Call us for your FREE initial consultation.
1218 3rd Ave
Seattle, WA 98101
We know you have questions about bankruptcy, and we’re here to help. Please connect with us via email or by calling directly, and a knowledgeable Seattle bankruptcy lawyer from our firm will get back in touch with you as quickly as possible.
Send and email:
Contact a Seattle bankruptcy attorney about your legal rights and debt relief options today.
Through a simple FREE initial consultation with one of our skilled Seattle bankruptcy lawyers, you can begin the process of beginning fresh! Being alleviated of your huge financial burdens will pay off immensely when it comes living life more stress-free and being able to create a plan for your future. By contacting our Seattle bankruptcy attorneys, not only will you be able to understand the process better, but you will be able to make an informed decision if filing for bankruptcy in Washington State is right for you.
Helpful information on bankruptcy.
Consumer bankruptcy is a federal proceeding that allows the honest, unfortunate debtor to have a new financial beginning. The idea is that, in our consumer driven economy, it makes no sense to punish people forever when they cannot predict their future income or future misfortunes with much accuracy.
If the prospect of having to devote a crushing portion of one’s future income to debt, late fees, legal fees and interest without any possible legal relief was a reality, many people would not take the risk of incurring debt and the economy would suffer. Businesses have similar protections and, as with consumers, the law is there to encourage spending that would not take place in an environment of harsh punishment for mistakes or misfortune.
Businesses can restructure using bankruptcy laws in part, because keeping a good, but unfortunate, business alive saves jobs. Consumer bankruptcy saves dignity, families, retirement plans and hope. Nobody likes to have to ask the courts for a new beginning, but sometimes it is exactly what an individual or a family needs. That is why the laws are there to protect people from losing all hope at the risk of becoming less productive and unable to pay their debts.
A consumer bankruptcy case is much easier than most people imagine. It starts by filing a “petition for relief” with the United States bankruptcy court. The Seattle bankruptcy attorneys from our firm can help you with this filing. This petition includes documents that list a debtor’s property, debts, income and budget; along with some other financial details showing your financial affairs in the last few years.
Contact our Seattle bankruptcy attorneys to help avoid mistakes in the process.
The forms are fairly simple but making a mistake can lead to problems with your case. You should also be sure that you choose the right kind of bankruptcy for your needs – a quick Seattle Chapter 7 bankruptcy or a more complicated but powerful Seattle Chapter 13 repayment plan. Because you want to have the most stress-free new start possible and avoid the risk of avoidable problems, it is best to hire skilled Seattle bankruptcy lawyers even if your case seems simple.
In Washington State, as soon as you file a bankruptcy, all collections have to stop.
As soon as you file a bankruptcy, all collections have to stop. The bankruptcy court issues an “automatic stay” that prevents creditors from trying to collect from you. The collection activity that is stopped includes lawsuits (whether they’ve progressed to garnishment of wages or not), phone calls, car repossessions, foreclosures, tax levies and in some cases, drivers license suspensions, to name a few.
If creditors try to keep collecting from you after your Seattle bankruptcy is filed, they can be sanctioned by the bankruptcy court. Creditors take the automatic stay very seriously and it is a powerful legal weapon that helps protect you while you go through your case. Connect with our Seattle bankruptcy attorneys to get your creditors off your back once and for all.
For bankruptcy help in Seattle, WA, call: (206) 686-6399
The final order in a bankruptcy case is called a “discharge”. The discharge is like the automatic stay except it is permanent and some debts that are stayed are not discharged. Examples of debts that usually cannot be discharged are student loans, back child support or alimony, some taxes and fines like parking or speeding tickets.
Can your Seattle bankruptcy lawyers help protect my personal property?
Yes, our Seattle bankruptcy lawyers can help with that. Many people worry that they will lose all their property in a bankruptcy. This is not true. Part of having an effective new beginning is being allowed to keep your important property while discharging most, if not all, of your debt. The protected property in bankruptcy is covered by legal “exemptions”. There are different types of exemption that need to be properly claimed including those covering home equity, automobiles, bank accounts, personal injury awards and work tools to name a few. Our Seattle bankruptcy lawyers can help protect your personal property.
Washington State Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy lawyers can help you keep your retirement.
One important exemption is a retirement account. Before you spend your retirement account on a futile effort to get out of debt, you should talk to a bankruptcy attorney about your options. Exemptions are one of the most confusing but important part of a bankruptcy and the need to carefully claim them on your bankruptcy petition is a very important reason to hire one of our Seattle bankruptcy lawyers to help you with your case.
Debts, like car loans and mortgages, are known as “secured debts” because they are “secured” by collateral, and usually need to be paid if you want to keep the property. Secured debts are secured by “liens” on the property. The general rule is that liens survive a bankruptcy. You can either pay the debt secured by the lien or surrender the property back to the creditor and discharge it.
However, there are ways of removing some liens in bankruptcy such as judgment liens, liens for debts that are not used to buy the property but put on the property later (non-purchase money security liens) or second mortgages. Sometimes you can “cram down” the debt to the value of the property. The way you can treat secured debt is different in Chap. 7 or Chap. 13 cases.
Seattle Chapter 7 bankruptcy attorneys.
A Chap. 7 is known as a “liquidation bankruptcy”. If creditors are paid anything during a Chap. 7, it is by allowing a “trustee” to sell non-exempt property and divide it fairly among creditors. This kind of bankruptcy usually only lasts about 3-4 months and the only hearing that is usually held is your “meeting of creditors”, a short meeting with the trustee where the trustee has a chance to ask questions to make sure there is no property that can be taken to pay your debts.
To qualify for a Chap. 7, you have to be below the state median income for your household size or, if you have a higher income, you have to show through a “means test” that you still do not have enough income to get into a repayment plan because of your expenses. This means test can be complicated and it is highly advisable to see an attorney if you need to figure out the means test. Read more about qualifying for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Washington State.
Seattle Chapter 13 bankruptcy lawyers.
A Chap. 13 bankruptcy is a repayment plan lasting 3 to 5 years. If you have a higher income, you may be forced into a Chap. 13. Often a Chap. 13 is much better than trying to come up with your own plan – you can pay pennies on the dollar on some debt and consolidate taxes, car loans, mortgages and other debt.
You can do some things in a Chap. 13 that you cannot do in a Chap. 7 such as remove a second mortgage from your house, reinstate your driver’s license that may have been suspended for tickets, consolidate taxes in your payment plan or discharge debts you were ordered to pay in a divorce (such as joint credit card debt). Learn more about filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy in Washington State.
Allow our Seattle bankruptcy attorneys to go to work for you today, and begin immediately getting your life and finances back in order! Our legal professionals will help answer your bankruptcy questions through your first free consultation.
Questions about bankruptcy? Call us today!
Our Seattle Chapter 7 bankruptcy attorneys are here to help you get a new beginning! We offer flexible payment plans and affordable fees. Take the initial step by calling today for a free consultation:
Need help? Email us today.