Bankruptcy Services in Everett
Debt Relief Guidance in the Greater Seattle Area
Are you drowning in debt and are unable to keep up with your bills? Are you receiving angry calls from creditors or threats of foreclosure? You may be able to get the relief you need through bankruptcy.
Filing for bankruptcy can help you discharge debt and obtain the financial fresh start you deserve. Since 1993, The Law Office of Ken Schneider, P.S. has provided bankruptcy services in Everett as well as the greater Seattle area and the Puget Sound Region. We have experience handling Chapter 7, Chapter 11, and Chapter 13 filings and can provide the guidance you need when navigating the bankruptcy process.
What Are the Different Types of Bankruptcy?
Several types of bankruptcy are available, and each type has distinct procedures and specific eligibility requirements. We can review your situation and determine what types of bankruptcy you qualify for.
Our bankruptcy services in Everett include assistance with:
- Chapter 7 Bankruptcy. The primary purpose of this type of consumer bankruptcy is to discharge debts and give debtors a fresh start. Nonexempt assets will be liquidated to partially repay creditors, after which filers will be permitted to discharge unsecured debts. Many assets can be exempted and protected from liquidation, and many filers lose little to nothing when they receive assistance from a qualified legal professional. Certain types of debt – including student loans, most tax debts, alimony, and child support – are not dischargeable through bankruptcy. Only debtors that pass the Washington Means Test are eligible to file for Chapter 7 relief.
- Chapter 11 Bankruptcy. Chapter 11 bankruptcy is primarily used for business reorganizations, but individuals may be able to file under certain specific circumstances. In a Chapter 11 reorganization, businesses will typically be permitted to continue their normal operations – minimizing disruptions – while they create and confirm a plan for managing their assets, debts, and liabilities. Expedited processes are available for small businesses that meet certain requirements.
- Chapter 13 Bankruptcy. This type of consumer bankruptcy is designed for debtors that have regular income but cannot keep up with their bills and obligations. Debtors that have fallen behind on payments but wish to protect their homes and vehicles from foreclosure or repossession may be good candidates for Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Chapter 13 bankruptcy filers tend to have current incomes that exceed the Washington median for their household size. Filing involves creating a repayment plan that reorganizes debts into a single monthly payment. The size of this payment is tied to the debtor’s ability to pay, not the size of their debt. Plans will last between three and five years, and upon completing their plans, debtors are usually permitted to discharge remaining unsecured debts.
Our experienced attorney can guide you through the process of determining eligibility for each type of bankruptcy. We can also help you understand how each process works and what types of debt you can expect to charge at the conclusion of your case.
Filing a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in Washington
If you have little to no means of repaying your debts, Chapter 7 bankruptcy may be right for you. To qualify, your current income must be less than the state of Washington’s average median income for your household size. You may also be eligible if you can demonstrate you have sufficiently low disposable income.
Once hired, we will file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy petition with the Bankruptcy Court in Seattle, Washington. The petition will be accompanied by a variety of essential documents, schedules of assets and liabilities, proof of your current monthly income, an accounting of your current expenses, and a Chapter 7 Means Test calculation. The bankruptcy court also requires debtors to obtain a certificate of credit counseling from an approved credit counseling agency.
Approximately one month after the filing of your Chapter 7 bankruptcy petition, a meeting of creditors will be held. This is typically a brief meeting, and in many cases, few creditors actually appear.
You will next need to go through the liquidation process. Nonexempt assets will be sold to partially repay your creditors. However, you can leverage Washington’s exemptions to protect many types of property, including equity in your home, your vehicle, clothing, furniture, government benefits, retirement accounts, and more. Liquidation is not intended to punish filers, and many debtors lose little to nothing once they exercise available exemptions.
Approximately two months after the meeting of the creditors, your Chapter 7 bankruptcy discharge will be processed and mailed to you. This will allow you to discharge – or eliminate – many types of unsecured debt, including credit card debt, medical debt, personal loans, and unpaid utility bills. Our office has handled countless Chapter 7 petitions and can guide you through each step of the process.
We are familiar with every aspect of filing a Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Filing under Chapter 13 can provide relief to debtors that have considerable disposable income to repay debts.
Completing a Chapter 13 bankruptcy involves developing and confirming a repayment plan that meets all legal requirements under the Bankruptcy Code. Our bankruptcy services in Everett include assistance with creating this plan. Our lawyer can diligently restructure your debt so that your repayment plan is approved by the bankruptcy judge. After your Chapter 13 bankruptcy petition is filed, you are required to pay secured creditors on time and on the scheduled due dates. Examples of secured creditors include servicers for your mortgage, vehicle, furniture, and jewelry.
Typically, the filing of a Chapter 13 bankruptcy will immediately activate the automatic stay. This court order can stop the foreclosure of your home, the repossession of your vehicle, or the garnishment of your wages. In many cases, the automatic stay will remain in effect for the duration of your plan, potentially offering you up to five years of protection.
After your Chapter 13 petition has been filed, you must pay all secured debt on time as required in your payment plan. You will be required to start making payments to the bankruptcy trustee one month after your plan has been submitted. A meeting of the creditors will also be held approximately one month after you file for Chapter 13 relief. At this meeting, the bankruptcy trustee will review your petition and assess whether you are able to meet your monthly financial obligations in addition to your plan payments. Our attorney is prepared to protect your interests throughout each stage of your Chapter 13 filing.
“Ken Schneider is a great attorney. He helped me and my family get through one of the toughest times in our lives. He was able to guide us and help pick the best plan that fit my family. I have recommended him to others and will continue.”- Reese
“I not only have come away with the best scenario in a difficult situation, but I also have come away with peace of mind and hope. He came highly recommended and I can highly recommend him to others.”- Melanie
“Ken was right on the case, knew the complex facts quickly and accurately, and was successful at holding the trustee accountable to bankruptcy law.”- Mike
“Ken has a vast knowledge of Chapters 7 and 13 and will counsel you and make sure that he guides you to help you make the right decision. We know of at least 2 other friends that have hired Ken and they are very happy with Ken’s results and knowledge.”- Shaun
“I cannot say enough good things about Mr. Schneider. He is so kind, upfront, and intelligent.”- Stacy