Portland Bankruptcy Attorney | Northwest Debt Relief https://nwdrlf.com Free consultations for consumer bankruptcy in the Pacific Northwest Tue, 13 Nov 2018 15:07:04 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.8 Chapter 13 Bankruptcy in Tacoma https://nwdrlf.com/chapter-13-bankruptcy-in-tacoma/ Mon, 05 Nov 2018 13:56:38 +0000 https://nwdrlf.com/?p=4313 Who gets paid first in a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy case in Tacoma? Most people who file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy in Tacoma are neck deep in debts because of credit card bills, medical expenses, and mortgages. If you are one of these people, it is best to know the basics about bankruptcy so that you [...]

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Who gets paid first in a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy case in Tacoma?

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Payment PlanMost people who file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy in Tacoma are neck deep in debts because of credit card bills, medical expenses, and mortgages. If you are one of these people, it is best to know the basics about bankruptcy so that you are well informed on how your debts are going to be paid. It will help to understand how debts are settled in a Chapter 13 case.  A Chapter 13 bankruptcy is also called a wage earner’s plan or reorganization bankruptcy. It empowers individuals with regular income to come up with a repayment plan in order to repay all or part of their debts. Our skilled Tacoma bankruptcy attorneys can counsel you so that you may fully understand how reorganization bankruptcy works.

What are the types of debt and how are they paid in Chapter 13 Bankruptcy?

No bankruptcy clears you of all debts. Bankruptcy can eliminate many other debts, but it will be more difficult to borrow in the future. You must know that debts fall under two categories:

1. Dischargeable Debts – Debts for which the debtor will no longer be liable when the bankruptcy is discharged.

2. Non-Dischargeable Debts – Debts for which the debtor will still be liable even after receiving a discharge.

It is apparent that these distinctions are important information for debtors regardless of which chapter they file under. Apart from being categorized as dischargeable or non-dischargeable, debts are also classified into a few additional categories, which include:

1. Priority Debts
2. Secured Debts
3. Unsecured Debts

These classifications are important because they affect the order in which the debts must be paid and the extent to which the debts must be settled.

What are the definitions of Secured, Unsecured, and Priority Claims in Chapter 13?

Secured debts are debts which are “secured” by collateral. If the borrower falls behind on payments for these debts, the lender can seize, foreclose, or repossess the collateral. Your assets such as your home or car are usual examples of secured debts because they can be used as collateral for a loan (such as an auto loan) or a mortgage (for your house). You never fully own the asset tied to secured debt until the loan has been paid off. Because of the collateral, you now owe your creditor a “secured debt” and he now has a “secured claim”.

On the other hand, unsecured debts are debts that are not backed by collateral, such as a car or home. Credit card and medical debt are examples of unsecured debts in Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Both also happen to be dischargeable debts under both Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. Student loan debt is also unsecured debt but is usually non-dischargeable in any type of bankruptcy, unless the debtor can prove extreme hardship. A creditor who is owed an unsecured debt has an unsecured claim.

Unsecured debts can be further divided into two subcategories:

1. Priority Unsecured Debts – Debts that fall into this category include child support payments, alimony or spousal support payments, and certain types of tax debts, though income tax debts are sometimes dischargeable as long as they meet certain requirements. These are paid first in Chapter 13 bankruptcy.

2. Nonpriority Unsecured Debts – Nonpriority unsecured debts are the least urgent debts in bankruptcy. Creditors with unsecured claims are the last to be paid with any funds that remain after secured claims and priority unsecured claims have been settled. The amount to be paid on these debts will depend on how much is your disposable income and the amount the creditors should have received had you filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

If you are short on cash and faced with the difficult decision of paying only some bills, it is best that the secured debts are prioritized. These payments are often harder to catch up with and you risk losing essential assets – like your home- if you are delinquent on payments.

On the other hand, you might want to pay off unsecured debts because they have higher interest rates that make it expensive in the long run. Even when you have a debt repayment plan, it is crucial to be updated with the minimum and installment payments on all your accounts.

It is also important to note of the following secured and priority debts that Chapter 13 debtors should fully pay before they are discharged:

– Alimony
– Child support
– Debts arising from death or personal injury caused by driving while intoxicated or under the influence of drugs
– Debts for restitution or a criminal fine included in a sentence on the debtor’s conviction of a crime
– Long-term obligations such as home mortgage
– Debts for most government funded or guaranteed educational loans or benefit overpayments
– Most tax debts, with some exceptions

To get more information on what the differences are, do not hesitate to call our Tacoma bankruptcy attorneys.

What are benefits of filing Chapter 13 bankruptcy if I am still required to fully pay my debts?

