At the Law Office of Kevin J. Magorien, PS, we understand just how overwhelming the bankruptcy process can be. There is no end to the bankruptcy questions that many people feel buried beneath. We are committed to providing you the answers and information you need to confidently proceed through bankruptcy without fear or confusion.
We provide each client a free initial consultation to discuss his or her individual situation and the solutions that are available. Each person has his or her own road to financial recovery, and we equip you with the information you need to get there.
To arrange a free initial consultation, please call our office today at 253-656-4934 or toll free at 866-633-4992.
We have provided the following Auburn bankruptcy FAQ as a resource to help you understand the process you are considering.
Kent Bankruptcy Frequency Asked Questions
What is the difference between Chapter 7 and Chapter 13?
Chapter 7 discharges all unsecured debt except alimony, child support, most recent back taxes, most student loans, recent large purchases of more than $550, for luxury goods bought within 90 days of filing, fines or penalties of government agencies, fraudulent debts, cash advances of $825 within 70 days of filing, injury caused as a result of a DUI and intentional injuries to another.
Chapter 13 sets up a repayment plan to pay back your debts over a period of three to five years. It is frequently used when a mortgage is in arrears in order to prevent a foreclosure of your property.
My significant other and I are not married; can we file jointly?
No. Only married couples can file jointly.
I want to keep one credit card; can I do that?
All debts must be listed except for ongoing monthly living expense debts which you are paying currently, such as your power bill. Even if your debt is on the list of non-dischargeable debts, it still must be listed.
Whether a debtor keeps credit cards after filing bankruptcy is up to the credit card company. If you are discharging a credit card, the company will cancel the card unless you reaffirm the debt. Even if you have a zero balance the credit card company might cancel the card. You may choose to voluntarily pay a debt included in your bankruptcy after your case has been closed.
If I have a credit card from the same bank as my checking/savings account, can the bank seize my account after I file?
No, however credit unions are exempt and may seize your account.
Can I keep my house?
Federal exemptions allow you to keep your home, including a co-op or mobile home, and up to $20,200 in equity or $40,400 for husband and wife filing jointly. Washington exemptions allow up to $125,000 in equity per household.
A bankruptcy does not wipe out voluntary liens, like mortgages and deeds of trust, or tax liens. The lender still has the right to foreclose if you do not pay or are behind on payments. Foreclosure is a last resort for the lender if it concludes it can't get the owed money any other way. If you cannot bring your payments current, consider Chapter 13.
If you know you are going to let your home go back to the lender, you might want to consider signing a deed in lieu of foreclosure. Contact your lender to see if it will send you the documents so that it does not have to proceed with the foreclosure proceeding. Signing a deed in lieu of foreclosure is generally less detrimental on your credit report than a foreclosure.
I cannot afford the payments on my car and am considering giving it back to the lender. Can I purchase a new one?
While in bankruptcy, a debtor cannot incur debt while in the bankruptcy process without court approval. Only items which can be paid with cash are allowed.
Can my boss fire me for filing bankruptcy?
No, your boss cannot fire you. 11 U.S.C. Sec. 525 prohibits an employer from discriminating against you because you filed bankruptcy.
I filed Chapter 7 bankruptcy before; can I file again?
Yes, you can file bankruptcy again if it has been more than eight years since the previous Chapter 7 bankruptcy discharge.
How long will this process take?
The debtor is generally discharged three to five months after bankruptcy is filed. At that time all debts (with some exceptions) are discharged.
Will my neighbors know I filed bankruptcy?
Bankruptcy filings are public record. Unless your neighbors snoop through the archives on a daily basis, they will only know if you tell them.
What is a reaffirmation agreement?
This agreement basically states that the debtor will continue to pay all or part of the debt obligation to the creditor which would otherwise be discharged in the bankruptcy.
Do I have to reaffirm my home loan?
If you reaffirm your loan, you are again on the hook for it. You can keep your home as long as you stay current with your monthly payments. Without reaffirmation, lenders may stop reporting to credit bureaus or stop sending monthly payment notices.
Do I have to reaffirm my car loan?
If you do not reaffirm a car loan (or another personal property loan), the lender could declare a default and repossess even if you are current on your loan.
Is a trustee a judge?
No. A trustee is appointed by the courts to oversee bankruptcy filings. A Chapter 7 trustee considers whether there are preferences or fraudulent transfers that can be recovered from which the creditors can be paid. He or she also investigates to determine if the debtor owns more property than they are entitled to keep in bankruptcy ("exempt" property).
What is a meeting of creditors?
The debtor must appear at a meeting with the trustee to be examined under oath about assets and liabilities. Creditors are invited but seldom attend. The meeting is sometimes called the 341 meeting, after the section of the Bankruptcy Code that requires it.
To schedule a complimentary 30-minute consultation, contact us online or call our office at 253-656-4934 or toll free 866-633-4992.
BAPCPA disclosure: This is a federally designated debt relief agency. We help people file for bankruptcy under the Bankruptcy Code.