The Process of Filing for Bankruptcy in Washington State
Filing bankruptcy in Washington is similar to a bankruptcy filing in any other state. The bankruptcy procedure is governed by federal law, not by Washington state law, and it allows you a clean slate by renegotiating your debts with your creditors.
It’s important to keep in mind that Washington state law is also relevant. You can’t keep all you own in bankruptcy. After going over the fundamentals, we’ll go over some additional filing information you’ll need to be familiar with.
Bankruptcy Requirements in Washington
There is no initial need if you have not previously filed for bankruptcy. Check if it’s been long enough since your last filing date to be eligible to re-file. For each chapter that was previously submitted and for each petition that will be filed, there is a different waiting time. In addition, you’ll have to complete certain requirements established by the chapter.
If your family’s gross income is less than the state median for a family of your size, you may be able to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy relief. Add together the previous six months’ worth of gross revenue and multiply it by two. The statistic should be compared to the income tables on the website of the United States Trustee (select “Means Testing Information”).
For those who prefer doing things via the internet, there is an option available. Use the Quick Median Income Calculator. Even if you earn too much money, the second element of the “means test” may still allow you to apply. Chapter 7 bankruptcy is an option if you don’t have enough money left over after paying all of your debts to a Chapter 13 repayment plan.
After Bankruptcy in Washington
After you file for bankruptcy, your creditors will cease harassing you. After a few days, the court sends your creditors notice of the “automatic stay” order, which stops most creditors from making further demands for payment. What will happen next is as follows:
- You’ll be required to provide financial records that back up the claims you make in your bankruptcy papers to the trustee.
- All filers are required to present at the 341 meeting of creditors.
- Your debtor education certificate will be filed when you finish the course.
All of these conditions must be met prior to receiving a discharge under Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Those who file under Chapter 13 must also appear at a confirmation hearing for their repayment plan and finish the three to a five-year payment schedule.
Hiring a Washington State Bankruptcy Attorney
Seeking professional legal advice is a beneficial investment for the vast majority of individuals. A bankruptcy lawyer may assist you with the following:
- meet the requirements of your chosen chapter
- decide when to file your taxes.
- assist you in maintaining the house you want
Until you file for bankruptcy, creditors will be calling you. It’s typically advisable to ignore them since alerting creditors about your bankruptcy might encourage them to conduct more extreme collection measures before they lose the authority to collect completely. Once your automatic stay is in effect, creditors will be forced to cease contacting you if you seek legal counsel and direct them to one of our experienced bankruptcy lawyers here at Robert Russell Law Office.