Our Everett bankruptcy attorneys answer frequently asked questions (FAQ)
If you're considering bankruptcy, you undoubtedly have questions about the process and how it works. We prepared this list of frequently asked questions to help you better understand how bankruptcy works in the State of Washington.
How much will filing for bankruptcy cost?
We need to look at your finances before we can tell you what it will cost, but we will quote you an affordable flat fee so there are no surprises down the road. Some local bankruptcy attorneys offer very low prices in their ads, but we've heard that the cost goes up when you contact them for a quote.
How long does bankruptcy remain on my credit report?
Will my credit score drop to zero?
There is no way to know what will happen to your credit score after filing for bankruptcy, but many people's credit scores actually go up.
Am I allowed to pay back family and friends that gave me loans?
You can, but you should wait for one year before making this decision.
If I have non-federal student loans, can they be discharged?
No. All student loans are equal and cannot be discharged.
Will I be able to keep my house and car?
Yes. In fact, almost everyone does as long as payments are maintained. If you refinance your home, you should go to a different bank.
How long will the entire bankruptcy process take?
Three to five years for Chapter 13. Three to four months for Chapter 7.
If I qualify for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, how much will I end up paying?
This is impossible to answer without getting a more detailed look at your finances. Your Everett bankruptcy lawyer will take your average yearly gross income and subtract what is allowed. A means test determines this amount. This is how much you're required to pay any unsecured creditors. Then we calculate how much money you owe on secured debt. This includes car payments, the IRS, mortgage arrears and penalties. Your lawyer will then add any secured debt you want to keep, trustee fees and leftover lawyer's fees. If this magic number is less than your total debt divided by the length of your debt consolidation plan, then your plan is 100%.
Can I keep a credit card?
Yes. However, the credit card must have a zero balance and the financial institution that issued the card must allow you to do so.
I don't want to list loans from friends and family, so do I have to?
You are required to list all debt.
How long does it take to start rebuilding my credit?
The moment your debt is discharged, your credit score will begin to improve.