Questions About Bankruptcy?
| Questions About Bankruptcy? |
Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
Wipe out your debts!
Keep your property and assets!
Assisting clients throughout Snohomish County
Everett Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Attorneys
Low Flat Fees
Struggling just to get by every month?
Drowning in debt?
We can help.
If you are able to qualify, filing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy is probably your best move. A Chapter seven only takes about four months, and it wipes out 100% of your qualifying debts. Our Everett bankruptcy attorneys can help you determine if you qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection and relief.
If you qualify, filing a Chapter 7 wipes out almost all of your unsecured debts including credit card debts, medical bills, utility bills, judgments, and lawsuits. It also stops all repossession actions and assists in many other ways as well. It also immediately stop all collection actions.
Filing a Chapter 7 immediately puts an "automatic stay" in place. This automatic stay is federal law and is one of your guaranteed legal rights under the law. If creditors continue to harass you after you have filed, they are in direct violation of the automatic stay and the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.
In order to file, you cannot have previously filed and received a discharge in the previous 8 years. Individuals, married couples and businesses can file a Chapter 7, though businesses do not receive a discharge.
In order to qualify for relief, you must meet certain income requirements. Our Everett Chapter 7 bankruptcy lawyers are very familiar with the qualifying income thresholds and can review them with your during your initial consultation. Most of our Snohomish County clients can still qualify for relief.
If you are over these income thresholds, you are presumed by bankruptcy law to be abusing the system. But it may still be possible to qualify you by showing that your expenses take up all your income under the means test.
The means test is complicated calculation. But we are very familiar with it, and we can determine if you can still qualify even if your income is above the baseline thresholds.
How does it work?
The process of a filing starts with filing a petition with the bankruptcy court. The end result of a Chapter 7 is a “discharge”, which cancels your debt.
In most cases, it takes about three or four months for your case case to go from filing the petition to discharge. The resulting discharge is an injunction against creditors taking any action to collect a discharged debt. And, they can be sued for violating this injunction.
We will prepare your petition, which you will need to review in detail prior to filing. The bankruptcy petition contains detailed information about your financial situation, such as a list of your property, a list of your debts, a statement of your income and expenses. You must also file the means test form.
You also have to disclose certain transfers of property or money, especially to relatives, in the past two years. Once you file your case, an “automatic stay” is put into place. This “stays”, or stops, all collection activity, including phone calls, repossessions, foreclosures, law suits, garnishments – any attempt to collect a debt. Creditors can be sued for violating the automatic stay. A trustee is also appointed to administer your case.
Will I have to go to court?
Most people who file Chapter 7 only have to attend one hearing called a “meeting of creditors”, which occurs about a month after you file your case. One of our Everett Chapter 7 bankruptcy lawyers will explain what happens at the meeting of creditors in more detail before your hearing.
The trustee reviews your petition and supporting documents such as pay stubs and bank statements and questions you under oath at the meeting of creditors. Creditors rarely show up to these hearings. The trustee investigates whether you have any property, or in some instances had any property, that could be used to pay your creditors.
The trustee also wants to make sure that you are following the laws and that your petition is accurate. Most often, people who file have no contact with the trustee after the meeting of creditors.
Sometimes the trustee will want to investigate something further or may ask for amendments to correct inaccuracies in the petition. We have the experience to guide you through the process with the least amount of worry and stress possible.