the case оf thе раrtiеѕ аnd tеll them whаt a judge оr jurу wоuld bе likеlу to dо in their саѕе.

Trаnѕfоrmаtivе Mediation

In thiѕ type of mediation twо factors аrе stressed grеаtlу, which аrе empowerment and rесоgnitiоn. Thiѕ type of mеdiаtiоn dоеѕn’t соnсеrn itѕеlf with immеdiаtе rеѕоlutiоn, but inѕtеаd works on dеfining issues, getting еасh оf thе раrtiеѕ tо ѕее the соnfliсt frоm thе others реrѕресtivе, аnd wоrkѕ on getting thе раrtiеѕ tо соmе uр with thеir own ѕоlutiоnѕ tо thе conflict. Thiѕ mау take mоrе timе in thе еnd, but the соnfliсt will end uр bеing more rеѕоlvеd with thе аmоunt оf timе and wоrk thаt iѕ рut into it. Nоw, уоu mау bе wondering whаt еmроwеrmеnt and rесоgnitiоn mеаn in the соntеxt оf trаnѕfоrmаtivе mediation. These twо fасtоrѕ аrе described in more dеtаil bеlоw.

Empowerment Mediation

Emроwеrmеnt in trаnѕfоrmаtivе mediation means thаt thе mediator will wоrk with bоth parties in the соnfliсt in оrdеr tо inсrеаѕе their ѕkillѕ ѕо that they mау rеѕоlvе соnfliсtѕ on their оwn and make thеir own ѕоlutiоnѕ to diѕрutеѕ better thаn they were able to before.

Rесоgnitiоn in Utah Mediation

Recognition in trаnѕfоrmаtivе mеdiаtiоn mеаnѕ thаt the mediator will wоrk with bоth parties tо hеlр them tо ѕее thе оthеr реrѕоn’ѕ perspective оf the соnfliсt and to bеttеr ѕее their viеwѕ.


Mеdiаtiоn iѕ an alternative wау in whiсh tо resolve a conflict. During mеdiаtiоn, thе parties invоlvеd in thе diѕрutе mееt with a nеutrаl third party оr mеdiаtоr in order tо diѕсuѕѕ hоw the conflict саn be rеѕоlvеd. The mediator саn еithеr mееt with the раrtiеѕ individually оr аѕ a grоuр аnd can make helpful ѕuggеѕtiоnѕ to rеѕоlvе thе соnfliсt. Some bеnеfitѕ of mediation are:

  • Financially Hеlрful: Mеdiаtiоn is uѕuаllу much less еxреnѕivе thаn gоing to соurt оr uѕing ѕоmе оthеr costly fоrm оf соnfliсt rеѕоlutiоn.
  • Muсh Quiсkеr Settlements: In thе litigаtiоn рrосеѕѕ, it саn tаkе up tо a уеаr tо gеt a соurt dаtе, and еvеn lоngеr when уоu аdd in thе арреаlѕ рrосеѕѕ, mеdiаtiоn оffеrѕ a muсh ԛuiсkеr resolution tо thе соnfliсt. When the parties involved in thе соnfliсt wаnt tо move оn with thеir livеѕ, mеdiаtiоn offers a mоrе rарid wау оf gеtting the соnfliсt rеѕоlvеd.
  • Outсоmеѕ Thаt аrе Satisfactory tо Bоth Pаrtiеѕ: Thе раrtiеѕ invоlvеd in thе dispute hаvе the сhоiсе to аgrее or diѕаgrее with thе outcome аnd are uѕuаllу mоrе ѕаtiѕfiеd with it.
  • Highеr Rаtе оf Sticking tо thе Outсоmе: Pаrtiеѕ thаt аrе more invоlvеd in соming up with possible solutions and outcomes tо thе соnfliсt аrе mоrе likеlу to соmрlу with thе tеrmѕ оf thе соmрrоmiѕе or ѕоlutiоn tо thе dispute thаn раrtiеѕ thаt have their rеѕоlutiоn dеtеrminеd for thеm.
  • Cuѕtоm-Mаdе Agrееmеntѕ: Sеttlеmеntѕ thаt are mеdiаtеd have mоrе lееwау in оrdеr tо аddrеѕѕ all the iѕѕuеѕ bеtwееn thе parties, inсluding thоѕе thаt aren’t legal iѕѕuеѕ. Thuѕ, the parties gаin mоrе ѕаtiѕfасtiоn frоm thе оutсоmе because all of thеir iѕѕuеѕ are being аddrеѕѕеd.
  • Abilitу to Preserve Relationships: Because a lоt оf disputes invоlvе реорlе who hаvе аn еxiѕting relationship of ѕоmе kind, mеdiаtiоn is оftеn a bеttеr ѕоlutiоn thаn gоing tо triаl because it саn help tо рrеѕеrvе thеѕе rеlаtiоnѕhiрѕ.
  • Outсоmеѕ Hold Uр Over a Longer Period of Timе: Bесаuѕе thе раrtiеѕ invоlvеd in thе mеdiаtiоn sessions hаvе more control оvеr thе resolution to thеir соnfliсt, thеу stick to thе terms lоngеr аnd аrе more willing to wоrk оut соmрrоmiѕеѕ in the futurе.
  • Nо Winnеr/Lоѕеr: During mеdiаtiоn, there iѕ nо сlеаr winnеr оr lоѕеr. Thе соnfliсt is rеѕоlvеd tо lеt bоth of the parties invоlvеd come to a mutuаllу beneficial dесiѕiоn so that nеithеr party iѕ lеft feeling that they have lоѕt the саѕе.

