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Lakewood Bankruptcy Attorneys | Bankruptcy Lawyers in Lakewood, WA
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Bankruptcy in Lakewood, Washington.
Lakewood, Washington is one of the largest cities in Pierce County with a population of close to 60,000 people. Lakewood has the largest population of active military personnel in Washington State. Located just east of McCord Air Force base and Fort Lewis, Lakewood, WA is the home to many military families, as well as people and business that support the local military economy.
Our law firm has helped many Lakewood residents wipe out their credit cards and medical bills, stave off home foreclosure, and stop their wages from being garnished. During these difficult economic times, many Lakewood residents have filed for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 Bankruptcy so they maintain their dignity and continue to support themselves and their family.
Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in Lakewood
Chapter 7 Bankruptcy allows Lakewood residents to discharge their unsecured debts---debts that are not secured by property: a non-collateralized debt. If you meet the income requirements for a Chapter 7 Discharge, you will be able to discharge debts that include:
- Credit Cards
- Medical Bills
- Car Repossession Debt
- Unpaid Utilities
- Payday loans
- Broken apartment leases
- Unemployment and Social Security Income Over payments that were not the result of fraud.
Chapter 7 Bankruptcy also has other power functions. Other important features of Chapter 7 Bankruptcy is that it:
- Stops or Postpones Foreclosure Sales, allowing the homeowner more time to negotiate a loan modification or just move out of their home.
- Stops Car Repossessions, allowing the car loan more time to catch up or just more time to turn in the car and seek alternative transportation.
- Stops Garnishments and discharges the underlying debt so you cannot be garnished for this debt again.
- Stops Lawsuits and all legal action on a debt so the debt will be discharged before you can be garnished.
- Stops Bill Collections and Creditor Harassment. The Phone Calls Stop and The Debts Go Away!
A “Means Test” is applied to your total household income and expenses to determine if you qualify for a complete discharge of your qualifying unsecured debts in Chapter 7 Bankruptcy or if you instead will be required to pay a portion of your unsecured debts in a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy plan. Our experienced bankruptcy lawyers can do a free means test analysis to determine whether or not you qualify for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy.
Chapter 13 Bankruptcy in Lakewood
Chapter 13 Bankruptcy is a wage earner plan. It allows people with regular income to repay all or a portion of their debts under lower, restructured and more affordable terms. Many people who file for Chapter 13 Bankruptcy have income that is too high to qualify them for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy. However, that is not always the case.
The following are some of the common reasons people file for Chapter 13 Bankruptcy:
1. Stop Mortgage Foreclosure and Repay Mortgage Arrears. If you are behind on yor mortgage and can now repay the mortgage arrears---the amount of the mortgage you are behind------filing for Chapter 13 Bankruptcy will allow you to make payments on your mortgage arrears for up to 60 months (5 years) to completely catch up on thew amount of your mortgage. However, you must also be financially able to pay your regular monthly mortgage payment as well as mortgage arrears payment in a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy repayment plan.
2. Discharge Wholly Unsecured Second Mortgages. A Chapter 13 Bankruptcy allows homeowners to discharge (wipe out) their entire second mortgage and still keep their home. However, your home must be valued so that there is no equity to cover the balance of the second mortgage is the house was sold. For example, if your house is worth $200,000, you have a first mortgage with a balance of $220,00 and a second mortgage with a balance of $55,000, your second mortgage would be wholly unsecured because if your house sold at its current fair market value, it would not pay one penny of the second mortgage.
Discharging a second mortgage is a very complicated process that almost uniformly requires the assistance and representation of an experienced bankruptcy attorney. Our law firm has many years experience of helping qualified homeowners wipe out their entire second mortgage through a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Plan.
3. Cramdown/Lower Your Car Loan Balance. If you car loan was taken out at least 910 days ago and the balance of your car loan is greater than the fair retail market value of your motor vehicle, you can lower the balance of your car loan to the vehicles far market value in a Chapter 13 repayment plan. In such cases, at current market rates, you can also lower the interest rate on your case loan to at least 6.5%.
For newer car loans not taken out in the past 910 days, Chapter 13 Bankruptcy may also help you lower and restructure your car loan and interest rate over up to 60 months even when you cannot lower the loan balance.
4. Repay Your IRS Debt Without Any Further Interest Accruing. You also pay be able to discharge all or a portion of your federal income taxes from the tax years or 2009 or prior. Please consult our experienced Lakewood bankruptcy lawyers to discuss your income tax debts to find out which of those debts may be dischargeable.
5. Repay a Small Portion of Your Unsecured Debts if You Filed and Received a Discharge in Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Less Than 8 Years Ago. In this difficult economy some people are forced to file for consumer bankruptcy for at least their second time. Unfortunately, this is not as uncommon an occurrence as one may believe. The U.S. Bankruptcy Code only allows an individual to receive a full discharge of their qualifying unsecured debts in Chapter 7 Bankruptcy once every 8 years. Therefore, if the filing date of your Chapter 7 Bankruptcy petition was less than 8 years ago but more than 4 years ago and you received a discharge of your qualifying unsecured debts, your remaining option in bankruptcy is to file a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy. Depending upon if you are an above or below median debtor based upon your household size, you will be required to make a at least a $100/month Chapter 13 Plan payment for either 36 or 60 months and will then receive a discharge of your remaining unpaid qualifying unsecured debts.
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