Federal Way, WA Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Lawyer

It is all too easy to let your debt get ahead of you. If you are struggling to pay your bills, then you may have considered filing for bankruptcy. For individuals, a Chapter 7 bankruptcy can be the best way to get rid of debt and move forward with your life. 

With a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you can clear most types of debt – including normally all credit card bills (fraudulent use is an exception). The process to file for Chapter 7 is relatively simple and inexpensive. For many people, debts will be discharged in as little as 105 days after filing a bankruptcy petition.

If you are considering filing bankruptcy papers, then our law firm can help. Based in Federal Way, the Law Office of Richard D. Granvold represents individuals throughout King County and all counties in Western Washington . For help with your Chapter 7, Chapter 13, or another type of petition, contact us for a free consultation with an experienced bankruptcy attorney in Federal Way, WA. And your court hearing is on the phone in fact as a result of Covid Rules adopted by our Court so you can do all from your home in fact.. 

Do I Qualify for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?

Under the U.S. Bankruptcy Code, individuals, partnerships, corporations, and other business entities may be able to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. For individuals, the main purpose of this type of bankruptcy is to discharge certain debts and give a debtor a “fresh start.” With Chapter 7, you will have no liability for any debts that are discharged.

To be eligible for Chapter 7 bankruptcy as an individual, you must pass a “means test.” This test examines your financial records, including your income, expenses, and debt to determine if your disposable income is below the median for your state. Because this test is based on the median income where you live, the income level that you can have to qualify for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy varies from state to state, and also depends on the household size. Your bankruptcy lawyer can advise you on the current median income in Washington state. The current amounts can be seen also on Richard D. Granvold’s blog on his website. 

Under U.S. bankruptcy laws, you can file for bankruptcy more than once. However, there are time limits on how frequently you can file based on the type of bankruptcy previously filed. For example, if you have a past Chapter 7 bankruptcy, then you will need to wait 8 years before filing for Chapter 7 again.

Chapter 7 is the quickest, most straightforward, and most common type of bankruptcy.  Known as the “liquidation bankruptcy,” you may be able to discharge most of your unsecured debt, such as credit card debt, medical bills, and personal loans. Through this process, you may be required to sell any non-exempt assets to pay off your creditors.

Chapter 7 bankruptcy is typically the best option for individuals when:

  1. All your assets are exempt or any that are not you do not care about or can do anything about;
  2. Your debts are primarily unsecured debts like credit cards or medical bills and not a substantial amount owed in traffic infractions (as opposed to criminal fines) ; in situations in which you have a divorce in which you promised to pay in said divorce certain debts then speak to your attorney on those issues; and
  3. You cannot afford your unsecured debts after you have attempted to pay your basic normal and reasonable living expenses. You exceed the Chapter 13 debt limits preventing that option. 

Depending on your financial situation, another bankruptcy option – such as Chapter 13 – might be a better bet for you. A skilled Federal Way bankruptcy attorney can work with you to determine what type of bankruptcy best meets your needs.

How Will a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Help Me?

Chapter 7 bankruptcy has a lot of advantages for individuals.  If you have significant debt and are unable to pay it off, then a Chapter 7 bankruptcy can help you get back on your feet financially.

The first benefit of a Chapter 7 bankruptcy is that it will put a halt to debt collection. Once your case is filed with the bankruptcy court, then creditors cannot contact you and must stop all attempts to collect debts. This includes lawsuits, wage garnishments, and other collection proceedings. Foreclosures are also halted until court approval continues, which gives you more time to make a decision about what to do.

Second, a Chapter 7 bankruptcy discharges most debts – and it does so quickly. A Chapter 7 case typically proceeds rapidly through the federal court system. It usually takes just 105 days from case filing until discharge.

Third, many states offer exemptions that will allow you to keep many of your assets. After  you file, you will also be able to keep any salary that you earn and any property that you purchase. A Federal Way Chapter 7 bankruptcy attorney can help you determine which assets you will be able to keep (exempt assets) and which you will be required to sell (non-exempt assets) as part of the process.

