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Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

Talk to an experienced and knowledgeable Washington State Chapter 7 Attorney today!

money crisisThank you for visiting our informational page on Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Washington State. We hope that you find it helpful and informational.

Chapter 7 bankruptcy is one of the most powerful legal tools on the planet. If you qualify, all of your qualifying unsecured creditors are wiped out in heartbeat. Can you imagine your life without any debts? What if you never had to make another credit card payment or get another delinquent medical bill? What if every lawsuit, repossession action, and garnishment were immediately stopped dead in their tracks? What if I could guarantee you that there would be no more harassing phone calls morning, noon, and night?

It might sound like a fantasy. But, it's not. It's the power of our Chapter 7 bankruptcy laws, and you should take advantage of them if you can qualify. Many of our clients are surprised to learn how easily we can qualify them for bankruptcy protection. Our Chapter 7 bankruptcy lawyers can often pre-qualify you over the phone just by asking you a series of questions about your household, your income, your debts, and your average monthly expenses.

Listen, no likes the thought of even having to consider filing for bankruptcy. Your creditors and those vicious debt collectors would have you believe that filing for bankruptcy equates to being a failure or a loser. Our Chapter 7 bankruptcy attorneys want you to understand that this is complete nonsense. The majority of our clients find themselves down on their financial luck through no real fault of their.

Our debt relief attorneys want you to know that filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy relief is NOT a failure.

It's a NEW beginning!

This happens through many types of unforeseen events, such as job loss, medical emergency, divorce, and falling prey to the predatory lending tactics of credit card companies and Pay Day loans. The real truth, which your creditors don't want you to know, is that bankruptcy is NOT a failure. It's a NEW beginning. The bankruptcy laws return good people to being financially capable consumer again who are not a drag on the economy and the welfare system.

A Chapter 7 bankruptcy is often referred to as a liquidation bankruptcy. But, this can be misleading. Many of our clients do not lose any of their property in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Instead, it is protect through the use of bankruptcy exemptions. Essentially, the property passes through the bankruptcy and is NOT liquidated.

Chapter 7 bankruptcy is the most common type of filed consumer bankruptcy. And, a good Washington State Chapter 7 bankruptcy attorney knows how to maximize their client's protection under our federal and Washington State bankruptcy laws. A Chapter 7 bankruptcy discharges 100% of all qualifying unsecured debt.

If your are able to qualify for Chapter 7 protection, this is almost always your best option because it is often inexpensive and very fast.

We are Washington State bankruptcy attorneys who handle all Chapter 7 cases. There is a lot of information available on this page. But there are also a few informational websites that you may find useful. These government websites provide a lot of detailed information regarding pursuing a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy. The site also has links to other bankruptcy chapters. It also provide forms and other bankruptcy resources.

You may also find the page on the Bankruptcy Process worth reviewing.  It also provides a lot information about how debts are your debts are actually discharged in bankruptcy proceedings.  A discharge in bankruptcy occurs at the end of your case and wipes out all qualify debts.

Get a free financial analysis and case evaluation today.

Toll Free Statewide in Washington: (855) 923-3283

Call now to see if you can qualify.

What is unsecured debt?

money crisisUnsecured debt is debt with no collateral attached to it. Credit cards and medical bills are the most typical type of unsecured debt listed and discharged debt in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Payday loans, debts of unpaid rent from former landlords, car repossession deficiencies, and uninsured car accidents debts are other types of common unsecured debts.

If you have questions about whether or not any of your debts can and will be discharged in a successful Chapter 7 bankruptcy, we encourage you to call our offices and speak with one of our debt relief lawyers. The simple truth is that Chapter 7 is an incredibly powerful financial tool. How often do you actually get the chance to hit the reset button in life? In effect, that's really what happens when your Chapter 7 cases is completed and your debts are fully discharged.

Boom! All of your credit card debts, gone. All of your medical bills, gone. All of your PayDay loans, gone! All of your lawsuits, gone! That nasty wage garnishment? Gone! All of your qualifying debts are instantly wiped out and gone forever! And, all of those nasty harassing phone calls at all hours of the day? Yeah, those are thing of past too.

Stop drowning in debt. You have struggled enough. Get the financial protection and relief you and your family deserve. There is a way out of financial hell. Let us show you the path.

Call now to speak with one of our Chapter 7 bankruptcy lawyers today!

How do I Qualify for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?

To qualify for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, you must meet certain income requirements. First, you must complete a standardized Means Test. If your income falls below the median income for your household size in your state of residence, you will probably qualify for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy.

If you are above the median income, but have certain, higher than average and/or atypical ,monthly expenses (high medical expenses for a serious medical issues, high daycare and/or child support), you can qualify for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy even if your household income is above the median income.

If you do not pass the Means Test, you can still qualify for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy is you can “rebut the presumption of abuse.” This is usually rebutted by showing a recent increase in necessary living expenses or significant recent reduction in household income.

If you have filed and received a discharge in a previous Chapter 7 Bankruptcy case in the past 8 years, you are not eligible to file another Chapter 7 Bankruptcy. You must wait another 8 years to file Chapter 7 Bankruptcy from your last one.

However, if it has been at least 4 years since your Chapter 7 Bankruptcy filing, you can file a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy and potentially have as low as a $100 month plan payment for 36 months and receive a discharge of your remaining unsecured debt at the end of the 36 month plan.

What types of unsecured debts are not discharged, eliminated, or "wiped out" in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy?

man worriedStudent loans are not discharged and you have to pay them after your bankruptcy unless you can prove that it would be an undue hardship to pay them. That means filing an “adversarial proceeding” in your bankruptcy, which could be expensive, and proving that you can’t pay the student loans without undue hardship on you and your family, that this situation is likely to continue indefinitely and that you have made a good faith effort to pay your loans in the past.