Chapter 13 allows debtors to propose a repayment plan so they can pay off creditors within three to five years, in manageable terms and in amounts they can afford. Homeowners who filed for Chapter 13 also have a chance to save their homes from foreclosure because once they file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, foreclosure proceedings are stopped. Chapter 13 also allows debtors to pay off missed payments on car loans and mortgages without losing their assets. However, if you fall behind on your mortgage payments during your Chapter 13 plan, the lender can seek the court’s permission to foreclose on your home or seize your car, as the case may be.

On a positive note, once the bankruptcy is discharged, the debtor can heave a sigh of relief of having improved his financial situation and can now move forward in building a better credit standing.

Do not delay in taking that first step towards bankruptcy filing. Call our Tacoma bankruptcy attorney for professional legal advice if Chapter 13 bankruptcy is the best option for you.

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Chapter 13 Trustee in Seattle https://nwdrlf.com/chapter-13-trustee-in-seattle/ Mon, 01 Oct 2018 21:08:46 +0000 https://nwdrlf.com/?p=4310 Retiring Chapter 13 Trustee in Seattle After more than 19 years as the Chapter 13 Trustee in Seattle, Mike Fitzgerald will retire on September 30, 2918. The United States Trustee has announced the appointment of Jason Wilson-Aguilar as the Chapter 13 Standing Trustee for Seattle, effective October 1, 2018. After nearly two decades as the [...]

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Retiring Chapter 13 Trustee in Seattle

After more than 19 years as the Chapter 13 Trustee in Seattle, Mike Fitzgerald will retire on September 30, 2918. The United States Trustee has announced the appointment of Jason Wilson-Aguilar as the Chapter 13 Standing Trustee for Seattle, effective October 1, 2018.

After nearly two decades as the Chapter 13 Trustee in Seattle, Mike Fitzgerald retired on September 30, 2018. The United States Trustee has announced that Jason Wilson-Aguilar will be replacing him as the Chapter 13 Standing Trustee for Seattle starting today.

Jason Wilson-Aguilar was Senior Staff Attorney and Legal Department Manager of the Chapter 13 Trustee’s Office for roughly a decade prior to becoming Standing Trustee. He was previously Vice President and Counsel in the Home Loans and Consumer Lending Division of Washington Mutual Bank’s Legal Department. Mr. Wilson-Aguilar has represented both debtors and creditors in consumer bankruptcy cases in both Washington and Oregon. He has been a prolific writer and presenter on bankruptcy and foreclosure-related topics over the years and has long ties to the region. He received his B.A. from the University of Oregon and was awarded his J.D. from the Lewis and Clark Law School in Portland, Oregon.

Debtors currently in Seattle area Chapter 13 will likely encounter little if any changes in any aspect of the way their cases are currently being handled because Mr. Wilson-Aguilar has been actively overseeing their cases for some time.

Please let us know in the months to come If you do have any questions about how the change in Trustees might affect you. We are happy to help.

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Amending Bankruptcy Forms https://nwdrlf.com/amending-bankruptcy-forms/ Thu, 20 Sep 2018 22:57:16 +0000 https://nwdrlf.com/?p=4306 The best ways handle Amending Bankruptcy Forms in Tacoma Amending bankruptcy forms is usually necessary if you discover a mistake in your bankruptcy forms, petition, schedules, or other paperwork, you can fix it easily by filing an amended version of the form. The bankruptcy rules enable filers to amend their forms any time prior to [...]

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The best ways handle Amending Bankruptcy Forms in Tacoma

Amending bankruptcy forms is usually necessary if you discover a mistake in your bankruptcy forms, petition, schedules, or other paperwork, you can fix it easily by filing an amended version of the form. The bankruptcy rules enable filers to amend their forms any time prior to they receive a final discharge.

Filing an Amended Bankruptcy Form in Tacoma

To remedy an error on a form, you’ll need a blank copy of the form. You will also need to find out if the Tacoma bankruptcy court has a local form you should utilize to file an amendment.

Some courts enable you to complete only the portion of the form that was inaccurate, leaving the rest blank (other than for your name, case number, and other identifying info). As soon as you’ve finished the amended form in the manner recommended by your court, you’ll check the “Check if this is an amended filing,” box in the upper right-hand corner or you may need to write the word “AMENDED” next to the form title.

Amending bankruptcy forms may require you to complete and file several forms, even if you made just one error. For instance, if you forgot to list the lender holding the note to your automobile, you might need to amend Schedule C: The Property You Claim as Exempt (if you plan to declare that the equity in the car is exempt), and Schedule D: Creditors Who Have Claims Secured by Property.

You Must Complete the Declaration About Individual Debtor’s Schedules

You state under penalty of perjury that all of the contents are appropriate and true by signing the Declaration About Individual Debtor’s Schedules when you submit your bankruptcy petition. Because your initial declaration will not cover the brand-new information you send to the court, you need to complete and file a brand-new declaration with your amended schedules.

