Bellevue
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Attorney Erin Lane Partner
Wipe Out Your Debts. Keep Your Property.

Bellevue Bankruptcy Lawyer

Our Bellevue bankruptcy lawyers want you to have a bright financial future.

When you review your finances to pay bills, do you see a hopeless situation? Nobody is immune to falling behind on bills, but sometimes debt becomes overwhelming and it can cause a great deal of turmoil in your life. Even worse, if you continue to miss payments on medical bills or credit cards, creditors and debt collectors may start a pattern of routine harassment. These debt collection companies are merciless and they have no problem using deceitful tactics in an attempt to get you to pay money that you simply don't have.

Our Bellevue bankruptcy attorneys understand that financial troubles can damage a person's self worth, and make them feel hopeless. Bankruptcy laws in the US were created to protect its hard working citizens from the unrelenting pressure of uncontrollable debt. However, most people who have never had financial troubles have little understanding of laws and are even less informed about their legal rights as a debtor.

The shame associated with bankruptcy in America is entirely unwarranted. The federal government wants you to participate in our nation's economy because the alternative is dragging it downward. If you're mired in debt with no means of escape this is impossible. Filing for bankruptcy in Washington State lets you hit the financial reset button. If you have questions about filing for either Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy in Washington State, our King County bankruptcy lawyers are ready to help.

Now is the time to take advantage of the opportunity for a fresh start.

You are not a failure because you file for bankruptcy and it may be a wise choice

  • Immediately after filing for bankruptcy in Washington State, all collection activity by creditors must stop, even wage garnishment
  • Bankruptcy may or may not be your best option, but it's free to find out
  • All or most of your unsecured debt can be discharged in its entirety when you file for bankruptcy, including medical bills and credit card debt
  • Your Bellevue lawyer will outline the differences between Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy, and help you determine which is best for you
  • Do not allow to let debt to rule your life for another minute - we can help you take the first step

"Bellevue" means "beautiful view" in France, and it is located in the Eastside region of King County, Washington. It is the third-largest city in the Seattle metro area, and has a population of 122,363, as of the 2010 census. Downtown Bellevue underwent rapid change until the economic downturn of 2008. Many high-rise projects were under construction, and even though many of these projects were unaffected by the recession, many people living in Bellevue weren't so lucky.

The downtown Bellevue area is the second largest city center in Washington State, boasting more than 1,300 businesses and 10,200 residents. Bellevue was ranked as the 2nd best place to live by USA Today in 2014, and with good reason. More than 145 highly recognizable companies are located in Bellevue including T-mobile, Expedia, Microsoft Corp., and Nintendo.

Our Washington State bankruptcy attorneys proudly serve bankruptcy clients throughout the entire King County region, including the cities of Seattle, Kent, Renton, Federal Way, Shoreline, Auburn, Burien, and Des Moines, just to name a few.

To learn more about the City of Bellevue, we recommend paying a visit to the city’s homepage. This site contains plenty of useful information about almost every aspect of Bellevue, including the how the local government functions. If you live in King County, your bankruptcy case will be filed at the United States District Court for the Western District of Washington . This courthouse is located at 700 Stewart in the heart of downtown Seattle. The U.S District Courthouse is where your meeting of creditors will be held.

If you are planning a trip to Bellevue, there are many resources available on the web to learn about all of the many great things to do while visiting, including the annual Bellevue Arts and Crafts Fair. Many of the best Bellevue attractions can be found on the “ Visit Bellevue Washington ” website, and you can also find other things to do in King County.

Bellevue continues to thrive economically, but many of its residents are still struggling with bills, most through no fault of their own. Our Bellevue bankruptcy lawyers have the experience and resources to help you determine if you qualify for bankruptcy protection in Washington, so contact our law office today.

How do I find out if I qualify for bankruptcy protection?

Is bankruptcy the best financial solution for your situation? One of our debt relief lawyers in Bellevue can review your financial situation and find out, and the process is relatively simple. Countless people all over Washington reap the benefits of bankruptcy every day, and many wonder why they didn't pursue filing sooner.

Unfortunately, many people delay filing for bankruptcy because they've been misled, or have a false impression of how the process unfolds. This lack of accurate knowledge may cause them to make financial blunders that have a far more devastating effect on their finances than filing for bankruptcy.