Most bankruptcy courts have held that only if you have become too physically disabled to where you can no longer work, will it be considered an undue hardship on the debtor where your student loans can be discharged. Most taxes are also not dischargeable in Chapter 7 Bankruptcy.

If your income taxes are over 3 tax years old, however, and you have filed the tax returns at least 2 years ago, those taxes can most likely be discharged through Chapter 7 Bankruptcy. Our experienced Washington State bankruptcy attorneys can advise you on whether your tax debt is dischargeable through Chapter 7 Bankruptcy.

Can I keep my personal property?

You will probably be worried about what property you might lose. The property you can keep in a Chapter 7 is covered by “exemptions”, is the dollar value of certain kinds of property that is protected. Sometimes you can combine exemptions. Most people who file Chapter 7 do not lose any property, especially in Washington where the exemptions are fairly generous and you can choose between Federal and Washington state exemptions according to what is best for you.

Usually your car is totally exempt from being taken by the trustee. If you are making payments on a car loan, there probably isn’t enough equity in your car for it to be at risk in your bankruptcy. You just need to keep making the payments. If you can’t afford the payments you can walk away from the loan and surrender the car.

Your creditor may ask you to sign a “reaffirmation agreement” which puts you back on the hook for the loan, but if you sign it and stay current on the loan, they can’t repossess your car. Another option is “redeeming” your car, which allows you to pay off the car loan at the value of the car. If you don’t have enough money to pay the car’s value, sometime you can get a loan to pay it off. This usually only makes sense if the loan is significantly “upside down” (the car is worth a lot less than the loan).

The furniture of most people who file bankruptcy is exempt. Furniture falls under a “household goods” exemption which almost always covers everything our clients own in this category. None of our Chapter 7 bankruptcy attorneys can remember a case where one of our clients was forced to liquidate their furniture to pay their creditors.

If you are making payments on furniture, you can reaffirm the debt just like with a car loan. However, you can often negotiate much better payment terms when you reaffirm a furniture loan. Many creditors will lower the balance for you and slash the monthly payment and interest rate.

Almost all employer supported retirement plans are 100% exempt under Washington and Federal exemptions. IRAs are also 100% exempt.

Can I Protect and Keep my Home?

lady hanging billsUnder the state exemptions, you can protect up to $125,000 in equity in your home. Federal exemptions protect $21,625 in equity ($43,250 in a joint case). If the equity in your home is less than the amount you can keep by law, then your main worry is whether you can make the mortgage payments. In a Chapter 7, you cannot change the terms of a mortgage in bankruptcy.

You can remove judgment liens if they are secured by exempt equity (if they cut into equity you would have and would be exempt if there was no judgment lien). After you get a fresh start in a Chapter 7, it should be a lot easier for you to afford your mortgage payments after totally eliminate a lot of debt. However, if you can’t afford your home or it just doesn’t make sense to hold on to it, Chapter 7 gives you the opportunity to just walk away from the house and the debt without paying any more on it.

If you have a vacation home or a rental home, you cannot use the homestead exemption to protect the equity. The homestead exemption only applies to property you live on or intend to move to. If you have enough income to pay for a mortgage on a vacation home, it is likely you have too much income for a Washington State Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

Any rental income you receive could put you over the income limit for a Chapter 7 but only the amount you net (rent minus mortgage and expenses) is counted as income. If you are losing money on a rental property, it might not make sense for you to keep it and a bankruptcy would be your chance to surrender it and walk away from the mortgages. The issues surrounding whether or not to walk away from home can be complicated. Our bankruptcy attorneys will make sure you understand how the laws work so that you can make a truly informed decision about your house.

Can I Get New Credit Extended to Me after Chapter 7 Bankruptcy? How about a new car loan or mortgage?

After your Washington Chapter 7 bankruptcy is over, you are still able to borrow money if a creditor is willing to lend to you. There are many car finance companies that lend to people right out of bankruptcy. You should be careful about borrowing money in the future, of course.

A bankruptcy is supposed to give you a fresh start and with this fresh start, you will eliminate a lot of monthly bills and should be able to live within your means. Though a bankruptcy will stay on your credit report for ten years, by improving your cash flow, your credit rating should improve. Many mortgage companies will not consider lending to your until two years have passed since your bankruptcy was filed, but that isn’t always true.

Basically, if you can’t pay your debts, a bankruptcy should help your credit rating improve faster than not doing anything. To make sure bankruptcy is right for you, you should contact an experienced Washington Chapter 7 bankruptcy attorney. Bankruptcy is often the cheapest and more effective way to get out of financial trouble. A discharge is a federal court injunction and there is a lot of certainty in that.

To get the most of your fresh start and to save time and worry, you should hire a bankruptcy lawyer rather than trying to go it alone. There is a lot at stake and, though the procedure is usually fairly painless, you want someone with experience who can guide you through it because unforeseen issues often appear that you might not be able to handle yourself.

woman callingWashington State Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Attorneys
Serving the entire Greater Puget Sound Region.
Toll Free Statewide: (855) 923-3283
Call now to see if you qualify.
Stop all harassing calls!
Our offices are conveniently located throughout the Greater Puget Sound Region.

Client Reviews
Erin Lane is the best attorney I have met by far! I came to her during a very difficult time in my life. I was needing to file a bankruptcy. She was very kind, non-intimidating, and well-understood. She actually came across like a good friend. To this day I still remember and appreciate her (no-stressing approach) I deem Erin qualified for any position having to do with her knowledge in these types of legal matters! Keith D Wilson