In our society, it is easy to accumulate debt and the average American seems to be just a few unfortunate events away from bankruptcy. Many times, bankruptcy is necessitated by a divorce, illness, loss of job, or serious injury. Whether or not any of these apply to you, it is our concern to help you gain control of your circumstances and only an experienced Seattle bankrupcty attorney can provide you with a fresh start, if needed. Bankruptcy often provides a great amount of relief because once the court proceeding is begun, creditors can no longer contact you directly for payments.
Selander O'Brien provides Seattle bankruptcy legal representation of consumer debtors in personal bankruptcy. There are two main types of bankruptcy that individuals can choose: Chapter 7 (liquidation bankruptcy) and Chapter 13 (payment plan bankruptcy). New laws were enacted in 2005, which created certain requirements for filing for bankruptcy. Therefore, not everyone will qualify for one or both of these types of bankruptcy. The experienced Seattle bankruptcy attorneys of Selander O'Brien will provide you with an analysis of your qualification for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13, and will help you determine which one is right for you.
Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
Chapter 7 bankruptcy is referred to as liquidation bankruptcy. All of your assets, except those that are exempt, are subject to sale by a bankruptcy trustee upon your filing for bankruptcy. Exempt assets are those assets that the law allows you to keep, and are not subject to claims by your creditors. In order to qualify for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you must meet certain income tests and you must not have incurred debts within a certain period of time before filing. You must also participate in court approved credit counseling prior to filing for bankruptcy. When the bankruptcy is finished, you will no longer be liable for your debts, except that secured creditors will maintain a lien on assets secured.
Chapter 13 Bankruptcy
Chapter 13 bankruptcy is referred to as wage earner or payment plan bankruptcy. This type of bankruptcy is similar to a court-approved debt consolidation and payment plan. In order to qualify for this type of bankruptcy, you must have a source of income which will allow you to make the required payments under the court-approved plan. Additionally, there are certain limits on debt. Depending on income, payment plans can endure between three and five years. This type of bankruptcy is very useful to those who own a home and wish to retain their home. You can stop foreclosure proceedings by filing Chapter 13 and through your payment plan, cure delinquent and past due amounts to bring your mortgage current.