Filing Your Completed Forms in Tacoma

As soon as you have completed amending bankruptcy forms, finished a brand-new declaration, and completed any local forms you need to file with your amended paperwork, you will need to file the amendments with the bankruptcy court and pay a fee.

File the amended forms and schedules with the bankruptcy court, following the court’s instructions regarding what order the forms need to be in, the number of copies is required, whether you have to consist of a cover sheet or letter describing the modifications, and so on. You should likewise serve a copy of the amended papers to the bankruptcy trustee and to any financial institution impacted by your amendment.
When You Should Speak to a Tacoma Bankruptcy Lawyer

The bankruptcy rules permit debtors to file modifications to their bankruptcy documents any time prior to they receive the final discharge. However, if you need to file an amended Schedule C, and the judge won’t allow it, you need to speak with an experienced bankruptcy attorney from our Tacoma bankruptcy law office.

The Best Way to Amend Bankruptcy Forms in Tacoma

Many things can go wrong in a bankruptcy when you try to do it yourself or with a non-attorney bankruptcy preparer. The best way to correct a mistake on your bankruptcy forms is to not make it in the first place. Amendments can be problematic and if you are unrepresented, it is up to you to figure out the rules and procedures. You can avoid most common mistakes and ensure your bankruptcy goes smoothly by hiring an experienced Tacoma bankruptcy attorney from Northwest Debt Relief Law Firm. Give us a call. We’re here to help.

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Tacoma bankruptcy process https://nwdrlf.com/tacoma-bankruptcy-process/ Tue, 11 Sep 2018 21:34:32 +0000 https://nwdrlf.com/?p=4297 What is the Tacoma bankruptcy process In Tacoma, bankruptcy attorneys are frequently asked about the bankruptcy process and bankruptcy forms. What steps are involved in filing bankruptcy? How much does it cost to file bankruptcy? How long will the bankruptcy take? The answer is, it depends on your situation. The fastest way to get [...]

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What is the Tacoma bankruptcy process

In Tacoma, bankruptcy attorneys are frequently asked about the bankruptcy process and bankruptcy forms. What steps are involved in filing bankruptcy? How much does it cost to file bankruptcy? How long will the bankruptcy take? The answer is, it depends on your situation. The fastest way to get answers to these and other questions is to contact one of our experienced Tacoma bankruptcy attorneys. We’ll take the time to answer all of your questions and to help you decide if bankruptcy is the right thing for you.

This article is by no means comprehensive, there are many aspects to filing for bankruptcy in Tacoma and there is no way to compress thousands of pages of bankruptcy laws and local rules into one article. Again, that is why you need a Tacoma bankruptcy attorney to assist you. The following, however, is a brief overview of the general Tacoma bankruptcy process.

Tacoma credit counseling

Since 2005, every person filing bankruptcy in Tacoma has been required to take a pre-filing credit counseling course and a post-filing financial management course. When you meet with your Tacoma bankruptcy attorney, he will give you details about these courses and explain what you will need to do to complete them successfully. Bear in mind, these courses are not optional, you must take them and file a certificate of completion with the bankruptcy court or risk having your bankruptcy dismissed.

Tacoma Bankruptcy Means Test

When you meet with your Tacoma bankruptcy attorney, they will help you complete what is known as the means test. Essentially the means test determines if you qualify for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy or if you will need to file a Chapter 13 bankruptcy instead. While income is a big factor in determining your eligibility to file Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Tacoma, it is not the only factor. Your current debts and obligations are taken into consideration as well as what it takes to maintain your household. Things like food, transportation, childcare, and other expenses are also factored in. In most cases, anyone who needs to file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy will qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Tacoma. It all comes down to whether you have enough disposable income after your expenses to pay back some of your creditors.

You can find additional information about the means test and even use our means test estimator to find out if you qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Tacoma, Washington.

Collecting Information

You will need to collect certain documents and information for your Tacoma bankruptcy attorney in order for them to prepare your bankruptcy forms. Much of your information your bankruptcy attorney will be able to extract from your credit profile. However, there are things that do not appear on your credit reports such as your income, recent gifts, monthly living expenses, certain assets, and other similar items that you will need to file for bankruptcy in Tacoma. One of our experienced bankruptcy attorneys will provide you with a list of things that you need to file for bankruptcy.