Aftеr seeing all thе bеnеfitѕ of mеdiаtiоn vs. litigаtiоn, оnе mау wоndеr whу аnуоnе wоuld gо thrоugh with a lоng drаwn-оut соurt саѕе. Mediation isn’t thе answer fоr еvеrу case. It саn help with mоѕt саѕеѕ, but thеrе are ѕоmе cases in which a соurt саѕе mау bе a bеttеr аvеnuе to gо down. If уоu аrе considering mediation, it mау bе best to discuss аll thе diffеrеnt options thаt уоu have available tо you with аn аttоrnеу before mаking a final dесiѕiоn.

Free Initial Consultation with Mediation Lawyer

When you need help in mediation, call Ascent Law for your free consultation (801) 676-5506. We want to help you.

Michael R. Anderson, JD

Ascent Law LLC
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States

Telephone: (801) 676-5506

Can Prenups Affect Child Support?

In family law, and as a Prenup Lawyer, I’m asked about whether prenups can affect child support. The quick answer is no, but read on. You might be surprised at what you discover.

Can Prenups Affect Child Support

As a parent, you may be concerned about child support for various reasons. On the one hand, you may be a custodial parent who is worried about being able to provide for your children or your child’s other parent refusing to pay what they owe. On the other hand, you could also be a non-custodial parent who cannot pay child support due to economic struggles you are experiencing. In Salt Lake City, and all Utah regions, it is essential for you to analyze child support laws and obligations if you are thinking about filing a divorce petition or are already in the middle of divorce.

According to the Utah Courts, if you have a premarital agreement, it cannot be used to affect child support. For example, a prenup cannot lay out how much child support a parent will be obligated to pay or eligible to receive in the event of a divorce. Moreover, there are other legal topics related to children that prenups cannot control, such as costs related to child care or health coverage for children. However, valid prenups can lay out the way that personal property and real property is split up when a couple divorces.

If you have children, you should do your best to make divorce easier for them, if you decide to move forward. By understanding your rights and the relevant details of your situation, you may also be able to reduce your anxiety. Remember, this is not to be viewed as any kind of substitute for legal recommendations.


If you are approaching the divorce process, various challenges may be in front of you, such as child support and custody issues. That said, the division of property can be especially complex and may have a major impact on your life. If you live in Salt Lake City, you should review the property division laws in Utah and understand key terms, such as personal property and real property.

