Mount Vernon Bankruptcy Lawyers

Free Consultation:  (360) 707-7634

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

Mount Vernon bankruptcy attorney Erin M. Lane

Affordable and flexible payment plans.

Low flat fees.

When someone finds themselves drowning in debt with no realistic way out, the law provides a powerful solution to this problem.  Bankruptcy allows a person facing financial disaster a fresh start in life.  Bankruptcy basically cancels debt and allows an overburdened debtor to plan for a secure future where he or she can work and care for themselves and their family in a dignified way.

Without bankruptcy laws, many people would be become unproductive, stop benefiting the economy by purchasing goods and services and may even drop out of the formal economy all together. Nobody wants to file bankruptcy but there are times when it is the best solutions for society in general.

Once a bankruptcy is filed, creditors have to stop all debt collection.  While the bankruptcy is active, creditors cannot collect from you without court permission.  The quick and easy Chapter 7 is usually active for about four months.  The longer Chapter 13 repayment plan is active for three to five years.  This protection, known as the “automatic stay” of attempts to collect a debt, allows you to reorganize your finances.

At the end of the case, you get a discharge.  The discharge is an injunction that prohibits creditors from ever collecting a debt again.  Most debt is discharged but some debt cannot be discharges.  The most common examples of debt that cannot be discharge include student loans, some back taxes, government fines and penalties and domestic support obligations such as back child support or spousal maintenance.

Bankruptcy allows you to get back to a normal cash flow.   If you are living on credit cards just so you can make your minimum credit card payment something has to give.  Many people overestimate how much their income will rise or underestimate risks such as illnesses.  The law is there to allow for a normal cash flow and normal incentives to work.

Bankruptcy law also allows you to keep your most important possessions while you get rid of debt.  For most people, that means you do not lose any property in bankruptcy.  The property that a debtor is allowed to keep is “exempt” from being taken to pay creditors.   In Washington State, a debtor can choose between federal and state exemptions.  That allows for a lot of flexibility when choosing the right strategy for keeping as much property as possible.

For property you are still making payments on, you can usually keep this property in a bankruptcy.  So, to keep a house or a car, you usually only have to keep making the mortgage or car payment.  Any equity in a house or a car is considered property which you can apply your exemptions to.

In a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you just have to keep up with the usual payments.  In a Chapter 13, these payments can be consolidated with the rest of your debt.  Delinquent payments can be made up in a Chapter 13 repayment plan.  The Chapter 13 bankruptcy stops foreclosures and car repossessions as long as you keep up with your payments.

A Chapter 7 bankruptcy is the quicker and cheaper form of bankruptcy.  The whole process lasts about four months.  The case begins with filing a petition with documents attached listing your property, your debt, your income and your budget.  Some other details such as past income, recent transfers of property and other financial information from the past two years are included.

A trustee is appointed and you meet with the trustee once at a Meeting of Creditors.  The only people who show up at this meeting are usually just you, your attorney and the trustee – creditors usually do not appear.  The trustee questions you under oath to make sure you are telling the truth.  The trustee may do some additional investigation but usually all the questions are answered by the bankruptcy forms, the documents you supply before the meeting and your testimony.

In a Chapter 13, you file the same petition and related documents, but you also file a plan to repay creditors over three to five years.  If your household makes over the median income for its size, you may have to do a Chapter 13 repayment plan.

Debtors with higher incomes are subjected to a means test to determine whether they have to file a Chapter 13 plan and be in bankruptcy for five years.   Sometimes Chapter 13 is the best kind of bankruptcy anyway because it allows you to keep more property (in the rare case where some property is in danger), get caught up on car loans and mortgages, pay taxes and reinstate drivers licenses suspended for fines, among other advantages.

To get a good idea of what bankruptcy can do for you, it is important to talk to an experienced bankruptcy attorney. Because so much is at stake and you want to make sure you are filing the best kind of bankruptcy for your situation, expert advice is essential

Bankruptcy attorneys serving Mount Vernon, Washington

Our Mount Vernon bankruptcy attorneys are easy to contact by giving us a call or writing us a quick email.  Our attorneys are easy to reach and ready to give you a quick consultation about how bankruptcy can help you. We offer convenient locations and office hours.

Shop around and you will find that our Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy attorneys are experienced, friendly and approachable. It is also critical that you feel confidant and comfortable with the bankruptcy lawyer that you hire to make the important decision of whether to file bankruptcy.  Find out about our flexible payment plans and what a bankruptcy can do for you.

For a person drowning in debt (or even facing garnishment of foreclosure), talking to a bankruptcy attorney can be a great relief. Bankruptcy is not as difficult as many people think with proper legal advice. You can talk to one of our attorneys over the phone before you set up an appointment at our office.

Our bankruptcy attorneys in Mount Vernon, WA will give you a basic idea of how much a bankruptcy can help you. If you decide to make an appointment with us, we will work with you to find the best time and place for a meeting. We can give you an estimate of how much your bankruptcy will cost as well. Once you have some basic knowledge of how bankruptcy we can help, you will most likely feel much less worried about your situation.

Mount Vernon Chapter 7 bankruptcy attorneys

Mount Vernon Chapter 13 bankruptcy lawyers