Chapter 7 Bankruptcy2021-12-07T14:54:54-08:00

WHAT IS CHAPTER 7 BANKRUPTCY?

Chapter 7 personal bankruptcy is the most common way for individuals to deal with the crush of unrepayable debt. Called liquidation bankruptcy or ‘straight bankruptcy’, Chapter 7 is a process organized under federal law to provide individuals and companies a way to discharge unsecured debts when they can’t be repaid.

WHAT IS CHAPTER 7 BANKRUPTCY?

Chapter 7 personal bankruptcy is the most common way for individuals to deal with the crush of unrepayable debt. Called liquidation bankruptcy or ‘straight bankruptcy’, Chapter 7 is a process organized under federal law to provide individuals and companies a way to discharge unsecured debts when they can’t be repaid.

What About My debt?

Filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy is a good option when you have more debt than you can repay or too many creditors for debt settlement. Chapter 7 enables individuals to eliminate credit card debt, medical bills, judgments, personal loans and other types of debt for a fresh financial start. The principle advantage of filing Chapter 7 is it results in an often complete forgiveness of debt while protecting exempt assets.

What About My House or Car?

In a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, the debts from most mortgages and liens is not discharged as to the property. If a debtor wants to keep a house, car, and other items which are security for a loan, payments must continue to be made. Generally, to discharge a car loan without payment the debtor must surrender the car to the creditor.

Qualifying for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy & Length of Process

In order to qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, the nature of the a person’s debts, income and financial situation is evaluated. If there’s a great deal of disposable income, a person cannot file under Chapter 7. The Chapter 7 bankruptcy process generally lasts three to four months, however rare cases can continue on for several years if the trustee is administering assets.

Bankruptcy FAQs

Should I get a K1 visa or get married first and apply for a spousal visa?2023-03-02T13:27:06-08:00

You could save processing time by getting married first, if that’s a possibility for you, by avoiding the wait times for K1 visas to become available. 

What is the difference between an immigrant visa and a nonimmigrant visa?2023-03-02T13:26:42-08:00

An immigrant visa is issued to foreign nationals who intend to live in the United States permanently. This type of visa grants foreign nationals the right to live and work in the United States on a permanent basis.

A nonimmigrant visa is issued to foreign nationals who intend to visit the United States temporarily. This type of visa grants foreign nationals the right to enter the United States for a specific purpose, such as tourism, study, or business, and for a limited period of time.

How long is the processing time for a family-based US visa?2023-03-02T13:26:15-08:00

The processing time for a family-based US visa varies and depends on the type of visa requested, the availability of resources and staffing, and the amount of information submitted. Generally, the processing time can range from a few months to several year

What documents are needed to apply for a family-based US visa?2023-03-02T13:25:53-08:00

The required documents vary depending on the type of visa requested, but generally include proof of relationship (such as a birth or marriage certificate), evidence of financial support, and any other applicable documents to prove eligibility.

What is the process for obtaining a family-based US visa?2023-03-02T13:25:09-08:00

The process for obtaining a family-based US visa involves submitting an immigrant visa petition to the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and then attending an interview at the US Embassy or Consulate in the country of origin.

Will a prospective employer know about my bankruptcy?2023-03-02T13:23:40-08:00

Potential employers, with your consent, may run a background check and be granted access to your credit report. Therefore, they will be able to see if you’ve filed a bankruptcy claim.

However, keep in mind that it is very unlikely that you will be denied a job because of your bankruptcy. There are state laws in effect to protect candidates from being discriminated against based on their financial standing.

How will bankruptcy affect my job or my ability to get work in the future?2023-03-02T13:24:00-08:00

Your current employer is not allowed to fire you, or demote you, due to bankruptcy. If they do, you are entitled to take legal action against them.

If you are currently searching for a job, it’s very unlikely that bankruptcy would prevent you from getting a position that you’re qualified for.

All government bodies are legally obligated not to deny you a job based on your filing of bankruptcy.

While private employers are not bound by this, they must provide a reason, also known as “just cause”, for why they decided not to hire you. This is to ensure no discriminatory practices are taking place.

How will bankruptcy affect my credit?2023-03-02T13:24:07-08:00

When you file your bankruptcy through Curtis, Casteel and Palmer, we automatically enroll you in a credit rebuilding program called 720 Credit Score.

There is no ‘exact’ number of points that your credit rating will fall when you file for bankruptcy. It’s influenced by several factors such as the type of bankruptcy filed, the amount of debt cleared during your bankruptcy proceeding, and what standing your accounts and credit report was in when you filed. On average, you can expect to see a drop in your credit score between 130 and 240 points.

Bankruptcy will remain on your credit report for 7-10 years, affecting your ability to open credit card accounts and get approved for loans with favorable rates unless you take steps to rebuild.

A chapter 7 bankruptcy will stay on your credit report for 10 years and a chapter 13 for seven years. As you begin a new history of paying your bills on time, your credit score will improve. The goal of 7 steps to a 720 credit score is to get your credit score to 720 within 2 years.

How long will the process of filing bankruptcy take?2023-03-02T13:24:12-08:00

It depends on how long it takes to collect all applicable documentation. The faster you get the necessary paperwork into us, the quicker we can file your case. We can usually file your case within one day after receiving all the documentation. Chapter 7’s usually take 3-4 months, while chapter 13’s usually last for 3-5 years.

What does it cost to file bankruptcy?2023-03-02T13:24:18-08:00

The cost of our bankruptcy services will vary depending on the nature and complexity of your case. The guidelines for pricing are as follows:

  • Chapter 7 bankruptcy: $700 – $2,000 (The average case is about $1,200 – $1,500)
  • Business bankruptcy: $1,500+
  • Chapter 13 bankruptcy: $4,000, as set by the court
I don’t think I can afford the attorney fees. What are my options?2023-03-02T13:24:23-08:00

Some cases are taken on a pro-bono basis based on your personal need and the complexity of your case. Start by filling out this form. A representative will reach out to discuss your options.

Am I eligible for a payment plan?2023-03-02T13:24:28-08:00

Yes. We only require a $100 down payment to get started for Chapter 7, $1,000 for Chapter 13, and the price for businesses vary. However, it should be noted that we can’t begin filing with the court until the full attorney fee is received.

Steve-Palmer-Lynnwood-Bankruptcy-Lawyer

HELPING GOOD PEOPLE START OVER

To discover how you can get a fresh start with Chapter 7, Chapter 13 or Chapter 11, call for a free consultation. Curtis, Casteel & Palmer, PLLC has helped hundreds of good people overcome financial hardship in Lynnwood and Snohomish and north King Counties.

Joshua Curtis - Attorney

Joshua Curtis

Robert Casteel - Attorney

Robert Casteel

Steve Palmer - Attorney

Steve Palmer

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Lawyer Serving Lynnwood & Snohomish County

Proudly serving the communities of Lynnwood, Edmonds, Everett, Mill Creek, Bothell, Shoreline, Brier, Mountlake Terrace, Kenmore, Woodinville, Lake Forest Park, Northgate, Seattle and all north King & Snohomish Counties.

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