At the law offices of Travis A. Gagnier, Attorney at Law, we are committed to helping our clients answer the tough questions that immediately spring to mind when they consider filing for bankruptcy in Tacoma. Here are 5 common bankruptcy questions that we will answer for you.
What Type of Bankruptcy Is the Best Option for Me?
The bankruptcy chapter that is right for you depends on what your purpose of filing is and what your current income is. Chapter 13 is usually reserved for those debtors who have a higher income and who are able to make their mortgage payments and auto loan payments in the future and would like to keep their home and car. Chapter 7 bankruptcy is best for avoiding and stopping wage garnishments and is designed for people with low to moderate income levels. We can help you determine which Chapter you qualify for through what is known as a means test, which takes the average income of your last 6 months of pay.
What Property Will I Be Able to Keep?
One of the benefits of bankruptcy is that it may allow you to keep your home and/or cars if they were in danger of being foreclosed on or repossessed. In a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you will need to get current on your payments and stay current in the future to avoid repossession or foreclosure. With a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, however, you will be able to put the late payments on your loans into your repayment plan and pay them back throughout your bankruptcy term. You will need to stay current going forward on these payments in order to avoid a foreclosure or repossession again though. Talking to an attorney will help you identify the other property exemptions, or the property that you will be able to keep. Generally speaking, you will be able to keep all of your property during a bankruptcy and only in rare cases is property taken away from you to repay your creditors. By hiring us, we can help ensure that you do not lose access to valuable property you own.
Will I Have to Go to Court?
For Chapter 7 bankruptcies, you will have to go to court one time for your First Meeting of Creditors. At this meeting, the trustee will assess your financial situation, ask you questions about your bankruptcy petition, and determine whether more information is needed prior to bankruptcy discharge. You will have this meeting in a Chapter 13 bankruptcy proceeding as well as other meetings to determine your bankruptcy repayment amount and schedule. These court proceedings are pretty simple and cover questions that you have already gone over with your attorney during the course of your filing, so there is no need to stress yourself out about going to these meetings. We will be there with you every step of the way so that you do not have to worry about anything.
Will Bankruptcy Affect My Credit?
Bankruptcy will affect your credit, but it is not the big scary thing that so many people seem to think it is. For bankruptcy to be successful, you need to look at it as a fresh start, or a cleansing process more than a traumatic experience that should be feared. What bankruptcy does is essentially erases your credit and allows you to start new. In fact, if you are filing for bankruptcy after a long history of missed or late payments, filing for bankruptcy might even improve your credit score by allowing you to start over.
What Are My Options after Bankruptcy?
This is the part of the bankruptcy process that everyone seems to be most concerned with. After bankruptcy, you should take the opportunity of having no unsecured debt on your back to rebuild your credit score. Resolve now to make good decisions regarding your finances and if there was anything you learned during your bankruptcy that you can take away to improve your life going forward, try to think what those things are and fix them for your most successful financial future.
To get the best solution for your bankruptcy problem, look no further than our experienced law firm. We are here to get you back on the road to financial prosperity!