Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

Debt can make you feel as if you are drowning under bills and expenses. For low-income families, it can be impossible to pay off their debt.

Chapter 7 bankruptcy, also called liquidation bankruptcy, offers an opportunity to shake off debt and start fresh.

The team at Dorothy Bartholomew PLLC can help you emerge from the shadow of debt...

Chapter 7 road sign

Begin Rebuilding Your Life with the Help of a Bankruptcy Attorney

A Quick Route to Relief

Filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy typically only takes about three to six months, meaning you can quickly achieve relief from crippling debt.

Exemptions Protect Your Property

While you may lose some property when you file Chapter 7, most state exemptions protect the property you need. Generally, bankruptcy trustees will focus on selling luxury possessions.

Prevent Aggressive Collections

Filing for bankruptcy can prevent lenders from hounding you for repayment of your loans. While it will not erase student loan debt, it can keep creditors at bay and allow you to begin rebuilding your life.

Can filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy really help me?

Are You Considering Filing? You Are Not Alone...

How do I know if I qualify to file?

Eligibility for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

Any individual, partnership, corporation, or other business entity can find relief under Chapter 7 bankruptcy if you have:

Not Filed Recently

You cannot file for bankruptcy if your previous petition was dismissed in the last 180 days because you willfully failed to appear or comply, or voluntarily dismissed the case after creditors sought to recover property.

Received Credit Counseling

Within 180 days before filing, you must receive credit counseling from an approved agency. This counseling can take place on an individual or group basis, but must occur before you are eligible to file.

So how do I get started?

What to Expectduring Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

Schedule an Appointment

Your first step is to schedule a consultation with our team. Our bankruptcy attorneys, Dorothy Bartholomew and Jada Wood, can assist you every step of the way.

Assess Your Eligibility

Our team can evaluate your debt and your property exemptions to determine whether Chapter 7 bankruptcy is right for you.

Deal with Secured Debts

If you have secured debts where you pledged property as collateral for a loan, you will need to decide whether to pay the creditor the full value of the property, agree to continue paying per your contract, or let the creditor take the property.

Go to Credit Counseling

You will typically need to attend a credit counseling course within 180 days of when you plan to file.

File Bankruptcy Forms

There are a few dozen pages of forms which need to be filed with the bankruptcy court to officially start your case. We can assist you with this process to ensure you have everything in order.

Submit to the Trustee

You will need to gather documents which prove your bankruptcy forms are accurate and forward them to the bankruptcy trustee tasked with handling your case.

Tie up Loose Ends

You may need to file objections or motions as your case progresses to ensure all liens and claims against you are discharged properly before your case is closed.

Complete Debtor Education

Once your paperwork is filed you will need to complete a second class, called a debtor education course, before you can receive the discharge which wipes out your debts.

Receive Your Discharge

At the end of a successful bankruptcy, the court issues an order which erases all qualifying debt, meaning you no longer have a legal obligation to pay it.

Three Common Misconceptions about Filing Chapter 7

It is, in fact, normal to have an opinion about Chapter 7 bankruptcy in WA or elsewhere. It is normal for a reason: because it is common and everybody seems to be guilty of it. The question is: are those ''facts'' that people believe in actually facts, or are most of them nothing more than fictions spewed by naive people? It will be good to retrospect and think hard about what you believe for a few seconds because Chapter 7 bankruptcy in WA is very important especially to those who want to file for bankruptcy. If you do not have the time to think, you are still covered: read on! You might be surprised to see that some of the things you think are true while you were convinced beyond doubt that they are nothing more than fiction. Do not worry, it is better to be informed about these things than to be uninformed--even if you want to believe a lie and all too willing to share it to the world!

But something you should consider is that those sentiments are misleading and usually create an aura of fear that has the capability of crippling its victims. Yes, it is as terrifying as it sounds--if it sounds scary to you. So, ignorance is not bliss after all, especially as used in this context.

So, are you interested to know the truth that will give you that debt relief that you want? If your answer is yes, which it should be, here are 3 myths about Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in WA you deserve to know about:

1) Your credit will never recover! Do you see how scary it is to think that this is true? It could easily put somebody off who could live a debt-free life and be better for it especially in the long run.

Here is the truth: if you file a chapter 7 bankruptcy, it will only linger for 7 years. It will not be in your credit report after that time. Does that mean you are free? Yes, that is what it means. And you should know that this is not limited to Chapter 7. It is applicable to all types of bankruptcies. This will no longer stop you from filing it again. It is liberating to know that--if you did not.

And if you are concerned or worried that you won't be able to get a loan, don't be. You should take this as a fact because it is a fact: alternate lenders and credit card companies are more than willing to work with you. Remember, you are financially responsible now. See? There is no cause for alarm.

2) You are going to lose your car or home. This is a very common myth that have kept many people from filling a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy for years. There is no need to write a thousand words about it before it is discredited as a lie, because there is nothing complicated about it. However, you would want to know why that is.

There are new bankruptcy laws that will allow you to keep your house and, potentially, your car too if it is worth a certain amount. You might be thinking: what is the catch? There is none! If the price of your house is significant, you might want to look at others so that you could keep more assets.

3) Your retirement fund is gone if you file for it. It is also wrong to generalize it. Most retirement savings are not being touched such as 401(k) plan.

Reach Out Today

If you are considering filing Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, contact our firm online or call (253) 922-2016 to get the support you need from our compassionate team.

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Fife Office

5310 12th St. East
Ste C
Fife, WA 98424

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Saturdays by appointment.