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Bankruptcy Attorneys Serving Bellevue, WA
Is a Bellevue bankruptcy right for you?
Our Bellevue bankruptcy attorneys handle all Chapter 7 and all Chapter 13 cases. We understand that financial struggles can happen to anyone, even someone who was recently employed with a good job and who seemed to be very financially stable. Simply put, bankruptcy is one of the most dynamic and powerful financial laws in the court. It can immediately stop a home foreclosure, a wage garnishment, a lawsuit, a repossession. It also puts an end to that seemingly endless nightmare of creditors harassing you and your family at all hours of the day and night.
If you are living Bellevue, Washington and find yourself in financial distress, filing for bankruptcy might be your best option. A Bellevue bankruptcy will give you the fresh financial start that you deserve. Despite the mistaken presumption that anyone living here in Bellevue is well off and faces no financial difficulties, many of our friends and neighbors here on the Eastside are indeed struggling.
Founded in 1863 and incorporated in 1953, the City of Bellevue is the largest suburban city of the Seattle metropolitan area with a population now approaching 150,000. Even though Bellevue is considered an affluent city, many of its citizens are under financial distress, especially since the recent economic downturn. Even the Bellevue Chamber of Commerce has acknowledged that many Bellevue residents have fallen on hard times.
Like the rest of the Seattle area, unfortunately many residents of Bellevue have experienced recent job layoff, which has made it difficult if not impossible for them to continue to pay all of their monthly bills, especially their mortgage. Because of these economic hardships, many Bellevue residents have turned to bankruptcy lawyers for advice for the best way to resolve their financial problems.
The City of Bellevue Facebook page is another great source of information about what's happening on the Eastside. And, if you are looking for even more information about the local scene in Bellevue, the city's twitter page is very active.
Our bankruptcy lawyers understand that the decision to pursue a bankruptcy is often a very difficult one. We're here to help. Many people in today's economy find themselves in a position of financial difficulty. This happens for a number of reasons, many of which are not necessarily your fault. If you live in Bellevue, Washington and have questions about whether or not filing for bankruptcy is right for you, we encourage you to give us a call Eastside bankruptcy offices and explore your options.
Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in Bellevue
Chapter 7 Bankruptcy is the most commonly filed consumer bankruptcy. It discharges (wipes out) all qualifying consumer debt. Our Bellevue Chapter 7 bankruptcy lawyers are experienced and aggressive when it comes to maximizing your relief under the Bankruptcy Code. Our attorneys will fight to wipe out every penny of debt that can be legally discharged while also protecting as much property as the laws allow.
The most common unsecured debts discharged in Chapter 7 Bankruptcy are credit card and medical debts. Broken apartment leases, unpaid utilities bills, and payday loans are other types of unsecured debts that are discharged in Chapter 7 Bankruptcy.
Income taxes can also be discharged in Chapter 7 Bankruptcy if they are at least 3 tax years, old, the tax return was filed at least 2 years ago, the tax debts is not fraudulent, and if there was an tax assessment, the assessment was made at least 240 days ago. In most cases, student loans cannot be discharged in bankruptcy.
If you have questions about whether your taxes can be discharged in bankruptcy, it's important to speak with an experienced debt relief lawyers. Tax issues can be very complicated when it comes to bankruptcy. We encourage you to call our offices and speak with one of Bellevue Chapter 7 bankruptcy attorneys today.
Do I Qualify for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?
To qualify for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, you must first pass a Means Test to determine, based upon your past 6 months of income and expenses, whether or not there would be a presumption of abuse for you to receive a discharge of 100% of all of your qualifying unsecured debts in Chapter 7 Bankruptcy.
Many people believe that if they the household income for the past 6 months if below the median income for their household size, they will automatically qualify for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy. However, in many cases this is not true because more a detailed analysis is required. Our experienced Chapter 7 bankruptcy attorneys will discuss all aspects of the Means Test with you in detail during your initial consultation.
After the Means Test analysis, if there is a determination no that no presumption of abuse exists, you must also determine whether there would be any “actual abuse” you for to qualify for a Chapter 7 discharge based upon your current monthly income and expenses. Most importantly in this respect, if your income have recently become higher than your average income over the past 6 months and/or your monthly expenses have become lower and you thus now show significant disposable monthly income after paying your reasonably and necessary living expenses to repay at least a portion of your debts, there could very well still be abuse for you to qualify for a Chapter 7 Discharge even though you passed the Means Test.
Therefore, if you now have excess income to repay at least a portion of your unsecured debts, you will probably have to file a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy instead and pay a portion of your unsecured debt back for at least 36 months before you receive a partial discharge of your remaining dischargeable unsecured debt.