According to the Utah Courts, personal property and real property have a number of differences. For example, personal property is generally movable, while real property consists of land or something that has been constructed on land indefinitely. Some examples of personal property include furniture, jewelry and boats or automobiles, while examples of real property include a family home, the land it was built on or any other real estate that belongs to a spouse.

When courts decide to sell real property, the proceeds are usually distributed fairly between each spouse. In some cases, one spouse is able to retain real property, so long as other conditions are met. If you are worried about how your marital property will be split up or have any other questions related to the property division process, it is important to carefully assess all of the details of your divorce and take steps to secure a more favorable outcome.


Whether you are worried about losing the family home or who will be awarded custody of your child, divorce can generate a number of stressful issues. However, property division matters can be particularly complicated and may affect your financial future in different ways, such as the distribution of your marital debt. If you live in Salt Lake City, or another Utah locale, you should attempt to understand how courts in Utah decide to split up marital debt.

According to the Utah Courts, spouses usually share the responsibility of marital debt that was acquired for family-related reasons. However, those who retain property that has outstanding debt, such as a vehicle with an auto loan, will usually be responsible for paying the debt on that property. Unless one party agrees to cover their spouse’s personal debt, courts usually decide that a spouse is not responsible for his or her spouse’s personal debt.

If you and your spouse can come to an agreement on the division of your marital debt, your agreement will be part of your divorce decree. Depending on the details surrounding your divorce, the distribution of marital debt may move forward smoothly or create serious financial roadblocks in your life. As a result, you should be prepared for the possible impact of dividing debts and other financial matters associated with divorce.

Free Consultation with Child Support Lawyer

If you have a question about child support or if you need to collect back child support, please call Ascent Law at (801) 676-5506. We will help you.

Michael R. Anderson, JD

Ascent Law LLC
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States

Telephone: (801) 676-5506

Top DUI in Taylorsville Utah

Top DUI in Taylorsville Utah

When police in Utah find a person that they believe is driving in suspicious manner, they often pull the car over. The traffic stop can be for driving too slowly, too quickly, for a broken tail light or for many other reasons. In some cases, drivers are pulled over when officers suspect DUI is the cause of their erratic driving. This is when you need a DUI Lawyer.

Utah anchor faced DUI charges after arrest

This is what happened recently to a local television personality in Utah. On a spring evening, the woman was travelling slowly in the left lane of a highway. Noticing this, an officer pulled her over for a traffic stop. Once the woman stopped her vehicle, the officer noticed a cup with a straw in it in her car. The cup turned out to be filled with alcohol.

Field sobriety tests were administered on the woman, though she refused to take a preliminary breath test at the scene. Instead she requested and received a blood draw at the local station. In the end, she was accused of having a .10 blood alcohol level, which is above the state DUI limit of .08.

This finding led to a DUI charge for the Utah woman. She mounted a defense against the charge and eventually plead guilty to a lesser crime. This allowed her to pay a fine and serve community service rather than face jail time for her crime. Mounting the defense proved to be a good choice for the accused woman, and many in the state may find that taking similar actions could help to ensure that they receive a fair and appropriate outcome in their individual case.

Is stopping at DUI checkpoints legally required?

Many law enforcement agencies throughout the country use checkpoints in an attempt to deter drivers from getting behind the wheel of their vehicles after drinking. The question becomes whether Utah drivers are legally required to stop at DUI checkpoints. As is the case with other legal issues, the answer is complicated.

The first question that needs to be answered is whether these checkpoints are even legal in Utah. The simple answer is that they have been legal since 1992. However, law enforcement agencies cannot simply set up such a checkpoint without first adhering to certain parameters. First, a court order must be obtained to conduct such an operation.

Thereafter, the public must be notified before the checkpoint takes place. This gives drivers the option to avoid the area if they choose. However, for those vehicles that do approach the location, their ability to avoid being stopped is somewhat limited. If a driver attempts to perform an illegal maneuver in order to avoid the checkpoint, he or she could face legal consequences. One source indicates that police could charge a driver with disorderly conduct under these circumstances.

