Edmonds Bankruptcy Attorney
Edmonds, Washington, nestled between Seattle and Everett, is a great place to call home. Residents enjoy the natural beauty of the Pacific Northwest in its many parks, urban forests, and trails, including Edmonds Marsh Park. The Puget Sound marina is one of the largest in the region, and Edmonds Underwater Park brings thousands of avid scuba divers to the area each year.
Stunning views of the Olympic mountains and pleasant year-round weather attract more new residents to the area each year. But as real estate values soar, property taxes follow. Many longtime Edmonds families struggle to keep up with rent or mortgage payments and utility bills. As the prices of food, gas, and other necessities continue to climb, it’s easy for debt to increase.
Facing an Avalanche of Debt?
Once you’re in debt, it can snowball quickly. Late fees, penalties, and increased interest rates pile on top of new expenses. As your debt grows, it can threaten to destroy everything in its path: your family’s safety, security, and future happiness.
Being in debt is not a moral failing — it’s a practical problem. Fortunately, it’s a problem with multiple real-world solutions. The legal professionals at Symmes Law Group PLLC can help you understand and explore your options.
Could Bankruptcy Be a Solution?
Bankruptcy can be a way to take control of your debt burden. Two main types of bankruptcy protection are available to most consumers.
In a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, most assets are protected through available bankruptcy exemptions. If you have an asset of significant value and it is not exempt, then the proceeds are used to pay your debts; even if they don’t completely cover the outstanding amount, your debts will be wiped away. While this sounds very appealing, there are things you should know:
- You can keep certain items, including the equity in your home, a vehicle for everyday use, any pension or insurance plans, and some personal items so long as there are available bankruptcy exemptions to protect them. In Washington State you can choose either the federal or state exemptions but you cannot combine them.
- You can also keep any public benefits, social security or SNAP benefits, along with child support payments you may receive.
- Chapter 7 allows you to eliminate many types of consumer debt, like credit card debt, medical bills, and old mortgage or HOA debts from properties you no longer own. But some debts can’t be erased, including back child support and student loans.
- Your family income must be under the median for a Washington family of your size, or your debt must be so much higher than your income that there is no reasonable way you could pay it.
If you can’t or prefer not to file for Chapter 7 protection, you may explore whether a Chapter 13 payment plan could help you become debt-free. It lets you propose a repayment plan based on what you can afford to pay. Your payment plan might include lower interest rates, longer payment schedules, no interest on unsecured debts or the forgiveness of fees or additional charges. Some debtors need to pay all their debts back, while others may pay very little. it all will depend on your household income, type and amount of debt and your family size.
Immediate Relief From Creditor Harassment
As soon as you file for bankruptcy protection, your creditors must stop harassing you — immediately. They are prohibited from contacting you by any means, including phone, text, mail, and email, and they must alert any third-party debt collection services they use. Violation of this “automatic stay” provision of the bankruptcy code can have significant fines and penalties.
How Do I Know if Bankruptcy Is the Right Choice?
The experienced attorneys at Symmes Law Group PLLC will help you understand all your options. We start with credit counseling and look at your entire situation. These insights tell us whether filing for bankruptcy is the best choice or whether a different type of debt modification would be more appropriate.
Scheduling Is Easy and Convenient
Don’t fight the I-5 — consult with one of our attorneys without leaving your home! We can meet with you over the phone or using a video service like Zoom. We handle most paperwork electronically, and all court documents are securely filed online. Secure document signing programs and virtual authentication help ensure the process is as safe as it is convenient.
If you’re buried under a mountain of debt, grab a lifeline. The experienced bankruptcy attorneys at Symmes Law Group PLLC will help you dig out and breathe easily again. Contact us to schedule a consultation.