Defense Against Objections To Discharge
Having both creditor and debtor experience means that we have objected to discharge and have defended our clients against objctions to discharge . We have also negotiated settlement with no admission of liability on a non-dischargeable basis for those with license, security clearance, and morality clauses to consider. Each case is fact specific, so we cannot guarantee your facts can be defended, but we can guarantee a thorough analysis and range of options from fighting to settling.
How To Claim Bankruptcy In Washington State
How To Claim Bankruptcy In Washington State. Learn how to find some of the information you will need when filing for bankruptcy in washington state. Preparing and filing your tax return.
Debtors filing under chapters 7, 11, 12, and 13 of the bankruptcy code must file all applicable federal, state, and local tax in bankruptcy cases other than those of individuals filing under chapter 7 or 11, the. State the total amount owed to the creditor on the date of the bankruptcy filing. How do i file for bankruptcy in washington? However, you must live in washington for at least 730 days before filing the bankruptcy petition to claim washington bankruptcy exemptions. we even moved to washington from california when my husband got offered a job and.
Am I Eligible For Bankruptcy In Washington
To file under chapter 7 in Washington you must pass one of two means tests.
The first means test is simple: If your household income is less than the median household income for similarly sized households in your state, you qualify. In Washington, the household median income was $98,730 as of November 2020. That means that if you live in a three-person household that has less than $98,730 in income, you will qualify for Chapter 7.
If your household income is above the Washington median, you can still qualify under Chapter 7 based on your disposable income. Your monthly disposable income is the amount left over after you pay essential bills. If you have little or no disposable income each month, you can file under Chapter 7. If, however, you have money left over after paying your essential bills you may not qualify.
To file under Chapter 13 you will need to show that you have a steady income and unsecured debt of no more than $419,275. Your secured debt can’t total more than $1.26 million.
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Other Bankruptcy Exemptions In Washington
This is just a small sampling of Washington exemptions. You’ll find more in Washington Bankruptcy Exemptions. Unless indicated, all references are to the Revised Code of Washington . Also, keep in mind that amounts change. You’ll find the exemption statutes on the Washington State Legislature website.
Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Washington State Means Test
To file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you must meet the income guidelines. These guidelines are found in the Means Test. The Means Test is a way to measure your income to determine if you’re eligible to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Washington state. You may be eligible to file Chapter 7 Bankruptcy if you meet the following household size and income limits:
- With a single-person household, your monthly income may not exceed $5,625.92 and your annual income may not exceed $67,511.00.
- With a two-person household, your monthly income may not exceed $6,687.58 and your annual income may not exceed $80,251.00.
- With a three-person household, your monthly income may not exceed $7,714.00 and your annual income may not exceed $92,568.00.
- With a four-person household, your monthly income may not exceed $8,956.75 and your annual income may not exceed $107,481.00.
In Re: Rigby V Wilson
Yesterday I was down at the at the Bankruptcy Court in Seattle where we were getting updates on some new cases that have come through the courts here in Washington, and then up through the Ninth Circuit. One of them has to do with Washington exemptions for your house and how much can you protect under Washington law. This is a very interesting case to watch for case law that is currently being worked out. It depends on which side youre on, but it wasnt the best news for people that are trying to protect equity in bankruptcy. One of the big issues that is coming up lately when you file for bankruptcy is the appreciated equity in your house. On the day you file for bankruptcy is when the line is drawn and whatever the value of your house is on that day is what gets recorded. If that equity changes and exceeds the maximum possible exemption than there is an issue.
Will Bankruptcy Affect My Credit
There is no clear answer to this question. Unfortunately, if you are behind on your bills, your credit may already be bad. Bankruptcy will probably not make things any worse.
The fact that youve filed a bankruptcy can appear on your credit record for ten years from the date your case was filed. But because bankruptcy wipes out your old debts, you are likely to be in a better position to pay your current bills, and you may be able to get new credit.
If you decide to file bankruptcy, remember that debts discharged in your bankruptcy should be listed on your credit report as having a zero balance, meaning you do not own anything on the debt. Debts incorrectly reported as having a balance owed will negatively affect your credit score and make it more difficult or costly to get credit. You should check your credit report after your bankruptcy discharge and file a dispute with credit reporting agencies if this information is not correct.
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Filing For Bankruptcy Without Your Spouse In Tacoma
I get one question all the time from married couples who have accumulated debt during their marriage. Do both of them need to file bankruptcy in Tacoma or can just one spouse file the bankruptcy. Many couples want to save one of their credit scores. Often all the debt was taken out in one spouse during the marriage.