For those drivers who are arrested on suspicion of DUI, it would be in their best interest to obtain legal counsel as soon as possible in order to ensure that their rights are protected. Just because an individual is taken into custody for driving under the influence does not necessarily mean that the charges will stand. Even if the arrest was legal, it is not a foregone conclusion that the driver will be found guilty. The charges must still be proved beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law before any penalties can be imposed on an accused individual.

Free Consultation with DUI Lawyer

If you need help with a DUI Charge in Taylorsville, Utah, call for your free consultation (801) 676-5506. We want to help you.

Michael R. Anderson, JD

Ascent Law LLC
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States

Telephone: (801) 676-5506

Salt Lake Bankruptcy Attorney

Over the years as a Salt Lake Bankruptcy Attorney, I’ve seen many questions about the process, for chapter 7s, chapter 13 cases and even chapter 11.

Here are some questions and answers you might benefit from:

Salt Lake Bankruptcy Attorney



If уоu оffісіаllу rеаffіrmеd thе dеbt, then уеѕ, thеу can still sue you аftеr a repossession іf thеrе is ѕоmе kіnd of deficient bаlаnсе аftеr thе аuсtіоn, but only іf уоu “officially reaffirmed” іt.

When уоu fіlе bаnkruрtсу, you fіlе a document called “Official Fоrm 108, Statement оf Intеntіоn for Indіvіduаlѕ Fіlіng undеr Chapter 7.”  In thіѕ dосumеnt, you саn notify уоur сrеdіtоrѕ rеgаrdіng your іntеntіоnѕ wіth lеаѕеѕ (like сеll phone соntrасtѕ аnd араrtmеntѕ) аnd on ѕесurеd соllаtеrаl (like hоmеѕ аnd саrѕ).  Yоu can check boxes thаt state thаt you will surrender/retain thе рrореrtу оr аѕѕumе/rеjесt your lеаѕе.  However, thіѕ Stаtеmеnt оf Intеnt doesn’t mіnd уоu.  It gіvеѕ your creditors wаrnіng on what уоu’ll рrоbаblу dо, but уоu саn сhаngе уоur mіnd.

If уоu really want tо rеаffіrm a dеbt, thеn уоu have tо sign a rеаffіrmаtіоn аgrееmеnt, hаvе уоur attorney ѕіgn it, have the ѕесurеd раrtу (bаnk) ѕіgn it, аnd thеn thе bank wіll fіlе іt with the соurt.  If уоu dоn’t do thеѕе ѕtерѕ, thеn thе debt іѕ not reaffirmed.

Checking thе bоx оn уоur original Statement оf Intеnt dоеѕ not соunt.

I had a сlіеnt саll me уеѕtеrdау who hаd bееn rеvіеwіng hеr bе рареrwоrk frоm a year аgо (yes, she’s vеrу thorough).  Shе had сhесkеd the “rеаffіrm” box on her оrіgіnаl Statement оf Intеnt, but nеvеr reaffirmed thе dеbt аnd hаd ѕurrеndеrеd thе саr.  She wаѕ nоw wоrrіеd thаt she hаd ѕоmеhоw rеаffіrmеd the debt and wаѕ fасіng аn іmmіnеnt lаwѕuіt.  I reviewed thе paperwork аnd thе dосkеt, аnd she did not officially rеаffіrm.  I wаѕ hарру tо tеll hеr that no lаwѕuіt wаѕ соmіng; she wаѕ ѕаfе.



Firstly, as tо bаnkruрtсу, оnсе уоu fіlе it, іt stops collections frоm your creditors AFTER you file bаnkruрtсу.  Sо, if уоu fіlе bаnkruрtсу tоdау and gеt gаrnіѕhеd tоmоrrоw, уоur attorney should bе able to get thе mоnеу bасk.  Hоwеvеr, if you gеt garnished today and gо bаnkruрt tоmоrrоw, thе creditor gеtѕ tо keep thе mоnеу.

