Olympia bankruptcy attorney, Erin M. Lane
Olympia Bankruptcy Lawyers
We can help.
Olympia Bankruptcy Lawyers
Olympia bankruptcy attorney,
Erin M. Lane
Olympia Bankruptcy Lawyers
Olympia bankruptcy attorney, Erin M. Lane
Call for a free case evaluation with our Thurston County, WA bankruptcy attorneys.
Filing for bankruptcy isn’t always the best option. If you can qualify, however, it probably warrants serious consideration. A Thurston County bankruptcy will probably wipe out most of your debts, while allowing you to keep most of your property.
Call now to speak with one of our bankruptcy professionals today. The only thing you have to lose are your debts. Be sure to ask about the affordable low flat fees, and flexible payment plans we provide to help make achieving a fresh financial start easier.
Questions about bankruptcy?
Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
Chapter 13 Bankruptcy
Stop Home Foreclosure
Stop Wage Garnishment
Qualify for Bankruptcy
Wipe Out Credit Card Debt
Wipe Out Medical Bills
Affordable Low Fees
Chapter 7 & 13 bankruptcy help in Thurston County.
Cities served in Thurston County include:
Experienced and affordable Olympia, Washington bankruptcy attorneys. Low flat fees.
If you qualify, our Thurston County bankruptcy lawyers can help you get relief from credit cards, medical bills, garnishment, repossession actions, foreclosures, lawsuits, and many other kinds of debts. Do you live in Olympia, Washington, or elsewhere in Thurston County?
Do you have questions about whether or not you can qualify for Washington State bankruptcy relief? If so, we invite you to call our Olympia offices for a free bankruptcy consultation. One of our Thurston County bankruptcy lawyers can review the basics of your case and then assist you in understanding your options.
What can an Olympia bankruptcy attorney do for me?
What is Bankruptcy? Bankruptcy is your right under federal law. Our Olympia bankruptcy attorneys will help you determine whether or not you can qualify for bankruptcy protection primarily by reviewing your income, your assets, and your debts. Your right to file for bankruptcy protection was written into American law because it serves a very important purpose.
We know the federal bankruptcy code and is very familiar with Washington State’s bankruptcy laws. An experienced Thurston County, WA bankruptcy lawyer also understands that bad things often happen to good people. Despite what the credit card companies and those nasty bill collectors want you to think and believe, the simple truth is that filing for bankruptcy is your legal right.
And, the simple truth is that our bankruptcy laws were put into place to help good, honest, hard working people who have fallen on difficult financial times, often through no fault of their own. Many of our Thurston County bankruptcy clients are victims of circumstances that are largely out of their control. Call now for a free case evaluation.
Stop struggling every month – help is just a phone call away.
Our lawmakers knew that sometimes people just like you fall on hard times, and have difficulty paying their bills. No matter how much effort is put in, they fall further and further behind. We understand what you are going through. When things are bad, and people are no longer able to pay all or part of their bills, there needs to be a way out. Our Olympia bankruptcy attorneys will work closely with you to maximize the amount of property that you can keep and the amount of debt that you can discharge in your bankruptcy petition.
The federal and Washington State bankruptcy laws serve a number of very important purposes. In the past, people that owed money and couldn’t afford to pay their creditors back would be put into debtors prison. But it didn’t help to put people in jail – after all, how could they ever work to pay off their debts, if they were in jail? Those who avoided prison would have to go into hiding, and were no longer useful members of society.
And for those who were not in financial trouble, it was a scary idea to think that making investments and taking other financial risks might lead to jail. That tended to discourage investment and the growth of business and the economy. If people have a way out, then they will be more active investors, and more active consumers. If things go wrong, they won’t have to hide from society. Our Olympia bankruptcy lawyers want you to know that you have options. We assist many people throughout Thurston County, Washington seek bankruptcy relief every year.
The federal and Washington State bankruptcy laws allow people to get protection from their creditors while they rebuild their lives and get back on track. Bankruptcy allows people to get a fresh start and to become productive members of our consumer-oriented financial systems. Let us help you wipe out your debts. Call for a free initial consultation.
How can an Olympia bankruptcy help you and your family?
An Olympia, WA bankruptcy can help you with all of the following:
- Stop all those creditor calls.
- Stop garnishments and lawsuits.
- Save your home from foreclosure.
- Protect your vehicles, home, and other valuable assets.
- Get rid of large amounts of debt, like credit cards, medical bills, payday loans, and repossessions.
- Free up cash immediately.
- Get a new financial start.
- Stop worrying and sleep better at night.
A bankruptcy is basically a federal court case. If you qualify, you can get rid of many debts, or restructure them in a way you can afford. Our experienced Olympia bankruptcy attorneys gather information from you, review your case, and prepare all of the court documents for you. We also will appear in court with you, and help you through your difficult time. We do all the work!
Your free initial consultation.
We offer a free initial consultation to go over all of your options. Our Olympia bankruptcy professionals will ask you to bring the following kinds of information:
- Last 6 months income from all sources.
- Taxes for the last 2 years.
