Chapter 13 Bankruptcy
Everett Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Attorney
Providing the Relief You Need in the Greater Seattle Area
Living with debt can be exhausting. Many debtors are hounded by their creditors and receive endless phone calls from collection agencies. They fear foreclosure, repossession of their vehicles, and wage garnishments. The stress of financial difficulties will inevitably impact all areas of your life, but you do not have to live with this stress any longer.
Our Chapter 13 bankruptcy lawyer can help you secure the debt relief you need to overcome seemingly insurmountable levels of debt. At The Law Office of Ken Schneider, P.S., we have over 25 years of experience and are familiar with the intricacies and nuances of the Washington bankruptcy courts. We can review your financial circumstances and advise how Chapter 13 bankruptcy can help get your life back on track.
Who Should File for Chapter 13 Bankruptcy?
Bankruptcy laws are complex, and many factors will need to be considered deciding whether to file and which chapter to file under. Filing is not necessarily right for everyone, but we can help determine whether bankruptcy is right for you.
Prospective bankruptcy filers should complete the Washington Means Test to determine if they are eligible to file for Chapter 7. This involves calculating your average income over the preceding six months and comparing it to the average median income for your household size. If your current income is less than the median, you qualify for and are likely a good candidate for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. If your current income exceeds the median, you will need to calculate your disposable income by subtracting qualifying expenses from your total income. If you have substantial disposable income, you will likely be unable to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy but will probably be eligible for Chapter 13 relief.
Chapter 13 bankruptcy can still help debtors with considerable disposable income. In many situations, Chapter 13 bankruptcy can be even more beneficial than Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Chapter 13 bankruptcy is designed to provide relief to debtors that can still afford to pay some or all of their debts.
Chapter 13 bankruptcy may be right for you if:
- You have significant income but cannot afford the minimum payments on your unsecured debt
- You are facing foreclosure, need time to catch up on your mortgage payments, and wish to save your home
- You wish to eliminate a second (or third) mortgage when your home is worth less than what you owe on your first mortgage
- You need assistance paying tax debt
Our Chapter 13 bankruptcy attorney can assist you with completing the Washington Means Test and advise what types of bankruptcy you qualify for. If we determine Chapter 13 bankruptcy makes sense for your situation, we can help you understand what to expect.
You Can Afford a Chapter 13 Payment Plan
Some debtors that do not qualify for Chapter 7 relief assume they cannot afford to pay their creditors in a Chapter 13 bankruptcy. While there are some situations where Chapter 13 bankruptcy is impractical due to unique financial concerns, most filers will end up with an affordable payment plan.
When you file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you receive immediate relief through the automatic stay, a court order that stops all ongoing or imminent collection actions. This means filing for bankruptcy can stop foreclosure, repossession, and wage garnishments. Creditors will need to receive special permission from the bankruptcy court to carry out any collection action, but in many cases, you will receive protection for the duration of your bankruptcy case.
Soon after filing, you will need to submit and confirm a plan that reorganizes and consolidates your outstanding obligations. In a Chapter 13 plan, you will pay monthly installments over a period of three to five years. The amount of this payment is determined by your current disposable income – that is, your ability to pay – not the total size of your debt. Some types of debt, including tax debt, missed spousal support payments, and mortgage arrears, receive certain levels of “priority” and must be paid in full over the course of the plan.
The repayment plan is not meant to punish you or put you in a more difficult financial situation. The plan is designed to allow you to repay what you can afford to repay.
Once you have completed your payment plan, you will generally be permitted to charge any remaining unsecured debts. This includes credit card debt, medical debt, unpaid utility bills, and personal loans. While you cannot discharge all types of debt, keep in mind that you will be able to partially or entirely pay off many of your accounts as part of your payment plan. Discharging unsecured debts can also provide you with additional flexibility and financial resources to manage your obligations going forward.
Committing to a multi-year payment plan may seem intimidating, but our Everett Chapter 13 bankruptcy lawyer at The Law Office of Ken Schneider, P.S. can help. We can review your financial circumstances and estimate the monthly installment you will likely be expected to pay in a Chapter 13 plan. We can also serve as your guide and advocate throughout each step of the filing process.
“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