Of course, there are some drawbacks to filing for any type of bankruptcy – such as the effect on your credit score and the challenges of being able to secure credit in the future. However, if you have fully explored other options, such as working with a debt relief agency, making a debt management plan, and/or consolidating debt, then a Chapter 7 bankruptcy might be a good choice. This is particularly true if you are struggling to make even the minimum payments on your debt  – as missed payments, defaults, repossessions, and lawsuits will take a major toll on your credit score.

How Much Does a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Cost?

Most Chapter 7 bankruptcy cases cost less than $1,200 in legal services. A small percentage of cases require higher-income means tests issues, which take more time and tend to cost more. At the Law Office of Richard D. Granvold, we will listen to your story, gather information, and then provide you with a written quote for services before you pay a single dime.

For most people who are unable to pay off their debt, the relatively low cost of a Chapter 7 bankruptcy is more than worth it. Getting financial relief through bankruptcy can alleviate much of your stress – and give you the fresh start that you need in life.

The Chapter 7 bankruptcy process is relatively simple. It starts with filling out one form that details your assets, liabilities, income, and expenses. Next, you will typically be required to go through pre-bankruptcy counseling $20-40 (but Richard D. Granvold’s clients know how to obtain for merely $9.76 single or $14.95 married) through a nonprofit credit counseling agency. If it is determined that bankruptcy is the best solution for your financial situation, then your Federal Way bankruptcy attorney will file a bankruptcy petition at the local bankruptcy court.

There is only one court filing fee of $338 associated with bankruptcy filings ; if your income is very low, in some circumstances, The Law Office of Richard D. Granvold in fact will help you try to have it waived so you pay zero. Your bankruptcy lawyer can advise you on the total cost of filing for Chapter 7, including the filing fee and any other related possible court costs.

What Debts Cannot Be Discharged in a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?

Chapter 7 is a good way to discharge most of your debts. However, there are some types of debt that cannot be discharged in Chapter 7, including child support, alimony, tax liens, court fees and penalties, and personal injury debt if related to driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, Other types of debt, such as credit card debt, older income tax debt depending on various facts, medical bills, personal loans, mortgages, car loans, and student loans (if you can prove undue hardship) can typically be discharged in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

There are a lot of benefits to filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy.  Attorney Richard Granvold can analyze your individual situation and advise you as to the best option for you. Reach out today to schedule a free initial consultation with a Federal Way Chapter 7 bankruptcy lawyer.

Will I Have to Go on a Payment Plan with a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?

No. Unlike other types of bankruptcy filings, Chapter 7 bankruptcy will not require you to go on a payment plan. Instead, most of your debts will be discharged, typically within 105 days of filing.

Because a Chapter 7 bankruptcy allows you to liquidate your debt, it is the most common type of bankruptcy for individuals. If your financial situation has become untenable, reach out to Richard Granvold to schedule a free consultation with a Federal Way Chapter 7 bankruptcy lawyer.

Do I Need a Lawyer to File for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?

You can file for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy without a lawyer. However, U.S. bankruptcy laws are complicated, and filing for bankruptcy has long-term financial and legal implications. For this reason, the U.S. Bankruptcy Court recommends that individuals seek the advice of a qualified bankruptcy attorney.

Attorney Richard Granvold understands how stressful it can be to file for bankruptcy. Our law office works with you to find the best solution to get your debt under control. To learn more or to schedule a free consultation, give us a call today at 253-289-3522.

Considering a Chapter 7  Bankruptcy? We Can Help.

It is all too easy to become overwhelmed by debt. Whether you had a medical emergency, lost your job, or simply got behind on bills, if you are facing financial difficulty, a Chapter 7 bankruptcy might be a good option to resolve your debt. Our law firm can help you with the process.

At the Law Office of Richard D. Granvold, our practice is dedicated to helping people who are in difficult financial situations. We work collaboratively with our clients to help them achieve bankruptcy relief based on their specific needs. To learn more or to schedule a free initial consultation with a Federal Way, WA Chapter 7 bankruptcy lawyer, give our law firm a call at 253-289-3522 or fill out our online contact form.