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Everett Bankruptcy Lawyer

Our Everett bankruptcy lawyers will fight to provide you with a promising financial future.

Do your finances reveal a hopeless situation where getting caught up on debt seems impossible? Falling behind on bills is more common than you may realize. Sometimes the downward spiral into financial oblivion becomes unavoidable, and it can cause a great deal of emotional turmoil in your life. If you can't pay bills, creditors and debt collectors who have no sympathy for your situation will harass you for payment in all sorts of ways. Many of them have no problem using deceitful tactics in an attempt to obtain money that you simply aren't able to give them.

Our Everett bankruptcy attorneys often see firsthand how financial difficulties can damage a person's self worth, or even negatively affect their family life. Bankruptcy laws were created to protect people from the unending cycle of uncontrollable debt, but few people understand these laws or realize that they have legal rights as a debtor.

The negativity associated with filing for bankruptcy in the United States is unwarranted. The federal government wants you to participate in our nation's economy, but this is impossible if you're mired in debt. Filing for bankruptcy in Washington allows you to hit the financial reset button. If you have questions or concerns about filing for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13, our Snohomish County bankruptcy lawyers are ready to help.

Now is the time for you to consider a fresh start.

Filing for bankruptcy may be your best financial solution, and it does not make you a failure
  • When you file for bankruptcy in Washington, all collection activity by lenders is stopped dead in its tracks
  • Bankruptcy may not be your best option, but it's free to find out
  • Much or all of your unsecured debt, including credit cards and medical bills, can be discharged in its entirety after filing for bankruptcy
  • Your Everett bankruptcy lawyer will explain the difference between Chapter 7 and Chapter 13, and help you determine whether filing for either is beneficial
  • Don't have to let debt rule your life - let our legal team help you take the first step

Everett is the seventh largest city in the Great State of Washington. Just 25 miles north of Seattle, Everett has a unique climate that is dictated by its unique geography and beautiful surroundings. The City of Everett was “incorporated” on May 4, 1893. According to recent census data, Everett is home to over 100,000 residents.

Everett is the county seat and largest city in Snohomish County and is the home to the largest public marina on the west coast of the United States. Everett won the All-America City Award in 2002, and is home to Boeing's assembly plant for a number of different aircraft. Snohomish County is also home to a substantial number large Everett suburbs and other major cities. Our Washington State bankruptcy lawyers serve clients throughout the entire region, including the cities of Seattle, Auburn, Kent, Renton, Federal Way, Shoreline, Burien, and Des Moines, just to name a few.

The Everett area is also home to the Xfinity Arena, a signature venue that hosts trade shows, hockey matches, and graduation ceremonies, just to name a few. To learn more about the City of Everett, we recommend visiting their official city’s homepage. This site contains all sorts of useful and helpful information about almost every aspect of Everett, including the inner workings of its local government. If you live in Snohomish County, your Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy case will be filed at the United State District Court for the Western District of Washington, which is located at 700 Stewart in downtown Seattle.

If you're planning on visiting Everett, there are many resources available online to learn about all of the many things to do while visiting Snohomish County. Many of the best city of Everett attractions can be found on the “ Experience Washington” website. While many parts of Everett are thriving economically, many of its residents are still struggling financially. Our Everett bankruptcy lawyers have the resources and experience to help you determine whether you qualify for bankruptcy protection in Washington State, so don't hesitate to give us a call.

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?
10 years.

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.

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

Is filing for bankruptcy a sound financial decision for you? Our debt relief lawyers in Everett will need to review your financial situation before answering definitively, so it's impossible to say until you speak with an attorney. However, countless people every day all over the country reap the benefits of bankruptcy protection, and regret not filing sooner.

Many people are reluctant to file for bankruptcy because they've been misled, or have a false impression of what it entails. These misconceptions may cause them to make financial errors that have a far more devastating effect on their money situation in the long run. For example, a debt collector may try to convince you to make payments on your credit card bill by cashing out your retirement. This course of action could be financially devastating, and it's entirely avoidable. Simply filing for bankruptcy would have entirely discharged your unsecured debt while permitting you to retain every penny of your retirement.