Filing Bankruptcy Forms in Tacoma

After you have provided all of the required information to your bankruptcy attorney, our team of bankruptcy professionals will get to work preparing your bankruptcy forms, documents, and petitions. Depending on your case, the total number of pages of bankruptcy forms needed to file can range from as few as 50 or 60 pages to several hundred. Every bankruptcy form must be meticulously created with accurate information and reviewed by your Tacoma bankruptcy attorney before you review the documents. Upon completion of your bankruptcy forms and documents, you will need to review each page carefully for any inaccuracies or mistakes. Your bankruptcy attorney is only as good as the information they are provided, so it is your responsibility to make sure the information on the bankruptcy forms is accurate. Any mistake on the bankruptcy forms must be corrected before they are filed with the bankruptcy court. Again, the need for accuracy is so important that you shouldn’t risk trying to complete the bankruptcy forms yourself or pay a non-attorney bankruptcy preparer to complete your bankruptcy forms.

Once all of your bankruptcy forms and documents are prepared and assembled properly, you will need to pay the filing fee and your Tacoma bankruptcy attorney will electronically file your bankruptcy forms for you.

You can find more information about bankruptcy forms and the filing process for bankruptcy in Tacoma on our website.

Automatic Stay

Upon filing your bankruptcy forms, what is known as the automatic stay will go into effect. The automatic stay is an order of the court intended to stop creditors from taking any further collection actions against you without the permission of the court. This means, upon having been notified of your bankruptcy filing, your creditors are no longer to contact you directly. The automatic stay will at least temporarily stop most foreclosure actions, repossessions, wage garnishments, and bank levies.

You can find more information about the automatic stay on our website.

Tacoma Bankruptcy Trustee

After filing for bankruptcy in Tacoma, the bankruptcy court will appoint a bankruptcy trustee for your case. The job of the trustee is to see that your creditors are paid as much as possible. This person will thoroughly review your paperwork, particularly the assets you have in your possession and the exemptions you wish to claim and can challenge any element of your case. Bankruptcy trustees are paid a percentage of the value of your bankruptcy estate. This gives them the incentive to make sure that they squeeze the most out of your bankruptcy case to pay your creditors. A mistake in your bankruptcy exemptions or inaccurate information on your bankruptcy forms could potentially result in you unnecessarily losing property in bankruptcy. An experienced Tacoma bankruptcy attorney will help you avoid the pitfalls of failing to properly complete your bankruptcy forms.

341 Meeting of Creditors

Shortly after filing for bankruptcy, you will receive a notice of a 341 meeting of creditors from the bankruptcy court. This is not a court proceeding with a judge in attendance, your bankruptcy trustee will oversee the meeting of creditors. This meeting gives creditors the opportunity to appear in your case and object to what you have filed that relates to them. However, creditors rarely appear at these meetings. You, on the other hand, must appear at the meeting of creditors or risk your case being dismissed. Your Tacoma bankruptcy attorney will appear with you at the meeting of creditors. In most Tacoma Chapter 7 bankruptcy cases, this will be the only time you will need to appear in your bankruptcy case. Should the trustee or a creditor object to anything in your bankruptcy forms, your Tacoma bankruptcy attorney will negotiate a resolution with the trustee. If, however, a resolution cannot be reached, it will be necessary for a bankruptcy judge to hear the objection. In most Tacoma Chapter 7 bankruptcy cases, your meeting of creditors will last only a few minutes and, while it can be nerve-racking there is really nothing to worry about providing your bankruptcy forms have been prepared properly.

Discharging your debts in Tacoma

After your meeting of creditors, there is usually not much more for you to do except. Your bankruptcy attorney will provide you with instructions on what your responsibilities are for the remainder of your case. It is important that you follow the instructions of your Tacoma bankruptcy attorney. Your creditors are given a little time to object to your bankruptcy forms and petition but in most cases, they will not. If everything goes as planned, and it showed if you are using a bankruptcy attorney, you will receive a notice of discharge from the bankruptcy court. What this means, is that all debt that is remaining after your bankruptcy, that was included in your bankruptcy, and not a special class of debt like taxes and student loans, has been wiped out. Your creditors can no longer attempt to collect on debt that was discharged. Once you have received your discharge, you will be well on your way to a fresh start financially. Ultimately, what you do with the fresh start is up to you. However, with our debt recovery through bankruptcy system and free credit repair service, you could be on your way to a top-tier credit score in as little as 18 months.

You can find more information about our debt recovery through the bankruptcy system and free credit repair service on our website.

Contact us

With thousands of pages of bankruptcy law and local rules that you must follow, it doesn’t make sense for you to try to file a bankruptcy yourself. We make it easy to file bankruptcy with affordable monthly payments for your attorney’s fees. With our credit repair service that is included with every bankruptcy we file in Tacoma, we give you the best chance possible at a real fresh start financially. Give our Tacoma bankruptcy law office a call today for a free debt evaluation and bankruptcy consultation.

