If you need a way to consolidate your debts and pay them with a monthly payment based on what you can afford, a Chapter 13 bankruptcy could be your best debt relief option.
Chapter 13 bankruptcy attorneys in Everett, WA.
Many of our Snohomish County bankruptcy clients have to file a Chapter 13 because their income is higher than the average income for their household size. Other people may want to file a Chapter 13 because it can help you catch up on a mortgage, remove a second mortgage from your home, discharge a debt that cannot be discharged in a Chapter 7 or pay off debts like back taxes or student loans.
Our Everett Chapter 13 bankruptcy lawyers can help you protect your property.
By filing a Chapter 13, you can protect property that could be taken to pay creditors in a Chapter 7. The automatic stay is in effect for the entire Chapter 13 plan so some people want protection from creditors for three to five years.
Some debt must be paid in full in a Chapter 13 plan. More recent back taxes and back child support must be paid off within five years. To keep a home in danger of foreclosure, you must be able to catch up on the mortgage payments in five years. If your first mortgage balance is higher than the value of your home, you may be able to remove a second mortgage.
Affordable Snohomish County Chapter 13 bankruptcy and keeping your car.
You can lower your car payments in a Chapter 13 by spreading the payments out over five years or, if you purchased the car over two and a half years ago, you can “cram down” the car loan. A cram down allows you to pay the creditors the car’s value at 100% with a lower interest rate. Any balance on the car loan over the car’s value is paid at the same percentage as your “general unsecured debt” such as credit cards or medical bills.
The percentage paid to general unsecured creditors is based on your income and expenses – what the law says you are able to afford. If your income is over the median income, you go through a “means test” to determine how much you can afford to pay your unsecured creditors. If your income is lower, you can project your income and budget and propose a payment, which is a more forgiving approach. If the means test does not accurately show what you can afford, you may be able to argue “special circumstances” and lower your payment.
Getting started with the help from one of our Everett Chapter 13 bankruptcy lawyers.
A Chapter 13 case in Snohomish County begins by filing a petition and a plan with the bankruptcy court. A trustee is appointed to collect a monthly payment and disburse the money to creditors. You will probably only have one hearing to attend called a “meeting of creditors”. Creditors usually do not appear but the trustee will examine your plan and may object to your proposal. Your attorney will work out any objections by the trustee or creditors.
In some cases, your Everett bankruptcy attorney will have to argue that your case should be confirmed in front of a bankruptcy judge. Once the judge approves or “confirms” your plan, you just make a monthly payment for three to five years. Any debt not paid in the plan is discharged as long as the law allows it. In a Chapter 13, student loans, debts proven to be fraudulent and fines are not discharged but are considered general unsecured creditors. If you are paying less than 100% to unsecured creditors, you may have some undischarged debt left over at the end of the plan.
FREE initial case consultation – speak with the Snohomish Chapter 13 bankruptcy attorneys from our firm today!
Our Everett Chapter 13 bankruptcy lawyers are available to answer your questions and discuss your options. We know you want to rid yourself of the endless debt cycle you’re in and the stress it burdens you and your family with. Our affordable flat low fees make it easier to start over than you can imagine – call today to learn more!
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The Central Building - 1721 Hewitt Ave #521B
Everett, WA 98201
Our debt relief and bankruptcy lawyers serve clients throughout Snohomish County and Western Washington. These cities include, but are not limited to the following localities: Everett, Arlington, Marysville, Edmonds, Brier, Lynnwood, Monroe, Bothell, Lake Stevens, Mukilteo, Mountlake Terrace, and Snohomish. If you live in Snohomish County and have questions about your Washington State bankruptcy and debt relief options, we invite you to call our offices for a free, no obligation initial consultation.