Your property in bankruptcy – call now for help and a FREE case consultation.
If you’re worried about losing your possessions when filing for bankruptcy, you may be pleasantly surprised. Contact one of our experienced and aggressive debt relief lawyers today to get your questions answered – your first consultation is free. One phone call can change your life forever.
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What will happen to my personal possessions and my personal property when I file for bankruptcy?
If you’re worried about losing your possessions when filing for bankruptcy, you may be pleasantly surprised.
If you’ve been reluctant to consider bankruptcy because you’re worried about losing your possessions, you’ve probably been misinformed. One of the most pervasive myths about bankruptcy is that filing will cause you to lose all of your personal possessions. You often see this myth perpetuated on television and in the movies. It’s also a myth often promoted by bill collectors who are trying to collect money from people with serious debt issues.
Consider the fact that bankruptcy was created by our government to help people eliminate unmanageable debt so that they can enjoy a fresh financial start. It allows them to become contributing members of the economy once again, and without this option our entire economy would suffer. But how effective would bankruptcy be if everyone that filed lost all of their personal possessions in the process? Obviously, this doesn’t make any sense. Our Olympia bankruptcy and debt relief lawyers want you to understand that when it comes to filing for bankruptcy and your personal property, you have very important legal rights and options.
Bankruptcy works because it allows you to keep the things you need to reestablish financial footing.
After filing for bankruptcy, you will likely be able to keep all or most of your possessions, including your saved retirement. When your debt is discharged, you can regain financial independence and immediately start rebuilding your credit score.
How is this possible? There are Washington State and federal exemptions that you can apply to your most valued assets to protect them from seizure during bankruptcy. Here is another good article that explains more about how exemptions work if you file for bankruptcy.
Your retirement is almost always 100% protected. You can even maintain ownership of property subject to seizure if you simply keep making payments. Chapter 13 bankruptcy even offers you a way to protect your home from foreclosure while discharging unsecured debt.
Don’t trust financial advice from creditors or collection agencies.
Creditors want one thing – money. Many will use dubious tactics in an effort to get you to pay money that you simply don’t have. Collection agencies sometimes use threats or even attempt to convince debtors to cash out their retirement to pay off an old bill. But since your retirement is 100% protected during bankruptcy, you would be sacrificing your future financial independence to satisfy a debt that would be entirely discharged by filing for bankruptcy.
You have legal rights when it comes to your finances, and our Olympia bankruptcy attorneys can protect them. We will work diligently to maximize the amount of debt you’re able to discharge so that you can press the financial reset button and get a fresh start. Best of all, you won’t have to lose the possessions you most need.
Washington State Chapter 7 and 13 bankruptcy laws and your possessions.
If you live and work in Olympia, you undoubtedly need your car to get around. You could always use Olympia’s public transportation, but this isn’t a realistic solution for most people, especially those with children. According to Washington State bankruptcy laws, bankruptcy can allow you to keep your car, and there are several ways to accomplish this goal. Talk to one of our lawyers to discuss your options.
If you decide to file for bankruptcy, one of our Thurston County bankruptcy lawyers will petition the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Western Washington, which has locations in Seattle and Tacoma. Your case will be filed at the Tacoma courthouse, which is where you will also appear for your 341 Meeting of Creditors. This link to their website has some useful information about preparing to file for bankruptcy in Washington State.
Bankruptcy may your best way to save assets and your retirement.
Most people value certain possessions more than others. In Washington State, exemptions can be used to protect certain assets that you value as highly important or necessary for your lifestyle. This may include:
- Home equity
- Household items
- Government benefits
- Back child support
- Personal injury awards
Collection agencies may tell you that paying off old debts will help your credit, but credit score almost always improve faster after filing for bankruptcy. These collection agencies likely bought your debt from a credit card company, so you never entered into any contract with them in the first place. Why give them your retirement when you can eliminate the debt and keep your retirement?
Our Olympia bankruptcy attorneys offer a free consultation.
If you’re wondering whether you keep your car or some other valued possession after filing for bankruptcy, contact our law office for a free consultation. Our experienced Thurston County bankruptcy lawyers handle numerous Chapter 13 and Chapter 7 cases ever year. We know how to maximize the amount of debt you can discharge, so put a stop to the ceaseless phone calls from creditors and contact us today.
Keep your property and wipe out your debts.
Skilled Olympia bankruptcy attorneys know the Bankruptcy code in and out. Many of our Chapter 7 bankruptcy clients wipe out 100% of their debts while keeping 100% of their property. And, our Chapter 13 clients almost always keep all of their property so long as they make their plan payments.
Here’s the simple truth. Bankruptcy is one of the most dynamic and powerful financial tools on the planet. Your creditors want you to believe that you will lose everything in bankruptcy. This is complete hogwash. The bankruptcy laws were specifically enacted with an eye towards the future. And, through various exemptions, the bankruptcy laws allow the overwhelming majority of our clients to keep all of their assets after filing for bankruptcy.
Our Olympia and Thurston County bankruptcy attorneys know the Federal and Washington State bankruptcy laws. Our lawyers will maximize your relief under the bankruptcy laws. Washington State has exemptions that protect a generous amount of property for bankruptcy filers.The following is a list of property and the corresponding values that bankruptcy filers can keep free and clear after filing consumer bankruptcy.