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Tacoma Bankruptcy Attorney https://nwdrlf.com/tacoma-bankruptcy-attorney/ Tue, 11 Sep 2018 20:53:48 +0000 https://nwdrlf.com/?p=4294 How to choose a Tacoma bankruptcy attorney Filing for bankruptcy in Tacoma is always a difficult decision. A lot of fear and anxiety comes along with deciding to file for bankruptcy. In some cases, bankruptcy is not the right choice. The problem is, how does someone without any experience in bankruptcy no if bankruptcy [...]

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How to choose a Tacoma bankruptcy attorney

Filing for bankruptcy in Tacoma is always a difficult decision. A lot of fear and anxiety comes along with deciding to file for bankruptcy. In some cases, bankruptcy is not the right choice. The problem is, how does someone without any experience in bankruptcy no if bankruptcy is the right choice for them? Well, that is what Tacoma bankruptcy attorneys are for. We offer a free debt analysis and consultation prior to filing for bankruptcy in Tacoma. This gives our clients the opportunity to ask questions and get the answers they need to decide if bankruptcy is right for them. So, start by contacting one of our Tacoma bankruptcy attorneys for a free consultation.

Hiring a Tacoma bankruptcy attorney

Let’s face it, you can’t throw a rock without hitting a Tacoma bankruptcy attorney. You have lots of choices but there is a big difference between us and other Tacoma bankruptcy attorneys.

First, we do more than just say we care about you. We really want to see you get back on your feet financially and make a fresh start. We know that you are already struggling with debt, so we have made it easy for you to file bankruptcy in Tacoma. We start out with easy, affordable payments for your attorney’s fees instead of demanding a big onetime payment.

Second, we know that financial stress is no fun delivered with and is no way to live. So, we have one of the most experienced teams of bankruptcy attorneys and professionals in Tacoma. Our Tacoma bankruptcy attorney will guide you through the process of collecting the information necessary to file bankruptcy. After you have retained our bankruptcy team, you can let go of the stress. We will take it all on for you and deal with those hostile collection agencies and debt collectors. We can help you put an end to the foreclosure process, stop repossessions, stop garnishments, and give you peace of mind. We will prepare and file your Chapter 7 bankruptcy or Chapter 13 bankruptcy in Tacoma quickly and accurately. We will be there for you from the time that your bankruptcy is filed in Tacoma, to the time you receive a discharge, wiping out your debt and giving you a fresh start.

Third, we don’t just stop after your bankruptcy into, has been discharged. Our promise is that we will do all we can to get you back on your feet financially. That is why every Tacoma bankruptcy we file includes our credit repair service free of charge. With this service, most people can reestablish their credit in less than 18 months. Many people end up with the highest credit score they have ever had upon completion of our credit repair program. This means you won’t spend the next 10 years struggling to obtain credit. If you live in Tacoma, Washington and you are struggling with debt, our debt recovery through bankruptcy system may be the fresh start you’ve been looking for.

Fourth, our debt recovery through the bankruptcy system can help you learn to manage your credit, rebuild your credit, and protect your credit for the rest of your life. You may join what we call the 720 club. 720 is the credit score you need to break into the top tiers of credit. Having a 720 credit score or higher will give you access to the credit you need at a much lower interest rate and more favorable terms. This improves your buying power and reduces the amount of time and money it takes to repay a debt. It means the difference between paying 25% for a credit card or paying 6%. On a home loan, it can save you thousands of dollars over the term of your mortgage. That is why we have included our credit repair service with every bankruptcy filed in Tacoma. We want you to look back in 18 to 24 months from now and be able to say, “I did it!, I have top-tier credit.”

Contact us

If you are struggling with debt in Tacoma, Washington, you owe it to yourself to check out our debt recovery through bankruptcy system and free credit repair service. Isn’t it time for you to stop stressing over debt collectors, foreclosure and repossession? Call us today for a free debt evaluation and bankruptcy consultation.

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How to Fight a Bank Levy in Tacoma https://nwdrlf.com/how-to-fight-a-bank-levy-in-tacoma/ Tue, 28 Aug 2018 00:11:31 +0000 https://nwdrlf.com/?p=4291 3 ways to fight a creditor’s bank levy in Tacoma So, you recently received a notice from your bank that some collection agency has filed a levy on your bank account. What you may not know is that a creditor cannot levy your bank account without a court order or judgment against you and that [...]

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3 ways to fight a creditor’s bank levy in Tacoma

So, you recently received a notice from your bank that some collection agency has filed a levy on your bank account. What you may not know is that a creditor cannot levy your bank account without a court order or judgment against you and that you must be served notice of the lawsuit. But wait a minute, you say you didn’t know anything about a lawsuit being filed against you? You mean, you were never served with a court summons? Welcome to the underside of debt collection.

