KEEP YOUR PROPERTY.
Chapter 7 in Kent
Chapter 7 bankruptcy relief is one of the most powerful financial tools ever created. And, if you can qualify, it is your legal right. It will literally wipe out or "discharge" 100% of your qualifying debts. Think about this for a minute. Have you ever dreamed of never paying another credit card or medical bill? Are you facing a repossession action or a wage garnishment? Would you like to stop it dead in its tracks? If you qualify, our Kent bankruptcy lawyers can make this dream a reality. Chapter 7 bankruptcy will also stop all creditor harassment and free up much needed cash flow every month.
To start a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, the debtor files a petition and related documents with the bankruptcy court. A trustee is appointed to administer the case. The trustee has the power to take property from the debtor to pay debts. The trustee can also undo transfers of property or payments of debt by suing the person who received the property and spreading it fairly among creditors.
In most Chapter 7 bankruptcy cases, the debtor does not lose any property because the Federal and Washington State bankruptcy laws provide exemptions that cover all of what a typical debtor owns. It is also rare for the trustee to undo any debt payments or transfers. If you have questions about what personal or real property might be at risk if you are thinking about filing for Chapter 7 relief, we encourage you to all our offices for a free initial consultation. One of our Kent bankruptcy attorneys will be happy to review your specific finances and then explain your legal rights and debt relief options.
One month after filing a Chapter 7, the debtor meets with the trustee at a hearing called a meeting of creditors. Most creditors do not appear at the hearing. Your attorney appears with you and assists with any issues that may arise. Most debtors only have to attend this one hearing and there is no follow up. If the trustee things there may be some property or transfers that can be recovered, the debtor must assist with the investigation.How does the Chapter 7 "Means Test" work in a Washington State bankruptcy?
To qualify for a Chapter 7, the debtor must show he or she is not abusing the bankruptcy system. Congress set up a means test to measure a debtors income against expenses to determine whether there is any disposable income to pay creditors. The means test only goes back six months when measuring income. If this income is higher than the state average, the debtor must fill out the rest of the means test. Our Kent bankruptcy lawyers are extremely knowledgeable when it comes qualifying for Chapter 7 bankruptcy relief. In many cases, our debt relief attorneys can accurately determine whether or not you can qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy with a simply no obligation phone consultation.
Here's what you need to know when it comes to Chapter 7 basics. Certain actual expenses such as mortgage payments, car payments, taxes, child support, day care, health insurance and necessary work expenses are deducted. Other expenses in the means test are set by the strict IRS debt repayment regulations, such as food, clothes, transportation and rent. These set expenses are determined by the county you live in.
If the means test shows disposable income to pay into a Chapter 13 plan, there is a presumption that you are abusing the bankruptcy system by filing a Chapter 7. You can rebut this presumption by showing that there are special circumstances in your situation. A bankruptcy judge makes the final determination whether you are abusing the bankruptcy system. Properly evaluating your bankruptcy case at the onset is essentially to ensuring that your case doesn't hit any snags after your bankruptcy petition has been filed and reviewed by your trustee. Our Kent, WA bankruptcy lawyers are here to help.
About 90 days after you file your case, you receive a discharge. After that, no creditor or trustee can object to your bankruptcy. The whole process is relatively cheap and fast. Some debt can not be discharged, such as student loans, some back taxes, alimony and child support and fines. Creditors can except debt if they can prove fraud was involved, but this is difficult and rare and as mentioned before, they have a very short deadline to do so.
Our Kent, Washington and King County bankruptcy lawyers are here to help. We want you to understand that you don't have to remain trapped in a seemingly never-ending cycle of fighting as hard you can every month just to keep falling further and further behind the financial eight ball. Let our bankruptcy lawyers help you determine if Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection might just be the miracle that you have been looking for since the financial roof caved in on you and your family.