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What is bankruptcy?

Snohomish County Bankruptcy Attorneys

Everett | Edmonds | Lynnwood | Marysville | Arlington

Everett Bankruptcy Lawyers

(425) 953-4364

Fees you can afford.  Flexible payment plans.

What is bankruptcy?

Our Everett bankruptcy lawyers are here to help you understand your legal options.

Bankruptcy is a federal court case that helps people who have more debt than they can pay in a reasonable amount of time.  It is designed to give the honest, unfortunate debtor a fresh start.  Once a bankruptcy is filed, all attempts to collect a debt have to stop. 

This means that garnishments, repossessions, foreclosures, many drivers license suspensions, utility cut-offs and other attempts to collect a debt must stop.  After a bankruptcy is over, a debtor receives a discharge of debts, which basically cancels the debt forever.  However, some debt, such as child support and alimony, taxes, fines and student loans cannot be discharged.

A bankruptcy begins by filing a petition with the U.S. bankruptcy court.  The petition includes detailed documents describing your property, your debt, you income and your expenses, along with other financial details.  Our Everett bankruptcy attorneys help hundreds of Snohomish County residents successfully file bankruptcy petitions and wipe out their debts.

By far, the most common types of bankruptcy filed by consumers are Chapter 7 bankruptcies and Chapter 13 bankruptcies.  A Chapter 7 is available to people without enough income  to pay their debts and if the creditors receive anything, it’s from the liquidation of assets. For people with higher incomes, a Chapter 13 bankruptcy involves a three to five year repayment plan.

Once you file a bankruptcy, a trustee is appointed to administer your case.  In a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, the main function of the trustee is to see if there is any property that can be liquidated – or converted into cash for the creditors.  Our Everett bankruptcy lawyers can explain this process in more detail when you call.  It sounds a little scary and intimidating, but it's not.

Keep most or all of your personal property and assets.

Most necessities cannot be taken because they are exempt by law.  The trustee in a Chapter 13 case collects monthly payments and distributes them among creditors according to a three to five year plan.

A Chapter 7 is a cheaper and easier form of bankruptcy, but you must show that you don’t have enough income to afford a Chapter 13 repayment plan.  If you make over the median income for Washington, you are subjected to a “means test”, which tests if your expenses are too high to require a Chapter 13 plan. 

Sometimes a debtor would want to file a Chapter 13 because it can accomplish more, such as allowing you to get caught up on car loans and mortgages, pay back taxes or child support or restore a drivers license that was suspended for fines or tickets.

Bankruptcy is designed to get someone who is drowning in debt back on track so they can be more productive and take care of themselves and their families.  It also lets creditors share equally when there is some money to distribute and lets them know where they stand once and for all when there isn’t. 

Though it is often a fairly simple proceeding, it is a good idea to consult an attorney because bankruptcies, especially Chapter 13s, can involve difficulties that are difficult for inexperienced people to predict.  We walk you through the process and handle all the difficult work.  Our Everett bankruptcy attorneys have years of experience helping people get a fresh start with compassion and understanding.

Everett Bankruptcy Lawyers

(425) 953-4364

Low fees.  Payments you can afford.