It is certainly possible for just one spouse to file for bankruptcy in Tacoma. In a community property state like Washington, the benefits of one spouse filing are potentially more advantageous that it would be in a separate property state like Oregon.
Before we get into the weeds, it is important to understand what it means to live in a community property state like Washington. Basically, being married in Tacoma, Washington means that whatever debts you incur and whatever assets you purchase while you are married are joint. There are a few exceptions to this rule, but usually, both of you jointly own all of your assets and are jointly responsible for the debts.
If you file for bankruptcy in Tacoma, the automatic stay stops all collections against you plus it stops all collections against the marital community. This means that if you file for bankruptcy the creditors must stop collection activity against you and anything that could impact your marital community which is to say your spouse.
When To File Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
There are several warning signs that you should be considering Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Five strong signs that indicate filing for Chapter 7 may be the right solution include:
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Can You File For Bankruptcy During A Divorce
Though you have options and many factors to consider when it comes to both bankruptcy and divorce, our attorneys usually advise tackling the financial matter first. Every situation is different, but in a general sense, getting that done and out of the way is the best idea.
In Washington, you have to file either before or after divorce. You cant file during the process. If youre in the process of ending your marriage and begin bankruptcy proceedings, you cant finalize the divorce.
You have to wait until the financial matter is settled and put to bed to make your split official.
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What Are The Other Types Of Bankruptcy In Washington
The state of Washington recognizes Chapter 9, Chapter 12, and Chapter 15 bankruptcy cases.
- Chapter 9 gives the municipality permission to continue operating while it works on a repayment plan for its creditors. The municipality can not liquidate its assets to repay debts.
- Chapter 12 gives family farmers with financial problems the opportunity to repay debts from future earnings over a certain time period. This chapter is only used by individuals whose income is primarily from a family-owned farm.
- Chapter 15 cases are filed by a foreign representative so that a foreign proceeding can be recognized in the country. This chapter gives the foreign representative the right of direct access to the country’s courts.
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What Can Bankruptcy Do For Me
Bankruptcy may make it possible for you to:
- Eliminate the legal obligation to pay most or all of your debts. This is called a discharge of debts. It is designed to give you a fresh financial start.
- Stop foreclosure on your house or mobile home and allow you an opportunity to catch up on missed payments. Bankruptcy does not, however, automatically eliminate mortgages and other liens on your property without payment.
- Prevent repossession of a car or other property, or force the creditor to return property even after it has been repossessed.
- Stop wage garnishment, debt collection harassment, and similar creditor actions to collect a debt.
- Restore or prevent termination of utility service.
- Allow you to challenge the claims of creditors who have committed fraud or who are otherwise trying to collect more than you really owe.
Serving Homeowners In Pierce County And Tacoma Washington
Many people considering Chapter 7 bankruptcy worry about losing their biggest assettheir homein the process of getting rid of their debts. Discuss your situation with a bankruptcy lawyer to discover your options. In many instances, you can keep your home.
Homeowners who desperately need the debt protections afforded by Chapter 7, more often than not, delay their bankruptcy filing waiting for another solution that never appears as their situation continues to deteriorate. They make the common mistakes of refinancing their homes, tapping into their retirement funds, or selling their homes at a greatly reduced price.
These are not only unnecessary measures, but often foolish and end up wasting a person or couples nest egg.
The fact of the matter is, in most bankruptcy cases, the bankruptcy trustee will not liquidate your home to pay off creditor claims. In fact, under current bankruptcy law, most clients find that even if they have significant equity in their home, it is fully protected from liquidation by federal and Washington exemption laws.
Your home equity, under federal exemptions is exempt up to $21,625, as long as your home is used as your primary residence. If you represent half of a married couple, this amount is doubled, as both of you are allowed to claim this exemption in residential real estate. If you have more equity than that, you can utilize your Washington state homestead exemption up to $125,000.00 in equity.
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What Are Washington Bankruptcy Records
In Washington, courts generate bankruptcy records when a debtor initiates a bankruptcy claim in the federal bankruptcy courts. Bankruptcy is a legal proceeding involving persons or businesses that cannot pay their outstanding debts. Because the federal bankruptcy code provides the right to file this claim, bankruptcy cases are addressed within the federal court system and not the state court system. Therefore, the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of Washington and the United States Bankruptcy Courts for the Eastern District of Washington handle bankruptcy claims filed in Washington. Filing the case allows the debtor to mitigate or sort their debt liabilities under the law’s protection. Hence, bankruptcy records are court records that contain the details of the activities in a case. They typically include dockets and other documents generated during a bankruptcy case proceeding.