There is some guy who works for the collection agency who signed his name on a proof of service, swearing under oath that he served you. We call this a “drive-by service,” where the guy may drive by your house, but no actual service took place. You know that he lied. You know that you were not properly served, but at this point, it doesn’t matter. Your bank account is going to levy and you stand to lose whatever you have on deposit in your bank.
So, what do you do? How do you stop a bank levy?

1. You can file bankruptcy in Tacoma.

Filing for bankruptcy in Tacoma will stop most bank levies. You may even be able to recoup some or all the money that has been taken from you if you immediately file for bankruptcy. An emergency bankruptcy can be filed in a matter of hour in some cases by one of our Tacoma bankruptcy attorneys. If you are able to “exempt” those funds that were levied from your bank account, then the creditor could be forced to return the money to you. A Tacoma bankruptcy attorney will be able to tell you if some, none or all of the funds could be returned after you file bankruptcy in Tacoma.

2. You could contest the lawsuit or the proof of service of summons.

This could be impossible because the creditor’s judgment could be too old to contest. However, if you were not properly served, you could have the judgment set aside. It is a complicated process and it can be costly. You should consult with a Tacoma bankruptcy attorney or civil attorney to find out how to go about doing this.

3. You could change banks in Tacoma or close your account.

In some cases, you cannot file for bankruptcy or the judgment against you cannot be vacated. This likely means whatever was levied from your account cannot be recovered for you. In many cases, the levy will not be enough to satisfy the judgment. This means that every dollar you deposit into the levied account may be at risk for future levies. You can close that account and open a bank account at another bank, but the creditor may be able to locate your new bank account. If that happens, you can bet that your account will be levied again. Another option is to go to all cash. When you get paid, cash your check, pay your bills with money orders or in person with cash. This is not an easy way to live but if you are really on the run from creditors, you may find it necessary. However, at best this is a temporary solution. Eventually, you will need to turn and face your creditors.

If you are facing a bank levy or other financial problems in Tacoma, we encourage you to call us and schedule an appointment with a Tacoma bankruptcy attorney. We can help you avoid or eliminate bank levies and keep you from becoming a member of the financial underground.

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Credit Counseling In Tacoma https://nwdrlf.com/tacoma-credit-counseling/ Tue, 28 Aug 2018 00:03:52 +0000 https://nwdrlf.com/?p=4289 Credit Counseling vs. Bankruptcy in Tacoma We are frequently asked about credit counseling and debt consolidation services in Tacoma, Washington. Everyone considering filing bankruptcy in Tacoma wants to know if Chapter 7 bankruptcy or credit counseling has more of an impact on your credit and what are the pros and cons of each. Chapter 7 [...]

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Credit Counseling vs. Bankruptcy in TacomaCredit Counseling in Tacoma

We are frequently asked about credit counseling and debt consolidation services in Tacoma, Washington. Everyone considering filing bankruptcy in Tacoma wants to know if Chapter 7 bankruptcy or credit counseling has more of an impact on your credit and what are the pros and cons of each.

Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Tacoma.

This is designed for people unable to pay their debts. Chapter 7 eliminates most existing unsecured debts.

Pros:

  • You wipe out all your unsecured debts in Tacoma. These include credit cards, personal loans, and medical bills.
  • Generally, you may be able to keep your home and cars
  • You get a fresh start to credit usually six to eight months after you file
  • You can usually qualify for home loans in Tacoma two to three years after filing
  • It will relieve a lot of financial pressure

Cons:

  • The bankruptcy stays on your credit report for the next 10 years
  • You may have a hard time getting credit or pay higher interest rates for a while
  • It could make it more difficult to get certain jobs in Tacoma

Credit Counseling in Tacoma

Credit counseling is an alternative to bankruptcy. With credit counseling, you make a monthly payment to one company, which in turn pays your creditors.

Pros:

  • You may be able to avoid bankruptcy in Tacoma.
  • Your bills are consolidated into one payment.

Cons:

  • Credit counseling doesn’t work for more than 50% of the people who try it. Most people cannot follow the strict payment plans and budget constraints make it too difficult
  • Creditors will still consider you a bad credit risk. Credit counseling will be reported on each account in the repayment plan. Potential creditors see this and will not lend you money
  • Credit counseling in Tacoma will take longer for you to re-establish credit because a typical credit counseling re-payment plan in Tacoma will last 3 to 6 years thus, delaying your ability to re-establish credit until your plan has been paid off
  • Like bankruptcy in Tacoma, credit counseling may prevent you from getting some jobs
  • You might not be able to consolidate all creditors. Some creditors in Tacoma are unwilling to work with credit counseling agencies. In that case, you would pay those creditors the full amount you own them directly. If you cannot do this, you may end up filing bankruptcy anyway
  • Your credit score may be affected the entire time you are in credit counseling
  • There is a great deal of fraud in credit counseling. Many credit counseling agencies are not properly licensed and often do not follow the rules. Many so-called agencies have taken money from people without paying a dime to creditors and then disappear.