Our local bankruptcy court, the U.S Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of Washington recommends the following links to learn more about Washington State and Federal exemptions.
It’s also important to understand that in order to file using the Washington State exemptions, you must have resided here in Washington for the 730 days prior to filing your bankruptcy petition. If that is not the case, the law of the state where you have resided for the 180 days immediately prior to filing will be used.
So, basically, you will be filing where you have resided for the last six months if you have moved in the last two years, unless you have moved around a lot in the prior two years and have not even resided in Washington State for the last six months, in which case, you need to speak with one of our bankruptcy attorneys to determine exactly what state exemptions would apply in your case.
Real estate as your primary residence: Up to $125,000 of equity.You will have to keep your mortgages(s) current on your home to keep it in bankruptcy.Your mortgages are secured debts and cannot be discharged where you then own your home free and clear without paying off the loans. If you have questions about what home equity our bankruptcy attorneys can protect in a bankruptcy, your best option to give us a call and learn more about how we can help.
Furniture and other household items: You can exempt (protect) up to double this amount if you are married and both spouses are filing a joint bankruptcy petition together. Most of our Thurston County bankruptcy clients keep all of their furniture and their household items.
Cars and motorcycles: Remember,the exemption values are the equity in your motor vehicles, not the fair market value.Deduct any current loan on your vehicles from the fair market value to find the equity.For example, if your car is worth $15,000 but you still have an outstanding loan on it with a $12,000 balance, you have only $3,000 of equity and your car is fully protected in bankruptcy.Many cars have loans on them that are greater than the value of the car so that there is no equity.
Same as mortgages, will have to keep your car loan(s) to keep your vehicles in bankruptcy.Your car loans are also secured debts and cannot be discharged where you then own your vehicles free and clear without paying off the loans.
Jewelry: A lot of jewelry can often be kept.
Cash value of life insurance policies: Unlimited value.
Pension and other retirement plans: All ERISA qualified plans are exempt. Unlimited value.
Additional/miscellaneous items (the wild card exemption): The federal bankruptcy laws also afford a generous “Wild Card” exemption that can be used by anyone filing under the federal exemptions. And, if you are married and filing jointly, this exemption doubles. This includes all property not covered by other exemptions, including cash or money in the bank, stocks, mutual funds, future stock options, etc.It can also be added to other property items to exempt additional value where you have used the value limit of another exemption. Again, you can exempt (protect) up to double the standard Wild Card exemption amount if you are married and both spouses are filing a joint bankruptcy petition together.
Washington State bankruptcy law and your assets.
Talk to a Thurston County, WA bankruptcy attorney today about keeping your property in bankruptcy:
- Keep your home (If you can afford your house payments).
- Keep your vehicles and cars.
- Household items.
- Other qualifying assets.
Our Olympia bankruptcy lawyers are sometimes asked about protecting assets that exceed the exemption limits. This can be a complicated area of bankruptcy law. But, there are lots of ways to legally protect personal assets that exceed the exemption limits.
How can I protect my property that exceeds the exemption limits?
There are two common ways to keep your unexempt property in bankruptcy:
(1) Do an equity buy out with your Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Trustee:
Your assigned Chapter 7 Bankruptcy will usually accept a buyout of an unexempt portion of your property if paid within 6 months.Many times people use their future tax to pay the bankruptcy trustee the unexempt value of their property.
(2) File a Chapter 13 and pay the liquidation value in your Chapter 13 Plan:
Even if you qualify for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, you should consider filing Chapter 13 bankruptcy where you own property that exceeds exemption limits.In a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you can pay the unexempt/unprotected value into a Chapter 13 Plan and spread out this amount up to 5 years.
For example, if you own a house with $140,000 of equity, you can exempt the first $125,00 in your bankruptcy case and pay the $15,000 unexempt amount of equity in your home in payments up to 5 years in a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy.Your Chapter 13 Plan payment would be less than $300 per month to pay this unexempt liquidation value over 5 years.
If you have a large amount of unsecured debt (e.g. credit cards, medical bills, etc.) to discharge in bankruptcy where the payments on these debts are far greater than $300/month, filing a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy to pay the unexempt portion of your home would be far less per month than not filing for bankruptcy and continuing to try to pay high, unaffordable monthly payments on your unsecured debts.
Note: The exemption limits above vary between whether you choose to use either (1) The Washington State or (2) Federal exemptions.There are different exemption limits for different categories of property and thus and different reasons to use either set of exemptions.Our experienced Olympia bankruptcy attorneys will advise you which set of exemptions to use depending upon the types of property you own and their values/equity.
There are other types of property that are also protected in bankruptcy.Please contact our affordable and knowledgeable Olympia bankruptcy lawyers to discuss all of your property and corresponding values.
Olympia, WA Bankruptcy attorneys serving all of Thurston County – call today for your free consultation:
Call now to learn more about your legal rights and options. Let us show you how bankruptcy may be the answer to your prayers. In most cases, our debt relief lawyers can help you wipe out your debts and keep all of your property in a Washington State bankruptcy.
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