Bankruptcy is a big step.
Filing bankruptcy can be a difficult decision. You need a bankruptcy lawyer with the experience, competence, and integrity to help you through the process.
Bankruptcy is a complex process and it is important that you fully understand it. One of a bankruptcy lawyer’s principal jobs is to educate. We take pride in our ability to explain in simple English how bankruptcy works.
The best way to understand a Chapter 7 or 13 bankruptcy is to call us and schedule a free initial consultation.
PAYMENT PLANS FOR THE ATTORNEY FEE.
FREE INITIAL CONSULTATION.
ATTORNEY ATTENTION ON EVERY CASE. No paralegals working your case.
FLEXIBLE APPOINTMENTS AVAILABLE.
Everyone will know I filed bankruptcy. While filing is a matter of public record, there is very little publication of that fact. The only people who receive notice are creditors and parties of interest. Employers are typically not notified of a Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing.
You have to have a certain amount of debt to file bankruptcy. This is not true. If you cannot afford to pay back your debt, then you are a candidate for bankruptcy.
You cannot file if you are employed. If you have too much income you might be disqualified from filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy (but not Chapter 13 wage earner bankruptcy). But merely having a job is not a disqualification. Most people who are employed can file bankruptcy.
You lose all your property in bankruptcy. No. You lose all of your un-exempt property. Most people’s property is 100% exempt so they keep all of their property.
You cannot get credit or loans for ten years after bankruptcy. The Fair Credit Reporting Act allows the credit reporting bureaus to report your bankruptcy for ten years, but that will not stop you from getting credit or loans. We have had clients purchase real property with a new mortgage within two years after filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy. In fact, you will get credit card applications completely unsolicited while your Chapter 7 bankruptcy case is still pending. Our last letter to our clients is about how to rehabilitate their credit rating.
Filing bankruptcy is a moral failing or sign of personal weakness. Most bankruptcies are filed because of a job loss, medical bills, or divorce. These are usually outside your control. Bankruptcy is a means to start over with a fresh start.
Married couples must file bankruptcy together. Because we live in a community property state, it is usually a good idea for both spouses to file together. However, circumstances do not always permit that. Maybe one spouse has already filed within the past eight years. Or maybe one spouse is incarcerated. Or one spouse simply refuses to file. Nevertheless, if a spouse qualifies, then he or she can file without the other spouse. However, qualification might be more difficult in this situation, so a discussion might be warranted here.
New bankruptcy laws mean that debt relief is no longer available. Debt relief (the discharge of debt in bankruptcy) is still available, but Congress has changed things so that not everybody qualifies to file Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
Chapter 13 payment plans require full payment of the debt. Not true. Most Chapter 13 Plans do not require full payment. The calculation of how much debt has to be paid in a Chapter 13 Plan is complicated but there is no blanket rule that all the debt must be paid.
Medical bills cannot be discharged in bankruptcy. Or, car loans cannot be discharged. Most consumer type debts are dischargeable. Medical bills, vehicle loans, credit card bills, personal loans. Even some taxes.
I will never be able to buy anything again. There are no restrictions on purchases after bankruptcy. And, as explained above, credit cards and loans are available right after your case is closed.
If you have been sued or have a judgment entered against you, it is too late to file bankruptcy. Not true. Filing bankruptcy stops the lawsuit and stops the collection of money from you on account of a judgment.
You can be fired from your job for filing bankruptcy. Federal law prohibits any employer from discriminating against employees who file for bankruptcy. 11 U.S.C. Sec. 525. In fact, most of the time the employer does not even know the employee has filed Chapter 7.
Contact us for a free consultation.
John L. Hoffer, PLLC
1710 – 100th Place, Suite 109
Everett, WA 98201
Notice required by federal law: Congress says law firms that do bankruptcy work are debt relief agents, whatever that is. We certainly help people file bankruptcy.