Seattle bankruptcy lawyer, Erin M. Lane and her team are here to help.
Want to find out if you can qualify for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Washington State? Give us a call for your initial no-cost case evaluation to get help and answers fast.
FREE consultation: (206) 686-6399
Qualifying for Chapter 7 bankruptcy help in Washington State can be complicated. Our bankruptcy lawyers can help.
Qualifying can be a difficult process and can be hard to understand without legal help. It is important to seek advice from experienced Seattle Chapter 7 bankruptcy attorneys to discuss your specific financial situation. Here are some criteria for analyzing whether you qualify for this kind of case:
The Means Test: The new laws require a Means Test as the first step for determining if qualifying is possible for your situation.
Below Median income: No presumption of abuse. If you are below the median income for your household size, there is no presumption of abuse for a discharge. However, if you have still significant disposable monthly income (e.g., a recent, higher paying job), there still may be actual abuse to qualify.
Above Median income, still no presumption of abuse: Many households above the median income still qualify for this kind of bankruptcy where they have certain higher than average monthly expenditures such as: child support, spousal maintenance, daycare, ongoing medical expenses, higher an average mortgage(s), etc. One of our experienced affordable Seattle, WA Chapter 7 bankruptcy lawyers will help you with this analysis.
Rebutting the presumption of abuse: Even if you do not pass the Means Test, you can still qualify for Chap. 7 by rebutting the presumption of abuse. An example is forced retirement due to illness where your income was recently above the median income.
No prior Chap. 7 discharge for 8 years: If you have filed and received a Chap. 7 discharge for 8 years, you will be able qualify. However, if it has been at least 4 years since you filed, you will be eligible to file for Chap. 13 with a payment as low as $100/per month and receive a discharge after a 36-month Chap. 13 plan.
Chapter 7 conversion: If you are currently in a Chap. 13, but your household income has fallen, you may be eligible to convert to Chapter 7. One of our experienced affordable Seattle, WA Chapter 7 bankruptcy lawyers can help you with this analysis.
This kind of bankruptcy discharges regular unsecured debt like credit cards as well as medical bills. It does NOT discharge:
- Child support and spousal maintenance.
- Most taxes (except older income taxes).
- Fraudulent debt.
- Fines and criminal restitution.
- Student loans (there are exceptions—talk to us about this).
- Secured debt, like houses and cars. These have to be paid back. We can often help you get better terms.
- Debt for personal injury or death caused by operating a motorized vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Will filing hurt my credit score?
Since credit scores are based in large part to your debt-to-income ratio, most people will actually experience an increase in their credit rating.
A bankruptcy appears on your credit for 10 years. But if you are already showing a bad credit history, then it will be on there for that length of time anyway, and it will also show that none of that debt is collectible anymore, which actually makes you a safer credit risk than someone with unpaid and collectible debt who did NOT file.
If I do qualify and file, will I lose my personal assets?
Asset protection is one of the most important things we review thoroughly before we file a case. Make sure to let us know about all your assets so that we can give you the proper advice. Our law firm offers low flat fees as well as affordable payment plans for attorney costs. Call for a free consultation with one of our affordable and experienced Seattle, WA Chapter 7 bankruptcy attorneys.
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Our Chapter 7 bankruptcy lawyers in Seattle, WA are here to help you get a fresh start in life! We offer inexpensive low flat fees. Take the first step and give our Seattle Chapter 7 bankruptcy attorneys a call today:
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