In these difficult times, many hard-working Americans are overwhelmed by debt. You don’t want to “cheat” anyone out of what they are owed, but you are faced with the stark choice of paying your creditors and eating. Seeking protection in Bankruptcy might enable to settle your obligations with your creditors and to get a fresh start in life.
The Seattle Bankruptcy lawyers at Chung, Malhas, & Mantel, PLLC understand the financial difficulties and hardships many in our great nation are currently facing. Our bankruptcy lawyers will meet with you and together we will plan how best to your current financial difficulties. Whether negotiating a settlement agreement with your creditors or guiding you through bankruptcy, our Seattle bankruptcy professionals will help you to stand on your feet again.
Bankruptcy Litigation Attorney Seattle
The Seattle bankruptcy attorneys at Chung, Malhas, & Mantel, PLLC, engage in adversarial proceedings within the United States Bankruptcy courts. Our law firm has experience representing Debtors against third-party Creditors, Third Parties contesting fraudulent transfers by Bankruptcy Trustees and Creditors seeking to bar a discharge of a Debtor’s debt.
In deciding upon the Seattle bankruptcy lawyers to represent your legal interests, you can be confident that you chose a firm that is well versed in representing clients in bankruptcy court and knowledgeable with the applicable bankruptcy code and rules of procedure.
Our Seattle Bankruptcy lawyers have extensive experience in the following areas:
- Automatic stay
- Executory contracts
- Chapter 13 individual debt restructurings
- The rights and obligations of secured and unsecured creditors
Bankruptcy & Debt Restructuring Attorney Seattle
Their broad experience has earned the Seattle bankruptcy attorneys at Chung, Malhas, & Mantel, PLLC, a high reputation for excellence and tact in the representation of debtors in financial distress. Our team of lawyers has represented individuals and corporations in insolvency and bankruptcy adversary proceedings. Many of our cases involve transnational debts and the valuation of property abroad. Our clients benefit from our multidisciplinary approach, which encourages our bankruptcy practitioners to strive alongside litigation and commercial lawyers, to provide a finely tailored and comprehensive service.
Our clients trust us to represent their best interest with wise forethought and prudence. As bankruptcy matters create challenging and stressful situations for our clients, we make it our priority to offer counsel which is sensitive to their reputations and honor.
Recent major cases handled by our attorneys involved:
- Creditor Negotiations
- Trustee Negotiations
- Reaffirmation Agreements
- Adversary Proceedings
- Transnational and Corporate Debts
- Foreign Governments
Is Bankruptcy Right for You?
A Bankruptcy can:
- Stop Harassing Phone Calls from Collection Agencies
- Stop Wage Garnishments
- Stop Home Foreclosures and Evictions
- Stop Automobile Repossessions
- Stop Lawsuits
- Eliminate all Dischargeable Credit Card Debt and Medical Bills
- Eliminate all Dischargeable IRS and State Taxes
What is Bankruptcy?
Bankruptcy is the legal process by which individuals and businesses can eliminate or repay some or all of their debts under the protection of the federal bankruptcy court. Bankruptcy is commenced by filing a bankruptcy petition with schedules with the Bankruptcy Court seeking “discharge” of debts. There are two main types of bankruptcies for individuals: Chapter 7 Bankruptcy and Chapter 13 Bankruptcy.
What is a “Discharge”?
A court ordered “discharge” means that you will have no further responsibility for the discharged debts, and your creditors can take no further collection actions against you.
What kind of Bankruptcy can I file?
Under Federal law, individuals can file a Chapter 7 (“liquidation bankruptcy”) or a Chapter 13 (“wage earner”) Bankruptcy. There are two other types of Bankruptcies: a Chapter 11 (“reorganization”) and a Chapter 12 (“farm”) Bankruptcy.
What Debts Can Get Discharged in a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?
If a debt is unsecured – that is, with no collateral backing it up – it can usually be discharged in a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy. Some of these debts may include:
- Credit Card Debts
- Medical Bills
- Most Personal Loans
- Payday Loans
What is a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?