The Means Test analysis is complex and typically requires the work of a trained bankruptcy attorney to reach accurate conclusions for a concerned debtor trying to decide if he or she should file for consumer bankruptcy relief. Our Washington State Bankruptcy lawyers offer a free Means Test analysis to help assess your financial situation in great detail, help you determine whether you qualify for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, and whether you wish to file any type of consumer bankruptcy petition in which you would qualify.
If you have filed a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy within the past 8 years: Pursuant to the U.S. Bankruptcy Code, you are completely prohibited from a Chapter 7 Discharge if you have filed a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy petition within the past 8 years where you received a discharge of your qualifying unsecured debts. In such cases, so long as it has been at least 4 years since you filed and received a Chapter 7 discharge, you may still file a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy petition and propose to repay a part of your unsecured debts (and in many cases still discharge most of your unsecured debts.) You may only have to pay as little as $100/month in a Chapter 13 Plan for 36 months.
Filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection in Bellevue, WA.
Have you fallen behind in your credit card payments and other bills? Are getting calls on a daily basis from creditors who are harassing you? If so, filing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy may be a good option for you. A Chapter 7 bankruptcy allows an individual or married couple to eliminate their qualifying unsecured debts and “start over.”
In most cases, you are able to retain possession of your personal property (clothes, furniture, t.v.) while wiping out your unsecured debts. Your property and retirement accounts are kept through various exemptions in the Bankruptcy Code.
Some debts, such as back taxes, require a deeper analysis than can be provided here. Other debts, such as student loans, are typically not eligible for discharge without highly unusual circumstances. In general, however, most unsecured debts are fully capable of being completely wiped out.
For example, the types of debts that a Chapter 7 bankruptcy can eliminate include the following:
- credit card debts
- payday loans
- personal loans
- medical bills
- automobile repossession and sale deficiency claims
- rent from prior apartments or leases
- signature loans
- private loans
- old telephone and cell phone bills
- old utility bills (electricity, gas, cable, water & sewer)
If you own a house, a car, or have debts that are secured by collateral, a Chapter 7 bankruptcy often affords you several options regarding these obligations. You can nearly always give up the secured collateral and eliminate the obligation entirely. If you wish to keep your home or car, there are typically other options available as well, which we will be happy to discuss with you depending on your specific facts and circumstances.
In order to qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you must now meet the "means test", which is largely based on your income and a household of comparable size. This income requirement, however, is only a starting point. Depending on your expenses, you may still qualify for a Chapter 7 even if your income exceeds the current maximum threshold. To find out if you can qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, please give us a call.
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Chapter 13 Bankruptcy in Bellevue
Chapter 13 Bankruptcy is another type and chapter of bankruptcy relief under the U.S. Bankruptcy Code available to consumer debtors. There are many financial reasons people chose to file for Chapter 13 Bankruptcy. The following are several of the most common reasons:
1. The Debtor does not qualify for a Chapter 7 Discharge because of too much disposable monthly income. In such cases, the debtor decided to pay at least part of his debts back in a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Plan and may be required to do so for up to 60 months.
2. The Debtor filed a Chapter 7 Discharge between 4 and 8 years ago in which the debtors received a discharge.
3. The Debtor wishes to repay his or her nondischargeable tax debt without any additional interest.
4. The Debtor wishes to repay other unsecured debt without any additional interest. In cases where the debtor has to repay a 100% of his or her unsecured debt in a Chapter 13 Plan where no additional interest, the debtor’s decision to file this plan drastically lowering the debtor’s monthly payments and/or total debt repayment because of the cessation of any additional interest after the bankruptcy petition is filed with the remaining outstanding debt being repaid in the Chapter 13 Plan.
5. The Debtor wishes to strip an entirely unsecured second mortgage.
6. The Debtor has fallen behind in the mortgage and now wishes to resume paying the regular mortgage payment again while also making additional monthly payments to the mortgage arrears.
If your mortgage is not of type than can be discharged in Chapter 13 Bankruptcy and the debtor has fallen behind in his or her mortgage, filing for Chapter 13 Bankruptcy and presenting a plan to resume the regular mortgage payment and repay the mortgage arrears 100% in the plan will force the mortgage company to accept your this payment arrangement. In many cases, this type of Chapter 13 Plan arrangement will also be proposed so that all unsecured debt will be discharged at the end of the Chapter 13 Plan terms and none of the unsecured debt will be paid through the plan Chapter 13 Plan due to the debtor have no additional disposable income to be able to afford to repay anything but his or her unsecured debt.
7. The Debtor wishes to “cramdown” his or her car loan to the vehicle’s fair market value. The car loan must have originated at least 910 days ago to do so.
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