For example, a debt collector may try to convince you that it's in your best interest to make payments on a back-due credit card by cashing out your retirement. This high-pressure tactic often works, but when you file for bankruptcy the law allows you to retain 100% of your retirement. In this situation, the debtor would have been far better off simply filing for bankruptcy.

Our King County bankruptcy attorneys offer reliable advice when it comes it to debt relief, and one of our most practical tips is as follows: Never trust a collection agency to give you honest advice about your finances. A debt collectors only priority is getting money from you, and they will say just about anything to get it. The last thing these people want is for you to talk a bankruptcy lawyer about your options and find out that you have legal rights to protect you from crippling debt.

Common myths and misconceptions about filing for bankruptcy in the state of Washington

Bankruptcy is a financial tool that is used for relief when there is no hope of ever getting your debt under control. Some people abuse the system, but the majority of Bellevue residents that file for bankruptcy are hard working people who fell behind on bills even though they did everything they could to stay out of their dire financial situation. Our Bellevue bankruptcy lawyers have compiled the following list of the more common myths, so that they can be debunked once and for all...

Myth 1: Filing for bankruptcy means you're a failure. There are a number of people that think bankruptcy represents financial failure, and this myth is often perpetuated by creditors when pressuring debtors into making payments when they don't have any money. In truth, anyone can suffer an accident, watch medical bills pile up, miss work or get laid off, or get caught up in a nationwide recession. Some things in life cannot be controlled, and financial difficulties can turn into a lifetime of debt.

Bankruptcy is a powerful financial tool that allows you to regain control over your finances, and it has nothing to do with personal failure.

It happens every day, someone falls a little behind on bills and the downward spiral continues until there is no escape. Eventually, a point is reached where something has to give because debt collectors won't stop calling. This tipping point is when many start exploring bankruptcy as an option. Most individuals would ultimately have been far better off filing for bankruptcy when the downward spiral first got out of control, but fear of failure prevented them from taking action.

Myth 2: You will lose all of your possessions, retirement, and home equity if you file for bankruptcy. This myth is also perpetuated by unscrupulous debt collection companies, and you see the same on TV and in the movies. The image of movers carrying everything you own out of the house after filing for bankruptcy is pervasive, and it's also entirely false.

Did you know that in over 90% of bankruptcy cases filed in King County Court, the debtor keeps their house, their belongings, their car, up to $125,000 of home equity, and 100% of their retirement savings? Bankruptcy allows them to accomplish all of this while discharging the vast majority of their debt.

Every case is different, and our Bellevue bankruptcy attorneys will want to review your situation carefully before recommending a course of action. But as you can see, the myth that bankruptcy will cause you to lose all of your belongings is ludicrous.

Myth 3: Filing for bankruptcy in Bellevue will cure all of your financial issues. It's true that bankruptcy offers you a powerful tool for stopping debt, but it's not a cure-all for all of the financial problems you may be facing. To begin with, you need to make a commitment to maintain a future that remains free from further debt issues. If you can accomplish this, your credit score will quickly climb.

Neither Chapter 7 nor Chapter 13 bankruptcy will eliminate student loan debt or certain fines, so you should also considered this fact before deciding which path to take.

Myth 4: Bankruptcy will destroy your credit forever. This myth is also entirely false. While bankruptcy usually affects your credit, it's only in the short-term. You can start rebuilding your credit immediately after your bankruptcy is approved by the court.

A Chapter 7 bankruptcy appears on your credit report for 10 years, and it's 7 years for a Chapter 13, but this will not prevent lenders from offering you lines of credit if you manage your finances effectively.

Settling debts that have been sold to collection agencies can have a far more negative impact on your credit than declaring bankruptcy. Debt collectors will urge you to settle a debt by offering a one-time reduced payment. They will tell you this action will protect your credit but in most situations the opposite is true because it will still result in a blemish on your credit score. Remember: Never trust any debt collection agency to give you accurate financial advice.