- Copies of mortgage statements and foreclosure documents (if applicable).
- All creditors that do not appear on your credit report, like recent medical bills, payday loans, leases and personal loans.
- An idea of how much you spend on regular living expenses, like food, rent, clothing, insurance and fuel.
- If you owe taxes, our Olympia bankruptcy attorneys will need all of your tax bills, and a tax account transcript for each tax year you owe (we can explain how to get those).
Our Olympia bankruptcy attorneys are experienced and aggressive Washington State bankruptcy lawyers. We will go over your situation in detail and ask you many questions about your finances. Our Olympia bankruptcy attorneys will be looking to see if there are other options besides bankruptcy, and also see if you qualify for a bankruptcy, and if so, what kind.
Our Olympia bankruptcy lawyers will also look for legal issues that might come up in your case if you decide to file, and see if all your assets and other valuables will be can be protected under either the federal or the Washington State bankruptcy laws.
Many of our Thurston County bankruptcy clients tell us that after speaking with one our knowledgeable and compassionate bankruptcy attorneys they feel incredibly relieved to finally get some real answers. Don’t believe or rely on what you what you may have heard about bankruptcy.
Our Olympia bankruptcy attorneys will help you to determine whether or not bankruptcy protection is available to you and your family. There are a lot misperceptions both about bankruptcy and who can qualify. Our Olympia bankruptcy lawyers will help you to understand the true facts.
If you and your family are struggling every month, you owe it to yourself to learn more about your legal rights and options. Call now to speak with one of our bankruptcy professionals today. After all, it doesn’t cost a dime to get some real answers from our professionals, so call us today! It may be the best call you ever make. The only thing you have to lose may be your debts. Be sure to inquire about the affordable low flat fees we provide to fit your budget, and flexible payment plans you can afford.
Our Thurston County bankruptcy lawyers are here to help you understand your options.
There are several ways for people who have so much debt they can’t pay it back, can deal with their situation. One way is to ignore certain creditors and hope they never force repayment through a lawsuit and a garnishment. That option is risky and if wages or bank accounts are garnished, it could lead to a financial disaster. Another is to try to settle the debts by offering to pay less, either on your own or through a debt consolidation business.
This option is also risky because debt consolidators are poorly regulated and may not deliver what is promised. Also, it only takes one creditor to refuse to go along with your plans and sue you, which could create a crisis for you and your family. Our Olympia bankruptcy attorneys have seen many clients simply to bury their heads in the sand. In most cases, it ends badly.
Filing an Olympia bankruptcy is often the cheapest and most orderly way to deal with overwhelming debt. Bankruptcy is a federal court case in which both you and your creditors must follow the law. Our Olympia bankruptcy lawyers know the law. We will help you maximize your relief under the bankruptcy code.
How does it all work?
The process is overseen by a bankruptcy judge and the end result is a “discharge”, a federal court order which cancels debt forever. Some debts cannot be discharged, however, such as student loans, some back taxes, fines and domestic support obligations like child support. But filing a Thurston County bankruptcy can greatly increase cash flow so these debts can be dealt with in a predictable, orderly way.
The moment you file your Olympia bankruptcy, an “automatic stay” of all collection activity is entered. This stops foreclosures, car repossessions, garnishments, lawsuits, drivers license suspensions, harassing phone calls, utility cut offs – all attempts to collect a debt. Even with debt you cannot discharge, the automatic stay stops collection efforts to give you a chance to figure out how to pay this debt after bankruptcy.
You can keep cars and homes in bankruptcy if you can afford to keep making the payments after eliminating other debt. If a car is paid in full or nearly so, often you can protect it from being taken in a bankruptcy by taking advantage of bankruptcy “exemptions” for property, which allow people to keep property necessary for a true financial fresh start.
In Washington, you can keep up to $125,000 in the equity of your home. Retirement plans are almost always 100% exempt in bankruptcy. It is important to contact an attorney about what property you can keep in a bankruptcy, but most people can keep their property in bankruptcy. Important and often overlooked property includes inheritance, pending lawsuit settlements and judgments, accounts receivable and property that belongs to a spouse who is not filing bankruptcy. Our Olympia bankruptcy lawyers are here to help. Call now for answers.
How does my bankruptcy start?
A bankruptcy case starts by filing a petition and other documents with the bankruptcy court. These documents list all your property, debts, income, budget and other financial details, such as major property transfers, over the past few years.
A trustee is appointed to administer the case. Usually the only hearing you have to attend is called a “meeting of creditors”, though creditors rarely appear. The hearing is very informal but it is a federal proceeding and your testimony is under oath. The trustee goes over your petition and financial documents to make sure the laws are followed and both you and your creditors are treated fairly.
What are my bankruptcy options?
There are two kinds of bankruptcies. In a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, if creditors get paid anything, it’s from taking property and selling it to distribute the money fairly among creditors. The trustee can also undo recent transfers of property or debt payments to insiders, such as relatives, so if you think you need to file bankruptcy, you should talk to an attorney before making any payments to relatives or other creditors you care about.
