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Washington Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Attorneys
Consolidate your bills into one monthly payment you can afford.
Washington Chapter 13 bankruptcy attorney.
WA State home foreclosure lawyer.
Consolidate your bills into one monthly payment.
Save your house.
Chapter 13 is a type of bankruptcy available only to those who have some disposable income each month. It is basically a Court-approved repayment plan that we put together for you. The Court protects you while you pay some money back to your creditors through your Chapter 13 Plan, which lasts from 3 to 5 years. Usually plan payments come directly out of your paycheck.
It is a very powerful tool, and can be used to do the following:
• Stop a foreclosure - helps you get back on track with your mortgage payments after falling behind, and save your house.
• Get your drivers license back- while you pay your fines through your Plan.
• Pay Back Taxes – be protected by the Court while you pay off your taxes.
• Pay Back Child Support – be protected by the Court while you pay back your child support arrears.
• Strip down liens – cram down how much you owe in principal and interest on your car. In some instances, you may even be able to strip the second mortgage off your house!
• File a bankruptcy, even though it has been less than 8 years since you filed a chapter 7 – you are eligible for a discharge in a chapter 13 if it has been at least 4 years since you filed a chapter 7 case and received a discharge. We can tailor a case to your budget, and you pay a very small amount to your creditors for a period of 3 to 5 years, and receive protection from the Court while you complete your plan.
• Limit the amount you pay on student loans – if student loans are too large for you to handle right now, we can file a plan that pays them part of the monthly payments. They will survive the plan, but you will be able to get protection and avoid garnishments while you are in the plan, and can buy you time until things turn around for you financially.
Chapter 13 Discharges:
• Credit cards
• Medical and dental bills
• Certain kinds of income taxes
• Unsecured lines of credit
• Most Lawsuits
Chapter 13 Can Pay Back, But Does NOT Usually Discharge:
• Student loans
• Fines, traffic tickets
• Tax Liens, or taxes newer than 3 years old
• Secured debt owing on cars, houses, jewelry, etc.
• Debt incurred by fraud
• Domestic support obligations, like child support and alimony
• Damages from personal injury or death caused by being under the influence of drugs, alcohol, or other substance, while driving a motor vehicle, boat or airplane.
In a chapter 13 bankruptcy, you can discharge many kinds of debt, or get protection from the Court while you pay some kinds of creditors back. A discharge means that the Bankruptcy Court issues an order at the end of the case that is sent to all the creditors you owe money to, saying that they can no longer collect any debt that is dischargeable in the case (see the list above).
The Way It Works:
1. First Office Appointment. We will meet you for your initial consultation to go over your situation. We will ask you about your income, assets, and the kind of debts you owe. We will ask you where you have lived for the last 3 years, and if you owe a domestic support obligation like child support or alimony. We will ask you if you have used any credit cards or taken out any loans recently. This information helps us analyze your case. We will ask you to gather documents.
2. Follow up Office Appointment or Phone Appointment. We will start to build the rough draft of your case, and fill out many forms. This can often be done over the phone if it is more convenient for you. We will also meet with you to go over your chapter 13 plan to make sure it is something you can afford, and will address all of the issues in your case.
3. Staff prepares the court paperwork. Using the information we have gathered, we prepare all of the court paperwork, about 60 pages. A bankruptcy is a federal court case, which is why it is very important that we have all of the information we need to help you with your case.
4. Credit Counseling. Before we can file your case, you must complete credit counseling. This can be done in just a few minutes on the phone, internet, or in person, with a credit counseling agency. They will ask you questions about your debt and your budget, to see if you can avoid bankruptcy. They will issue a certificate to us that we will file along with your case. There is usually a fee for this, about $40, and we can help you find an agency to help you..
5. Review of Documents. We will review your case to make sure everything is correct, and that there are no issues to worry about.
6. Signing Appointment. We will have you come in and sign the documents, and will go over every page with you.
7. Filing the Case. After you sign the documents and are sure everything is correct, we will file your case electronically. As soon as you file your case, the Automatic Stay of the Bankruptcy Court will into effect, which protects you from your creditors. After you file, not even the IRS or lawyers suing you can contact you or take further action against collecting the debt. It will even stop a foreclosure temporarily, which is often useful if you need time to save up money to move. (To more permanently save a house from foreclosure, see the section on Chapter 13 Bankruptcy.)
8. Sending Notice to Creditors. If you have an active lawsuit or garnishment, we will send notice to the creditor or their attorney to stop their collections. We can also send notice to your payroll department and stop any existing garnishment-often we can get some money back!
9. Send Documents to the Trustee. In a chapter 13 bankruptcy case, a person called a Chapter 13Bankruptcy Trustee will be appointed to administer your case. The Chapter 13 Trustee’s office will look to see that everything is in order, and that you can afford your plan payments, and are paying your creditors their fair share.
10. The 341(a) Meeting of Creditors. About one month after you file, you will need to appear at the Meeting of Creditors. You must bring photo ID and proof of your social security number to show the Trustee. We will be there with you and prepare you ahead of time to answer questions from the Trustee.
11. Confirmation Hearing. You usually do NOT need to attend this hearing. We will work with the chapter 13 trustee to get your plan confirmed by the Court. It sometimes takes a few months to get it all worked out, but you are protected by the Court while the process is happening. When your plan is confirmed, it is officially approved by the Court, and you simply make your plan payments each month until the plan is done.
12. Pay the Court your Filing Fee. The filing fee for a chapter 13 case is $274. We will wrap this amount into your chapter 13 plan payment.
13. 2nd Credit Counseling Requirement. After you file your case, you must complete a Personal Financial Management class. Like the first requirement, this can be done on the internet, by phone, or in person. It takes about 2 hours and 15 minutes, and will teach a lot of things, like how to budget, and how to rebuild your credit. The cost is about $14.95 per person, and we can give you a list of agencies who do this class. If you do not complete it (45 days after the Meeting of Creditors), then the Court may close your case without a discharge, and you will have to pay almost $300 to reopen the case to file the certificate.
14. Order of Discharge. After you complete all of your plan payments, you will receive a discharge order from the Court.