A Chapter 7 Bankruptcy is oftentimes referred to as a “liquidation bankruptcy” because your non-exempt assets are liquidated to pay part of your outstanding debts. Most people who file for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy do not have any non-exempt assets to sell, and if that is the case, there is no actual sale of property.
Chapter 7 Bankruptcy may be right for you under the following circumstances:
- If you have no income or low income
- If you have little or no money left after paying your necessary living expenses each month
- If you rent or have little home equity
- If you have few assets (or no assets) except furniture, clothing and other “necessities.
What Debts are not Dischargeable in a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?
While a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy can help you eliminate unsecured debts, secured debts are not dischargeable. Your creditors will hold a lien against your property until the debt is paid or property is surrendered. Moreover, a bankruptcy cannot discharge everything you owe. You will still be liable for some non-dischargeable debts, such as
- Child Support
- Some Taxes
- Student Loans
- Certain Other Categories Of Debt
Do I lose all my assets in a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?
Bankruptcy law allows individual debtors keep certain property that is not subject to attachment and execution under state law. These assets include some or all of the debtor’s equity in his or her homestead, household goods, car, certain retirement plans and numerous other assets. Your bankruptcy trustee may sell other assets and distribute the proceeds to your creditors if they do not fall within the state or federal exemptions.
What is a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy?
A Chapter 13 Bankruptcy is a process used to repay an individual’s debts over a 3 to 5 year period. A Chapter 13 Bankruptcy begins with the preparation and filing of your bankruptcy petition, schedules, and Chapter 13 Repayment Plan. Immediately after you file, the bankruptcy court will send a notice of your bankruptcy to all of your creditors. After that, your case will be assigned to a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Trustee, who will review your filings. In most instances, the bankruptcy court will also issue an “automatic stay” order. This order prohibits most of your creditors from collecting their debts from you, from repossessing your car or other property, and from starting or continuing any legal action against you while the bankruptcy is pending. That said, under some circumstances a creditor may request that the bankruptcy court remove an “automatic stay” and move forward with legal action or its foreclosure proceedings. This, in part, will depend on the facts of your individual circumstances.
What is a Chapter 13 Repayment Plan?
Your Chapter 13 Repayment Plan is a legal agreement which allows you to make payments on both secured and unsecured debts in exchange for your commitment to repay your debts over time. Oftentimes in Chapter 13 Bankruptcy you will make payments to the Trustee of the Court, who will then pay your bills according to the repayment plan that you propose. Depending on the debtor, a repayment plan can last from 3 to 5 years. While you are making payments under the plan, your creditors cannot take any collection actions against you, and creditors are required by law to abide by the terms of your repayment plan.
Which Should I Choose: a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy or a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy?
A Chapter 7 Bankruptcy will discharge all of your unsecured debts (with exceptions). One of the potential disadvantages of filing a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy is that if you have property that is not covered by either a state or federal exemption, then it is possible that the Chapter 7 trustee may seek to sell that non-exempt property. In some circumstances, a debtor may not qualify for a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, so filing a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy might be their only option.
How Long Does a Bankruptcy Take? Do I have to attend a Hearing?
Both Chapter 7 and 13 Bankruptcies require you to attend a meeting of creditors, called a 341 Hearing. In a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, if no objections are filed, the discharge can be entered in approximately 90 days. A Chapter 13 Bankruptcy allows a debtor to make payments for a 3 to 5 year period.
Call for a free consultation today at (206) 264-8999.
Languages spoken by our professional and support staff include Arabic, Berber, French, Hebrew, Japanese, Mandarin Chinese, Russian and Spanish.
At CHUNG, MALHAS, & MANTEL, PLLC, our dedicated and personal approach to bankruptcy litigation sets us apart from other attorneys. At our firm, we don’t handle cases, we serve clients. To speak with an experienced bankruptcy attorney, contact our firm at (206) 264-8999 for a consultation.
- “The Scent of Jasmine” – The Chronicles of Mr. Mantel
- “A Cabin and a Sash for Molly” – The Chronicles of Mr. Mantel
- “Bankruptcy With A Little Pride” – The Chronicles of Mr. Mantel