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.