If you are considering filing for bankruptcy you should contact a bankruptcy law firm to learn about all of your options. If you are debating whether to file personal bankruptcy, you may file a chapter 7 bankruptcy or a chapter 13 bankruptcy. A chapter 7 bankruptcy is often called the “fresh start” bankruptcy as you may discharge most unsecured debts such as credit cards and medical bills. A Chapter 13 bankruptcy allows debtors to make monthly payments based on their disposable income. If you are considering filing a chapter 13 bankruptcy it probably means that you are trying to make up payments that you are behind on a home or your household income is above your states median income for your family size.
When you file bankruptcy, a Washington state bankruptcy trustee will be assigned to your case. The trustees duties consists of is to looking out for the best interest of your creditors. When you file bankruptcy all of your assets become part of your bankruptcy estate. As long as all of your assets are protected by bankruptcy exemptions you will not risk losing your assets. In Washington state, your bankruptcy attorney will be able to inform you if it would be advisable to use the State bankruptcy exemptions or the Federal bankruptcy exemptions. In Washington state, the state exemptions allow for a debtor to retain a home with up to $125,000 in equity.
If a debtor is not protecting a home, the Federal exemptions are probably the best option as they offer better protection for other assets. A bankruptcy trustee receives a flat fee for administering chapter 7 bankruptcy cases and a percentage of any assets that they liquidate on behalf of creditors. In a chapter 13 bankruptcy, the trustees office will receive a percentage of all funds paid out to creditors. These percentages vary by jurisdiction and can affect the amount that a debtor must pay in to a chapter 13 plan. The lower the trustee fee, the better it is for the debtor. Most chapter 7 bankruptcy cases are considered no asset cases, which means the bankruptcy trustee does not take any assets from the debtor. If the case is considered a no asset case then the debtor will receive their official bankruptcy discharge in about four months from the original filing date. In a chapter 13 bankruptcy, if a debtor is above the allowable exemption limit, the debtor may elect to pay additional funds into their chapter 13 bankruptcy plan to provide the trustees office the amount that they would have otherwise received if the debtor filed a chapter 7 bankruptcy.
If you have additional questions regarding what a Washington State bankruptcy trustee might do in your case, please set up a free consultation with Symmes Law Group by calling 206-682-7975