Our Snohomish County bankruptcy lawyers offer reliable debt relief advice, and this is one of our most practical tips. Never trust a debt collector to provide you with honest advice concerning your finances. A creditors only priority is getting money from you. The last thing they want is for you to talk a bankruptcy lawyer about your options and discover that you have legal rights.

More common misconceptions about filing for bankruptcy in Washington

Please understand that bankruptcy is a financial tool, and it can be used to fix your money problems. There are people that abuse the system, but most Everett residents that file for bankruptcy are hard working people that fell behind on bills through no fault of their own. Our Everett bankruptcy lawyers have compiled a list of some of the more common myths surrounding bankruptcy, so that they can be summarily dismissed...

Myth 1: Bankruptcy is for people who have failed financially. Many individuals perceive bankruptcy as financial failure, and this myth is perpetuated by debt collectors. They use this myth when pressuring debtors into making payments they simply cannot afford. The truth is that anyone can fall behind on bills because they were in an accident, laid off from work, incurred a mountain of medical bills, or were a victim of a nationwide economic downturn. Some things in life are simply out of a person's control, and they can lead to financial difficulties that are impossible to overcome.

Bankruptcy is a powerful tool that you can use to regain control over your finances, and has nothing to do with failure.

For many people, falling a little behind on bills one month can swiftly result in falling even further behind. Eventually, a point is reached where they realize that it's impossible to get out from under the debt, so they start realistically exploring bankruptcy as an option. Most Everett residents in this situation would have been far better off considering bankruptcy at an earlier date, but this pervasive myth that links bankruptcy to failure prevented them from taking action.

Myth 2: You will lose all of your possessions and assets if you file for bankruptcy. This myth is also perpetuated by unscrupulous debt collectors, and is often portrayed this way on television and in the movies. The image of watching all of your possessions being carted away after filing for bankruptcy is pervasive, and it's also entirely false. In fact, in the vast majority of bankruptcy cases filed, the debtor is able to keep their house, their vehicle, their possessions, up to $125,000 of home equity, and every penny of their retirement, all while discharging the overwhelming majority of their debt.

Every case is different, so our Everett bankruptcy lawyers will need to review your situation before offering any specific recommendation. Still, the myth that bankruptcy will cause you to lose all of your assets and possessions is ridiculous.

Myth 3: Filing for bankruptcy will cure all of your financial woes. Bankruptcy undoubtedly provides you with a powerful tool for ending the cycle of insurmountable debt, but it's not a cure-all for every financial problem you may be forced to deal with. You still need to maintain a future free from more debt problem, and doing so will allow your credit score to quickly climb once your bankruptcy is finalized.

Bankruptcy also has no effect on student loan debt or certain fines, so you should take this into consideration before deciding on which path to take.

Myth 4: Bankruptcy will ruin your credit, with no hope of fixing it. This myth is also false. Filing for bankruptcy in Washington will likely affect your credit, but only in the short-term. You can start rebuilding your credit immediately after your bankruptcy is approved by the district court.

A Chapter 7 bankruptcy appears on your credit report for 10 years, and a Chapter 13 for 7 years, but this will not prevent your credit score from improving or keep lenders from offering you lines of credit and loans. All you need to do is prove you are managing your finances effectively.

Settling debts sold to debt collectors by creditors can have a far more damaging impact on your credit score than filing for bankruptcy. Creditors will say that settling you debt for a lower amount is your best choice when the opposite is true in most situations. Remember: Never trust a debt collector to give you reliable financial advice.

Myth 5: If you're going to file for bankruptcy, you can max out your credit cards. This is a myth that can lead to devastating consequences, if believed. This course of action could cause your bankruptcy to be denied by the federal court, and it could lead to criminal prosecution for bankruptcy fraud. If you're considering filing for bankruptcy, speak to one of our Washington State attorneys, get the facts, be sure you understand the law, and follow a plan that eliminates any risk of criminal prosecution.

