Serving North Central Washington's legal needs

since 1996

Phone

509 662 3202

Few people ever plan to file for bankruptcy. As an experienced bankruptcy attorney, I know, however, that adverse financial situations sometimes simply come up, whether through of a medical emergency, lost job, divorce, credit card interest spike or other unfortunate life circumstance. In such situations, bankruptcy can offer a fresh financial start.

Bankruptcy has many advantages as a last resort path to debt relief, but not everyone understands the process or the benefits. It doesn’t have to mean that you lose your car, home or possessions, and it may be the answer to your overwhelming financial issues.

I specialize in guiding individuals through Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcies. I can help you understand your options, walk with you through the bankruptcy process, and help you find relief from debt.

Are you an honest, unfortunate individual or couple who needs a fresh start on your finances? Are you a small businesses that need to reorganize. Please give me a call. I can help.

Pricing

  • Chapter 7 Bankruptcy: $965 in attorney’s fees for standard chapter 7s, plus the court charges a filing fee of $335 (or a total of $1,300 for most cases).
  • Chapter 13 Bankruptcy: The attorney’s fees are $3,000 plus a $310 court filing fee. Payment plans can be arranged.
  • Chapter 11 & 12 Bankruptcies: Call for a quote.

For cases outside of the CHELAN, DOUGLAS, GRANT OR OKANOGAN COUNTY areas, additional charges apply.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • The Bankruptcy Courts are divisions of the United States District Court. The Bankruptcy Courts for Eastern Washington are located in Spokane, and Yakima, Washington, and hearings for persons residing in the Chelan, Douglas and Okanogan County area are held at the Post Office Building in Wenatchee, Washington. The Bankruptcy Code is a federal law which provides for liquidation of debts (Chapter 7), adjustment of debts for an individual (Chapter 13), and business reorganization (Chapter 11).
  • Chapter 13 is designed for persons who have regular incomes, which will allow them to pay all or a portion of their debts within a set period of time, usually five years, according to a plan prepared by them and filed with the Bankruptcy Court. A monthly amount is paid over to the Trustee from your earnings.
  • Chapter 7 is designed for persons or businesses unable to pay their debts as they fall due and unable to pay all or a portion of their debts from their income or assets. In this type of proceeding, the Trustee appointed by the Bankruptcy Court will collect your “non-exempt” assets, sell them, and distribute the proceeds to your creditors.

    If a Chapter 7 is filed, you will request a “discharge” of your debts. Creditors will not be able to legally collect debts, which are discharged, but you cannot ignore lawsuits which may be filed after the bankruptcy discharge is granted. You must prove that a discharge was obtained on that debt and should contact our office if any creditors make efforts for collection. Also, action must be taken during the bankruptcy proceeding to remove judgment liens against your property, as well as other types of liens. There are additional fees for removing judgment liens.

    A Chapter 7 bankruptcy will only discharge debts owed to creditors who are listed on your bankruptcy schedules. You must provide the exact name, mailing address and zip code for every creditor.

  • Certain debts may not be dischargeable in bankruptcy. Examples are child support, student loans, delinquent taxes, some credit card purchases immediately prior to filing, and fraudulent loans. Please discuss these types of debts with us openly, especially fraudulent loans which may involve false financial statements or loan applications.
  • Certain property which you own, may be claimed as “exempt”. This means that the Chapter 7 Trustee cannot collect and sell this property to pay your creditors. Generally, a person can protect all or a portion of the equity in a home, furniture, clothing, tools of trade, and automobiles. There are limits to these exemptions and it is extremely important that you list all property you own on your bankruptcy schedules, as well as an accurate value for each item.

  • Some of your property may be collateral for your debts and these debts are referred to as “secured.”  Even if you claim this property as exempt, a secured creditor can repossess the property through the Bankruptcy Court. If the secured creditor sells the exempt property for more than you owe, then the excess will be paid to you. However this is very rare, especially when the property is an automobile, furniture or household appliance.
  • After filing bankruptcy under Chapter 7 you have the ability to “reaffirm” any of your debts, whether secured or unsecured. As an example: John Smith borrowed $3,000 from HFC and gave his automobile as collateral. This is a secured debt. The automobile may be worth only $1,200 at the time the Chapter 7 bankruptcy is filed and Mr. Smith may owe HFC $2,000. Mr. Smith should offer to reaffirm the debt for $1,200. If HFC rejects the offer and demands full payment, then Mr. Smith could either allow the automobile to be repossessed and discharge the debt, or he could reaffirm the $2,000 debt in full. Unless you wish to return collateral to your secured creditors, a reaffirmation agreement must be negotiated and prepared for each creditor holding collateral you wish to retain.
  • If you file under Chapter 7 and obtain a discharge of your debts, then you must be careful to avoid future over-extensions of your credit or finances and you would be wise to maintain adequate automobile and health insurance. The relief through a Chapter 7 bankruptcy will not be available for six years.
  • The failure to provide your bankruptcy lawyer with accurate and complete information in documents filed with the bankruptcy court may prevent you from receiving a discharge of your debts, and may be a federal crime, punishable by 5 years in prison or a $500,000.00 fine.

Did you know?

Also, as part of the Bankruptcy Reform act, you must take a prefiling credit counseling course and another course after filing. We can advise on your options.

Are you ready to file?

If you are ready to start filing for bankruptcy, please download this questionnaire and fill out as much as you can. Then call our office at (509) 662-3202 to schedule a consultation.

Download Questionnaire