The notion of credit counseling and what it can do for people may sound good, but when you look at how the benefits of credit counseling in Tacoma stacks up against Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Tacoma, Chapter 7 bankruptcy may be the best choice for people with financial problems in Tacoma. Chapter 7 bankruptcy simply gets you back on the road to financial recovery faster. It also wipes out debt that credit counseling cannot, but when you consider the failure rate of credit counseling, Chapter 7 bankruptcy is the best choice for most people facing financial problems in Tacoma.

Contact Us

If you have gone the credit counseling route and it didn’t work for you or if you have looked at your options and think bankruptcy in Tacoma may be the way to go, give our Tacoma bankruptcy lawyers a call.

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Pros and Cons to Filing Chapter 7 in Tacoma https://nwdrlf.com/pros-and-cons-to-filing-chapter-7-in-tacoma/ Mon, 20 Aug 2018 01:28:10 +0000 https://nwdrlf.com/?p=4275 Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Pros and Cons in Tacoma Making the decision to file chapter 7 bankruptcy is difficult. You may be worried about how it will affect your credit or your reputation, but in most cases, it will dramatically improve your quality of life. Below is a list of pros and cons that may [...]

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Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Pros and Cons in Tacoma

Making the decision to file chapter 7 bankruptcy is difficult. You may be worried about how it will affect your credit or your reputation, but in most cases, it will dramatically improve your quality of life. Below is a list of pros and cons that may help you make your decision.

CONS PROS
Bankruptcy will affect your credit. A chapter 7 bankruptcy will be reported on your credit report for 10 years. Even though a bankruptcy will be reported for 10 years, most people start recovering from bankruptcy as soon as it is discharged. You may be able to get credit within just a couple of months. Using our credit repair system, many people achieve a 720 credit score in less than 2 years.
Certain non-exempt property and luxury items may be lost during a bankruptcy. While there is always the potential to lose property during a bankruptcy, the majority of people keep everything thanks to state exemptions.
You will lose all your credit cards. This is true, but you also lose the credit card debt which isn’t a bad trade-off. The pro is that with a few months you should be able to get another credit card.
You won’t be able to get a mortgage after filing bankruptcy. A bankruptcy can make it more difficult to get a mortgage for a couple of years, but most people can find a lender who specializes in difficult to finance people.
If I file bankruptcy now, I won’t be able to file again for at least 6 years. What if something worse happens to me financially? Because a chapter 7 bankruptcy gives you a fresh start, most people will not need to file another bankruptcy. However, if things go drastically wrong after your chapter 7 has been discharged, you can still file a chapter 13 bankruptcy.
Bankruptcy won’t get rid of my child support, tax debt or student loan debt. In most cases, this is true, but it will wipe out most of your other unsecured debt making it far easier to manage your finances. Bankruptcy will also stop most aggressive collection actions.

A Tacoma Bankruptcy Attorney Can Guide You Through the Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Process

You may be concerned about many other things. Chapter 7 bankruptcy involves many complicated considerations that you should discuss with a Tacoma chapter 7 bankruptcy attorney from Northwest Debt Relief Law Firm. We can help put your concerns to rest and formulate a chapter 7 bankruptcy plan for your specific situation. Call us today.

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Can Only One of Us File Bankruptcy in Tacoma? https://nwdrlf.com/can-only-one-of-us-file-bankruptcy-in-tacoma/ Sun, 19 Aug 2018 23:34:23 +0000 https://nwdrlf.com/?p=4270 Filing for Bankruptcy without Your Spouse in Tacoma I get one question all the time from married couples who have accumulated debt during their marriage. Do both of them need to file bankruptcy in Tacoma or can just one spouse file the bankruptcy. Many couples want to save one of their credit scores. Often [...]

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Filing for Bankruptcy without Your Spouse in Tacoma

I get one question all the time from married couples who have accumulated debt during their marriage. Do both of them need to file bankruptcy in Tacoma or can just one spouse file the bankruptcy. Many couples want to save one of their credit scores. Often all the debt was taken out in one spouse during the marriage.

It is certainly possible for just one spouse to file for bankruptcy in Tacoma. In a community property state like Washington, the benefits of one spouse filing are potentially more advantageous that it would be in a separate property state like Oregon.

Before we get into the weeds, it is important to understand what it means to live in a community property state like Washington. Basically, being married in Tacoma, Washington means that whatever debts you incur and whatever assets you purchase while you are married are joint. There are a few exceptions to this rule, but usually, both of you jointly own all of your assets and are jointly responsible for the debts.