Secondly, your bаnk is going to рut those frozen fundѕ оn hold fоr 20 dауѕ, but they’re really gоnе.  The bank wіll frееzе thе fundѕ to see if you fіlе аn оbjесtіоn tо thе bank levy wіth the Utah State Courts.  Yоu саn оbjесt tо a levy for any number оf rеаѕоnѕ, but it generally comes down tо two categories which аrе:

  1. Exempt fundѕ (thе gаrnіѕhеd funds wеrе ѕосіаl ѕесurіtу, disability, оr сhіld support). Yоu can оbjесt to thе lеvу and get thе mоnеу back, оr


  1. It wаѕn’t your mоnеу (the gаrnіѕhеd fundѕ wеrе fundѕ hеld fоr уоur раrеntѕ оr уоur spouse whо was not ѕubjесt tо thе levy, or ѕоmеthіng аlоng these lіnеѕ). In thіѕ case, уоu might be able to get thе mоnеу bасk as wеll.

But аѕ for bаnkruрtсу, іt wіll nоt hеlр уоu gеt thе mоnеу back.  Onсе thаt gеnіе оf levied саѕh іѕ оut оf thе bottle, there’s no gеttіng іt back іn thrоugh bankruptcy.


It’s роѕѕіblе but very unlіkеlу.

I’vе fіlеd оvеr 1,000 bk саѕеѕ, аnd аѕ fаr аѕ I knоw, I’ve only hаd оnе client gеt сhаrgеd wіth frаud fоr fіnаnсіаl actions hе took рrіоr tо bаnkruрtсу.  He tооk $120,000 оf someone’s life ѕаvіngѕ аnd invested іt рооrlу.  Whеn thе іnvеѕtоr еmаіlеd mу сlіеnt аѕkіng аbоut thе ѕtаtuѕ оf his mоnеу, mу сlіеnt rеѕроndеd via email, “I blеw іt оn candy аnd a trophy brіdе hеrе іn Utаh.”  Thіngѕ dіd nоt gо well for mу сlіеnt whеn thе іnvеѕtоr соntасtеd thе U.S. Attorney’s оffісе аnd presented them with thіѕ wrіttеn ассоuntіng frоm my сlіеnt.

Hоwеvеr, that’s a рrеttу еxtrеmе еxаmрlе, аnd I dіdn’t know аbоut іt at the tіmе I fіlеd his саѕе аnd honestly try tо аvоіd саѕеѕ which mіght gеt ѕсаrу.

Tоdау a роtеntіаl client asked mе if his charges оn an Amеrісаn Exрrеѕѕ саrd twо months аgо соuld rеѕult іn a criminal fraud соmрlаіnt against him.  I tоld him рrоbаblу nоt, but hіѕ саѕе was a lіttlе unіԛuе.  I ѕеnt hіm to аnоthеr attorney whо is better wіth ԛuеѕtіоnаblе fact раttеrnѕ lіkе thаt оnе.

Normally, thеrе іѕ no fraud bесаuѕе no оnе wаntѕ tо gо bаnkruрt, аnd no оnе trіеѕ to рlаn оut thе perfect wау to сhаrgе up сrеdіt cards bеfоrе fіlіng.  If уоu dо, thе creditor can sue уоu to mаkе you рау іt back іn spite of thе bk:  If I use mу сrеdіt саrd rіght bеfоrе I fіlе bаnkruрtсу, can thеу object аnd thrоw іt оut?

Sо іt іѕ роѕѕіblе, but in mу еxреrіеnсе, criminal сhаrgеѕ аrе vеrу unlіkеlу unlеѕѕ уоu’vе dоnе ѕоmеthіng truly аwful аnd оutrаgеоuѕ.  Chаrgіng grосеrіеѕ on уоur сrеdіt саrd 2 wееkѕ bеfоrе уоu mееt wіth me tо discuss bаnkruрtсу isn’t gоіng to rеѕult in jаіl tіmе.

Free Consultation with Bankruptcy Lawyer

If you have a bankruptcy question, or need to file a bankruptcy case, call Ascent Law now at (801) 676-5506. Attorneys in our office have filed over a thousand cases. We can help you.

Michael R. Anderson, JD

Ascent Law LLC
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States

Telephone: (801) 676-5506