Olympia Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
A Chapter 7 is a fairly quick and simple process and it does not require that you make any payments to creditors over time. Though it is certainly possible that you would have to give up property in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, the vast majority of people who file Chapter 7 do not have to give up any property.
Bankruptcy is set up to give a debtor a financial fresh start and it would not be an effective fresh start if you had to give up necessary property. In Washington, you can use either federal or state law exemptions – each has its risks and benefits. It is important to talk to an experienced Olympia bankruptcy attorney to strategize which exemptions are best for your situation.
In 2005, congress passed a law making it harder to file a Chapter 7. The law sets up a “means test” to determine whether you are “abusing” the bankruptcy system. Our Olympia bankruptcy lawyers are very familiar with the means test and can assist you in determining if you pass it.
If your household makes over the median income for its size, then the means tests determines whether there is money left in your budget to pay any unsecured debt in a Chapter 13 plan. Unsecured debt is debt that is not backed up by property, such as a mortgage or a car loan (this does not include some non-dischargeable unsecured debt, such as back child support and some back taxes, payments for which are included in the means test budget). If you are over the median but feel you cannot pay your unsecured debt because of the other expenses in your bankruptcy, you should consult an Olympia bankruptcy attorney who can carefully fill out a means test for you to see if you can still file a Chapter 7 without being accused of abusing the bankruptcy system.
The expenses allowed in a means test include certain standard expenses set by law, such as food, clothes and transportation; and other actual expenses, such as mortgage payments, child support, health insurance and charity contributions such as tithing to a church.
An experienced Olympia and Thurston County bankruptcy lawyer may still be able to qualify you for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, even if it appears you may fail the means test. This is because even if you “fail” the means test, it only means there is a presumption of abuse. You can rebut this presumption by claiming special circumstances that would still make it unfeasible to get into a Chapter 13 bankruptcy plan, such as an expected birth or certain loss of income in the near future. Our Olympia bankruptcy lawyers can help you to understand this presumption and how to properly rebut it during your initial consultation, if your household income appears to be too high.
Olympia Chapter 13 bankruptcy.
Chapter 13 bankruptcy cases last three to five years. If you have disposable income for unsecured creditors in your means test, you have to be in the Chapter 13 for five years. Even if you have to file a Chapter 13 bankruptcy because of your income, you can probably pay only part of your unsecured debt in a Chapter 13. A Chapter 13 bankruptcy also gives you light at the end of the tunnel and you know exactly when you will be debt free. You can consolidate all kinds of debt in a Chapter 13 bankruptcy including back taxes, back mortgage payments, car loans, back child support, fines, student loans.
If your house is about to be foreclosed, you can stop the foreclosure and pay back the amount you are behind over three to five years to save your house. Unfortunately you cannot change the terms of the mortgage in a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, but you can pursue mortgage modifications while in bankruptcy, though nothing in the bankruptcy laws give you the power to force a mortgage company to modify the loan (this applies to Chapter 7 bankruptcy cases as well).
However, you can remove a second mortgage in a Chapter 13 if your home is worth less than the balance of the first mortgage. You can also remove judgment liens in a Chapter 13 and a Chapter 7 if it is attached to equity that is exempt (or if there is no equity after you count the mortgages on the property).
If you purchased your car over 2 ½ years ago, you can “cram down” the loan in a Chapter 13 and pay in full only the part that is secured – meaning the part that is backed up by the value of the car. That means if your car is worth $10,000 but you still owe $20,000 on the loan, you only have to pay $10,000 to the creditor. Even if the car was purchased more recently, you only pay interest on the secured portion of the loan and you can reduce high interest rates. The cram down also applies to any refinancing of a car and other property you are making payments for, such as furniture or electronics.
There are other debts or problems you can take care of in a Chapter 13 bankruptcy that you can’t take care of in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. For instance, if your driver’s license is suspended for tickets, you can get it back in a Chapter 13 bankruptcy (you can get a suspended drivers license back for an uninsured accident in a Chapter 7 or a Chapter 13). You can also eliminate some debt that you were ordered to pay in a divorce, such as credit card debt taken out while you were married, in a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, but not a Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
It is possible to file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy or even a Chapter 13 bankruptcy without an attorney, just as you can represent yourself in any case in court, but the process can be stressful and confusing. Pursuing this Washington State bankruptcy path, however, can be problematic. Many things about bankruptcy are counter-intuitive. This is especially true for Chapter 13 bankruptcy cases, which have a very low likelihood of success when people try to represent themselves. Our Olympia bankruptcy attorneys serve clients throughout Thurston County, including the cities of Olympia, Lacey, Tumwater, Rainier, and Yelm. If you decide to retain our bankruptcy services, we offer affordable low flat fees and can set you up on a flexible payment plan that meets your budget.
Call for a free consultation, and ask about our affordable low flat fees.
We can help you wipe out your debts, and stop struggling every month. Allow our Olympia, WA Bankruptcy lawyers to help you achieve a fresh start. Begin with your free initial case evaluation, and learn more about the affordable low flat fees and flexible payment plans available with our firm.
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