If you file for bankruptcy in Tacoma, the automatic stay stops all collections against you plus it stops all collections against the marital community. This means that if you file for bankruptcy the creditors must stop collection activity against you and anything that could impact your marital community which is to say your spouse.

While your spouse is technically still liable for the debts that existed before the bankruptcy case was filed, the bankruptcy discharge protects all marital assets obtained before and after the bankruptcy filing of the non-filing spouse.

This means that while the non-filing spouse is technically still liable for the debt, the creditors cannot satisfy the debt through any marital property. This includes wages and bank accounts of either spouse. So the debt still exists for the non-filing spouse, the creditor just can’t try to collect it anymore.

So what can a creditor do to try and collect on a debt against the non-filing spouse? They can only collect from the non-filing spouse’s “separate property”. Generally, this is the property that the non-filing spouse owned prior to getting married. Because most married people do not have much separate property, the creditor is rarely going to have a chance of collecting anything from the non-filing spouse,

In essence, the non-filing spouse gets protection from the bankruptcy discharge entered in the filing spouse’s bankruptcy case for all the debts discharged in that case. The only debts that would remain collectible would be the ones that the non-filing spouse racked up prior to the marriage.

Remember that it is the existence of the “community” that makes the debts non-collectible.

Once the community terminates through either through divorce or death, the creditors are then free to pursue collections against the non-filing spouse. So the debts are permanently non-collectible as long as you stay and as long as the non-filing spouse predeceases the non-filing spouse.

Please reach out to us if you have any questions about filing bankruptcy without your spouse. I would be happy to connect with you by phone. We would also be happy to arrange an appointment at one of our Washington offices in Tacoma, Seattle or Vancouver.

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Tacoma Bankruptcy Traps – A Four Part Series – Part 4 https://nwdrlf.com/tacoma-bankruptcy-traps-a-four-part-series-part-4/ Thu, 09 Aug 2018 19:07:43 +0000 https://nwdrlf.com/?p=4265 Below is the final set of Tacoma bankruptcy traps for the unwary. Please let me know if you have any questions at all about any of the issues raised in these posts, we are happy to help: 10. Not Paying Your Employee Withholding Taxes If you are a Tacoma business owner, please do not make [...]

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Below is the final set of Tacoma bankruptcy traps for the unwary. Please let me know if you have any questions at all about any of the issues raised in these posts, we are happy to help:

10. Not Paying Your Employee Withholding Taxes

If you are a Tacoma business owner, please do not make the mistake of failing to pay your employee withholding taxes to the IRS. The IRS has the power to assess certain individuals responsible for managing a company for any employee withholding taxes that are not paid by the company.

Employee withholding taxes are not dischargeable in Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy. So if you are thinking about filing bankruptcy, the one debt that you want to stay current on is the employee withholding taxes. We can deal with the credit cars, the car loans, the medical bills and whatever else. Don’t pay the credit cards which are normally easily discharged and skip the employee withholding taxes.

11. Emptying Retirement Accounts to Pay Debts Off

Most retirement accounts are completely protected in a bankruptcy. Unfortunately, most debts that people pay off when they empty retirement accounts would have easily been eliminated in bankruptcy. Even worse many would be Tacoma bankruptcy filers incur tax penalties while taking out money from retirement accounts to pay off debts that would have been eliminated anyway.

Save your retirement account for retirement. You want to pay off your creditors but this is not the way to do it. Chapter 13 bankruptcy as an alternative will enable you to keep your retirement account, pay something back, but keep your retirement account intact.

12. Refinancing Your home or Taking a Second Mortgage on Your House to Pay Debts

Refinancing your home or getting a second to pay off debts is generally a pretty poor idea. First of all, over $125,000 in equity is completely exempt in a Tacoma bankruptcy. If you have about this amount in equity or less, you have a good chance of eliminating all the debts without harming your biggest investment or needlessly racking up thousands of dollars of interest.

If you have more than $125,000 in equity, filing chapter 13 is likely a much better option than taking equity out of your house. In Chapter 13, you can always wait three plus years before completing a refi or sale of your property to pay off some of your creditors. During that time no interest accrues on the debt and you likely pay off a much smaller sum than you would if you refinanced or got a second mortgage now.

Sadly, we see clients pull all of the equity out of their homes and still end up filing bankruptcy. You should never take out a second mortgage or refinance your home in order to pay off debts without first having an attorney assist you in assessing your entire financial situation.

Please let me know if you have any questions at all regarding any of the issues raised in this post. We have bankruptcy law offices in both Tacoma and Seattle and we would be happy to help.

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