The difference between Chapter 13 and Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Snohomish County

There are two types of bankruptcy that most individuals file. They are Chapter 13 and Chapter 7, and each has advantages and possible disadvantages based on your current financial situation. Chapter 7 is cheaper and easier to file, and is usually finalized quicker. Chapter 13 is a little more difficult and requires more work, but offers a financial solution when personal income is too high to file for Chapter 7. It may also have other benefits if you're a homeowner seeking to keep your home.

Our Everett Chapter 7 bankruptcy lawyers will outline the benefits of this option

When you file for Chapter 7 in Washington State, all debt collection stops. This includes wage garnishments, property repossessions, home foreclosures, and stops harassing phone calls from debt collectors.

When you file for Chapter 7 in court, a trustee is appointed who is authorized to sell your property and use the money to pay creditors. This must be done equitably and fairly. Still, it is rare for persons who file Chapter 7 to lose any property to the trustee, because the vast majority of personal property is exempt.

As mentioned above, bankruptcy laws were created to help people get a fresh financial start, which would hardly be possible if they had most of their property taken away from them. Retirement plans, child support, and public benefits including unemployment compensation are 100% exempt from seizure, thus allowing bankruptcy to truly offer relief.

Federal and state exemptions for household items, home equity, and property like vehicles often prevent the seizure of these items. These exemptions offer a certain amount of flexibility, especially for married. Your Chapter 7 bankruptcy lawyer will explain your options and help you determine how best to utilize these exemptions.

All unsecured debt, which includes medical bills and credit cards, are usually wiped out in their entirety when you file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. If your income is more than the median household income, you must go through a means test to determine whether you will be required to pay any of your unsecured debt. This test is complex, but even if there is a presumption that you are unqualified, you may be able to remain in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Your Everett bankruptcy lawyer can usually ascertain whether you qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy ahead of time.

Your Everett Chapter 13 bankruptcy lawyer will explain the process of consolidation

For people whose earnings are too high to file for Chapter 7, Chapter 13 offers a solution that may even be better than Chapter 7, depending on your situation. When you file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, your debts are consolidated into a monthly payment plan that can last from three to five years.

Petitioning the court for a Chapter 13 bankruptcy immediately puts an end all debt collection and wage garnishment. It is often called the "home saver plan" because Chapter 13 bankruptcy offers you a chance to catch up on payments by incorporating mortgage arrears and penalties into the payment plan. This allows you to maintain your current status as a homeowner, and can even stop home foreclosure in the Washington State.

When you file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, most or all of your unsecured debt is forgiven after you're done making your monthly payments. However, even in rare situations where 100% of unsecured debt must be repaid, you benefit from an orderly payment plan that offers a solution to crippling debt.

The many benefits of the automatic stay

One of the most stressful things you have to deal with after falling behind on bills is being constantly harassed by debt collectors. These are companies that do the dirty work for creditors, who often sell off personal debt after only a few short months of non-payment.

These people are merciless, and will often push the boundaries of civility in an effort to receive payment. They will play good cop/bad cop, threaten you, call you in the middle of the night, and even call your place of work or family members unless you instruct them otherwise. Most people are unaware of their legal rights in regards to financial problems, and some may feel like they somewhat deserve the abuse. Severe harassment can even cause people to dread the sound of their phone ringing.

If you're dealing with any of this, consider taking advantage of the automatic stay. When you file for bankruptcy in Snohomish County, the automatic stay makes it illegal for any creditor to contact you, and they can be penalized if they do.

Our Everett bankruptcy lawyers will defend you against the unscrupulous practices of debt collection companies that consider preying on the weak as nothing more than a routine business practice.

Debt collectors hate our Washington bankruptcy lawyers because they are know our reputation.

Contact a Washington bankruptcy lawyer for a free consultation

Don't live in fear of your phone ringing. You don't have to face a hopeless financial future for the rest of your life. You don't have to let an unfortunate life event beyond your control cause you to suffer another sleepless night.

Contact our team of Everett bankruptcy attorneys today and put an end to the never ending cycle of uncontrollable debt. Our professional lawyers charge flat rate fees, and may even be able to create a offer payment plan designed to help you get back on your feet financially.

Find out more about bankruptcy by contacting us without delay.

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