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Shoreline Bankruptcy Lawyer

As Seattle’s neighbor to the north, Shoreline, Washington, boasts safe neighborhoods, excellent public schools, and robust public services. Residents enjoy the natural beauty of the Pacific Northwest in its many parks and trails (including Boeing Creek, Shoreview Park, and Hidden Lake) and the waterfront along Puget Sound. 

These advantages come at a price, however. Shoreline’s cost of living is nearly 50% higher than the Washington average. As real estate values continue to rise, property taxes follow. Many residents struggle to keep up with rent or mortgage payments and utility bills. As the prices of gas, food, and other necessities continue to rise, some Shoreline families are in danger of being pushed out of the area. 

Caught in a Debt Storm?

Once you’re in debt, it can accumulate like an avalanche. Late fees, penalties, increased interest rates, and additional expenses pile up. Your debt snowballs and threatens to wipe out everything in its path: your family’s safety, security, and future happiness.

Having overwhelming debt is not a moral failing — it’s a practical problem. More importantly, it’s a problem with multiple real-world solutions. The professionals at Symmes Law Group PLLC can help you understand and explore your options. 

Is Bankruptcy a Possible Solution?

One solution to having more debt than you can manage is to file for bankruptcy. There are two main options for consumers.

In a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, most of your assets will likely be protected through state or federal bankruptcy exemptions. If that is not the case and an asset is sold to pay your creditors, the proceeds may not completely cover the outstanding amount of your debts, and the remaining balance will be discharged, essentially wiping the slate clean. While this sounds like a great option, there are some things to remember:

  • You can keep certain items, including equity in your home up to the allowable homestead exemption, an everyday vehicle, pension and insurance plans, and some personal items. All of the allowed exemptions are available for review online.  
  • You can keep public benefits, like social security or SNAP benefits, and as well as child support.
  • Chapter 7 allows you to discharge credit card debt, medical bills, old mortgages to a property you don’t own any more, and many other consumer debts. Other kinds of debt can’t be erased, including certain taxes, back child support and student loans.
  • To qualify, you must have a family income under the median for a family your size in Washington state, or your expenses must be so much higher than your income you do not have the means to pay your debt by passing something called the means test.

Another choice is to manage your debt using a Chapter 13 bankruptcy. This lets you propose a payment plan that includes all of your existing debts based on your available disposable income. Your payment plan may involve lower interest rates, longer payment schedules, the forgiveness of fees or additional charges, and other provisions to help you become debt-free. Some debtors have to pay all of their debts back, while others do not.   

Immediate Relief From Harassing Creditors

As soon as you file a bankruptcy petition under either chapter, your creditors must stop their attempts to collect — immediately. They cannot contact you by phone, text, mail, email, or any other means, and they must call off third-party debt collection services. There can be significant fines and penalties for violating the automatic stay provision of the bankruptcy code.  

How Do I Know if Bankruptcy Is Right for My Situation?

The experienced attorneys at Symmes Law Group PLLC will help you understand your options, including credit counseling services, loan modification, and bankruptcy. The first step, credit counseling, provides insight into whether you need to file for bankruptcy or whether a different type of debt modification would be more helpful. 

Scheduling Is Easy and Convenient

Consult with one of our attorneys without leaving your home! We can meet with you over the phone or using a video platform like Zoom. We handle most paperwork electronically using document signing programs and virtual authentication, and all court documents are securely filed online. If you’re caught in a debt storm, grab a lifeline. The experienced bankruptcy attorneys at Symmes Law Group PLLC will help you get back on solid ground. Contact us to schedule your initial consultation.

  • Richard Symmes

    Hi, Richard here.

    Book a time on my calendar to receive a calendar invite along the option to schedule a Phone, Office or Zoom consultation.

    You may also fill out the contact form to get in touch and get a copy of my free e-book Guide to Living Debt Free in Washington State, Bankruptcy and Other Alternatives.