Washington State Bankruptcy Exemptions
Remember that you learned certain assets can be taken by the Trustee and sold in a Chapter 7 to benefit creditors. The good news is that there are Washington state bankruptcy exemptions as well. Exempting property gives you a way to protect certain assets from creditors, provided that it is at or under the listed dollar amount. In addition to Washington state bankruptcy exemptions, there are also federal exemptions. You have the right to choose between using state or federal exemptions. If you chose to use the state exemptions you will be able to also use the federal exemptions as well.
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What Is A Domicile For Bankruptcy Exemption Purposes
Your domicile is the place you consider your permanent residence. In most cases, it’s where you’re registered to vote, pay taxes, and intend to make your permanent home. Although it’s likely where you currently live, it isn’t always the case. For instance, if you usually live in California, but you’re temporarily located in Texas for a work assignment, your domicile is still California.
The 730-Day Rule
If you’ve been domiciled in your current state for the 730-day period before filing for bankruptcy, then you can use that state’s exemption system . The rule ensures that people don’t temporarily move to another state just to file bankruptcy and take advantage of that state’s more generous exemptions. But if you haven’t been domiciled in the same state for two years, then you’ll use the 180-day rule to determine your state exemptions.
The 180-Day Rule
People who didn’t live in the same location for the two years before filing bankruptcy must use the exemptions of the state they were domiciled in for the better part of the 180 days before the two years before your bankruptcy filing date. In other words, you’ll use the exemptions of the state you lived in during the two- to two-and-a-half-year period before filing. For instance, if you filed for bankruptcy on January 1, 2020, and you didn’t have the same domicile for the preceding two year period. You’d look to your domicile from July 1, 2017, through December 31, 2017, and use that state’s exemptions.
Eastern District Of Washington Requirements
The Eastern District of Washington has two divisions: Spokane and Yakima. Spokane covers the counties of: Adams, Asotin, Benton, Columbia,Ferry, Franklin, Garfield,Lincoln, Pend Oreille, Spokane, Stevens, Walla Walla, and Whitman, whereas Yakima will service the following counties: Kittitas, Klickitat, Yakima, Chelan, Douglas, Grant, and Okanogan.
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Where To File After Moving To Another State
You must reside in the jurisdiction where you want to file for the greater part of the last 180 days. .) In other words, you must have lived in your current location for at least 91 days before you can file for bankruptcy there. After that, you can file for bankruptcy where you live.
While this general jurisdiction rule applies to all bankruptcy filers, it pertains only to the court location where you’ll file your case. The laws you’ll use to protect your property will depend on the applicable exemption laws.
Let Me Show You How To Start A Great Annual Tradition That Can Save You Money And Your Reputation And Its Free
Now is a good time to check your credit report at www.annualcreditreport.com. This is the free credit report source. I think you should check your credit report every single year. Tax Time is a great memory trigger to take a few minutes to make use of your free annual credit report review. It is easy and smart to check this all important rating to protect your reputation against errors and inaccuracies.
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How Is Income Calculated For The Means Test In Washington
Many people in Washington have variable income or spousal income that makes the means test more challenging. So, how is income calculated for the means test?
The means test uses your current monthly gross income for your household. The current monthly income is based on all of the income you receive from all the sources during the six months prior to filing for bankruptcy, but does not include social security or VA disability payments. If your income is variable during those 6 months, you would add the income for the prior 6 months and multiply that number by 2 to get your yearly income for means test purposes.
For example, if you would like to file bankruptcy on April 7, your current monthly income would be based on the preceding six months from October 1 to March 31st.
Heres the exact language from the income calculation bankruptcy form for your reference.
Do I Have Other Options For Secured Debts
You may be able to keep the collateral on a secured debt by paying the creditor in a lump sum the amount the item is worth rather than what you owe on the loan. This is your right under the bankruptcy law to redeem the collateral.
Redeeming collateral can save you hundreds of dollars. Because furniture, appliances, and other household goods go down in value quickly once they are used, you may redeem them for less than their original cost or what you owe on the account.
You may have another option if the creditor did not loan you the money to buy the collateral, like when a creditor takes a lien on household goods you already have. You may be able to ask the court to avoid this kind of lien. This will make the debt unsecured.
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