Kirkland Bankruptcy Attorney
End Your Stress: Bankruptcy Protection, Loan Modification, and Debt Relief
The cost of living in Kirkland, like other popular suburban areas, has risen dramatically. Many residents struggle to keep up with rising rents and property taxes, higher mortgage rates, and skyrocketing utility bills; plus the cost of food, clothing, and other necessities! For many Seattle-area residents, an unforeseen expense, illness, layoff, or other life change can be financially catastrophic. Filing for bankruptcy gives people struggling to make ends meet a chance to free themselves from the burden of debt and get a fresh start.
It’s a widely believed misconception that declaring bankruptcy means you will lose everything. Fortunately, that’s not the case! U.S. bankruptcy laws allow most filers to keep their home, car, and other cherished possessions. Symmes Law Group, PLLC handles all types of consumer bankruptcy, including filings under Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code.
Bankruptcy not only provides lasting relief from debt but also immediately frees you from the stress of debt collectors and creditors. As soon as you begin the bankruptcy process, the “automatic stay” provision makes it illegal for most creditors to continue collection efforts. This stops the harassing phone calls, texts, and emails while your attorney helps you put things in order.
Chapter 7 Debt Relief
Many individuals are eligible to file for bankruptcy, according to Chapter 7 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code. If your household income is below the median Washington state income for a family of your size (or if you have qualifying exemptions), you may qualify for this type of filing.
In a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, a trustee takes control of your assets and sells them to satisfy your debts. This process takes a few months; when it is finished, your debts are gone (even if the value of your assets was less than the amount of your debt).
Chapter 7 can completely eliminate many types of “dischargeable” debts, including credit card balances, medical bills, and personal loans. Other types of debts are considered “non-dischargeable,” meaning you will still owe them after the process is finished. These debts are generally social obligations like child support and back taxes. Even though Chapter 7 cannot eliminate these debts, the process may reduce the total amount you owe by reducing fees and penalties and get your payments under control.
Although every case is different, most Chapter 7 filers may keep a reasonable vehicle (car, truck, motorcycle, etc.), the equity in their home, treasured personal items, insurance and pension plans, and public benefits.
Updated in 2021: the new bankruptcy “recovery rebate” law allows bankruptcy filers to also keep their stimulus checks, tax credits, and child tax credits.
Chapter 13 Reorganization and Debt Restructuring
If your income exceeds the Chapter 7 threshold or other factors prevent you from filing this kind of petition, filing for bankruptcy as a Chapter 13 bankruptcy petition may be an option. In this kind of bankruptcy, your attorney negotiates with your creditors to develop a plan to pay your outstanding debts. Typically, creditors agree to accept a smaller percentage of the overall debt, a lower interest rate, or a loan modification in exchange for a full discharge. For the creditor, it means getting something rather than nothing (and can stop spending time and money harassing you for payment). For you, it means peace of mind: the process gets your unmanageable, overwhelming debt under control and puts a plan in place to pay it off.
If your outstanding debts are overwhelmingly non-dischargeable—things like back taxes, child support, or mortgage arrears (unpaid amounts past due on your mortgage)—Chapter 13 can be a good solution. Your attorney can work with you to help reduce your payments and penalties, allowing you to keep the equity you have built in your property and stay in the home you love. They can also negotiate reductions in fees or penalties for tax debts and other burdens.
Crafting a Plan for Your Unique Situation
Our attorneys will work with you to determine whether you qualify for a Chapter 7 discharge and if so, will help you prepare and file your petition. If you don’t meet the Chapter 7 criteria, we will help you prepare a Chapter 13 repayment plan that is both realistic and manageable for the long term.
In Washington State, bankruptcy filers may choose to use state or federal exemptions to determine which property is exempt. Because every situation is different, a skilled bankruptcy lawyer will evaluate your situation and discuss the best option for you. Often, our clients can keep most or all of their assets while discharging their debts.
Don’t hassle with Kirkland traffic or drive into Seattle! We will consult with you virtually and handle your case safely and securely. We have the latest and best digital security measures to protect your financial and personal data. We offer convenient and efficient secure online document signing and electronic authentication to keep you safe and secure. In fact, you may not even need to appear in court physically—the Washington bankruptcy courts are currently conducting creditor meetings telephonically or by video appearance unless an in-person meeting is necessary.
Call us at 206-682-7975 now, or send us a message to schedule a free initial consultation. Discuss your options with a Kirkland bankruptcy attorney today! We are a debt relief agency and help people obtain financial relief by filing for personal bankruptcy under Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code.