Myth 5: If you're going to file for bankruptcy, you may as well max out all of your credit cards. This myth can lead to catastrophic repercussions, if you follow this poor advice. Maxing out credit cards before declaring bankruptcy could cause the US District Court to deny it, and may even lead to criminal prosecution for bankruptcy fraud. Remember that bankruptcy is a tool for a fresh start, not a shopping spree. Speak to one of our Washington attorneys, get the facts, and develop a plan that shows you deserve a fresh start.

The differences between Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy

It may be possible to file for either Chapter 13 or Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Each has its own advantages but your current financial situation will likely determine which is more feasible. Chapter 7 bankruptcy costs less, takes less time, and is easier for your attorney. Chapter 13 bankruptcy is a little more complicated so it costs more money, but it offers you a financial solution when your income is too high to file for Chapter 7.

Our Bellevue Chapter 7 bankruptcy lawyers can stop debt collection

When you file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Washington, all debt collection stops immediately. Even wage garnishments, foreclosures, and repossessions all stop. Debt collectors must also stop contacting you. A trustee is appointed to your case, and they are authorized to sell your property in order to use the money to pay back creditors on a fair and equal basis. Still, it is rare for persons who file Chapter 7 to lose any property to the trustee, because most of it is exempt from seizure.

Bankruptcy laws were written to help people get a fresh start and maintain their dignity, which would likely be impossible if they were forced to surrender most of their belongings. Retirement plans, child support, and public benefits like unemployment compensation are also 100% exempt from seizure, which makes Chapter 7 a very appealing option.

Exemptions for household items, home equity, and vehicles are what usually prevent the seizure of most assets. Federal and state exemptions are available, so you have a certain amount of flexibility when deciding what assets are most important to you. Your Chapter 7 bankruptcy lawyer in Bellevue will help you determine how these exemptions would be best used in your situation.

All unsecured debt like medical bills and credit cards, are almost always wiped out in their entirety when you file for Chapter 7. If you earn more than the median household income in Washington State, you must undergo a means test to determine if you are required to pay any of your unsecured debt. Our Bellevue bankruptcy lawyers can usually ascertain ahead of time, and can explain this in more detail during your interview.

Your Bellevue Chapter 13 bankruptcy attorney in Bellevue can help you save your home

If you earn too much money to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, Chapter 13 is yet another option. For many it may be the best of the two options, especially if you're trying to save your home from foreclosure. Chapter 13 bankruptcy allows you to consolidate your debt into one payment plan that lasts from three to five years, making it far more manageable.

Petitioning the court for a Chapter 13 bankruptcy stops all debt collection immediately. It is also sometimes called the "home saver plan" because mortgage arrears and penalties can be consolidated into the payment plan. This allows you to maintain your status as a homeowner.

In most Chapter 13 bankruptcy cases, all or the majority of your unsecured debt is forgiven after the term of your plan is complete. Even in rare situation where 100% of unsecured debt must be repaid, an orderly plan that offers relief from crippling debt still makes good sense financially.

The automatic stay and what it means for you

One of the most embarrassing and emotionally draining aspects of falling behind on bills is being constantly harassed by debt collectors at all times of day and night. These companies do the dirty work for creditors, who will often sell them the debt for pennies on the dollar after only a few months of non-payment.

These people are merciless and will use every trick in the book. They will threaten you with legal action, play good cop/bad cop, and even call your place of work or family members unless you instruct them otherwise. These companies make a living on the fact that most people are uninformed about their legal rights. Some people already have so much guilt relative to their debt that they feel they somewhat deserve this kind of abuse. Harassment can get so bad that a person lives in constant fear of their phone ringing.

If this applies to you, consider taking advantage of the automatic stay and its many benefits. When you file for bankruptcy in Washington, the automatic stay makes it illegal for any creditor to contact you.

Our Bellevue bankruptcy lawyers will defend your legal rights and will protect you against the unscrupulous practices of debt collection companies that prey on the weak as if it's nothing more than an everyday business procedure.

Debt collectors hate us because they know our reputation.

Contact a Washington State bankruptcy attorney from our law office for a free consultation

Don't live in fear of your phone ringing and dread the hopelessness of a financial future mired in endless debt. Contact our team of Bellevue bankruptcy lawyers today and find out how you can enjoy a fresh financial start.

Our attorneys charge affordable flat rate fees so there are no surprises at a future date, and your initial consultation is free.