How To Prepare For Bankruptcy
How to Prepare for Bankruptcy in Everett
Representing debtors in bankruptcy is much more than completing forms that will be filed with the court. As your legal representative, our job is to anticipate issues that may arise in your bankruptcy case, minimize the likelihood of problems, assist you in filing all the necessary paperwork, work to secure as much of your property as possible, and pay only the debt that is necessary.
At The Law Office of Ken Schneider, P.S., we can help you understand how to prepare for bankruptcy in Everett. We are familiar with the intricacies and nuances of the process and can leverage our knowledge to maximize the benefits of your filing.
Our Bankruptcy Preparation Process
Effectively navigating the bankruptcy process involves carefully evaluating and documenting every facet of your present financial circumstances. This includes a full accounting of your assets, debts, liabilities, and any other situational factors that may influence your filing.
To aid in and expedite this process, we have developed a worksheet that walks you through how to prepare for bankruptcy in Everett. When completed, this worksheet will provide us with the essential information we need to evaluate a potential bankruptcy filing. It will also allow us to identify and anticipate issues that could arise.
To help you prepare for bankruptcy, we will need:
- Your current sources of income. This includes all wages, salaries, commissions, interest, monetary gifts, rental income, dividend income, and capital gains income. The extent of your current income will determine what type of bankruptcy you are eligible for.
- Your current expenses. If you qualify and choose to file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you will need to calculate your current monthly disposable income by subtracting qualifying expenses from your total income.
- Your key assets and their values. You must inventory and appraise all significant assets that may be targeted for liquidation during a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. This includes your home, vehicle, any other real estate properties, and any other valuable assets.
- The details of your debts. We need to understand what types of debt are compelling you to consider bankruptcy. This element is extremely important, as only certain types of debt can be directly discharged through bankruptcy.
- Your household information. The makeup of your household will potentially impact several components of the bankruptcy process. This includes whether you are single or married, whether you plan to file individually or jointly with your spouse, and how many dependents you have.
- Your goals. What are you hoping to accomplish through filing for bankruptcy beyond discharging debt? Are you trying to stop a foreclose or wage garnishment? Are you looking to eliminate debt while also protecting certain assets? We can give you a clear, direct idea of what bankruptcy can and cannot accomplish and tailor our approach to suit your specific objectives.
Helping Clients Make the Most of Their Filings in the Greater Seattle Area
While we can handle emergency cases where necessary, meeting with a qualified bankruptcy attorney long before you need to file is generally a good idea. Many of our clients benefit enormously from pre-bankruptcy planning. When we have ample time to strategize, we can work to maximize benefits, minimize negative impacts, and put you in the best possible position.
Pre-bankruptcy planning can help you:
- Reduce the cost of your bankruptcy filing. Strategic spending (or non-spending) in advance of filing for bankruptcy can reduce overall expenses associated with the process.
- Retain additional assets. If you file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, your nonexempt assets will be subject to liquidation. Careful strategy and planning can allow us to exempt additional assets, allowing you to keep more than you otherwise would have.
- Qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. In bankruptcy, timing can be very important. When completing the Washington Means Test, which determines which type of bankruptcy you qualify for, you will evaluate your “current” income – or your average monthly income over the preceding six months. If you have recently lost key sources of income, your current financial affairs will not necessarily be reflected in your six-month average. By strategically waiting to file, your income will organically decrease – potentially allowing you to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy instead of Chapter 13 bankruptcy.
- Reduce Chapter 13 bankruptcy plan payments. Similarly, your disposable income will be determined by subtracting qualifying expenses from your current income levels. Your level of disposable income will be used to calculate the size of your Chapter 13 reorganization plan’s monthly payment. By waiting to file, your current income may substantially decrease – reducing your disposable income and thereby lowering your monthly payment obligation.
“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