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Signs You Need a Washington Bankruptcy Lawyer

Understand the Signs for Seeking a Bankruptcy Attorney in Washington

Drowning in debt and feeling lost in Washington? You’re not alone. Bankruptcy can be a lot to handle, but there are clear signs that show when it’s necessary to talk to bankruptcy lawyers in Washington.

Struggling to manage credit cards, medical bills, and necessities? Paycheck to paycheck with constant stress? Facing aggressive collectors, foreclosure, or repossession? Feeling overwhelmed and hopeless? These are all reasons to explore your options. Keep reading to discover the unmistakable signs that signal you might need a bankruptcy lawyer’s help, and learn how they can guide you toward achieving financial peace of mind.

Short Summary: 

  • There are two primary types of bankruptcy for individuals: Chapter 7 and Chapter 13.
  • Chapter 7 involves liquidating assets to discharge debts . Chapter 13 entails a structured repayment plan over a period.
  • If you’re in Washington and experiencing these five things: having a lot of credit card debt, owing too much money that isn’t backed by assets, using your retirement savings to pay debts, facing the possibility of losing your home or car, or getting harassed by creditors, it’s a good idea to talk to a bankruptcy lawyer for help.

What Types of Bankruptcy Are There?

The United States Bankruptcy Code outlines six distinct types of bankruptcy proceedings. When individuals file for bankruptcy, their cases fall into two categories: Chapter 7 or Chapter 13.

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

Chapter 7, often termed liquidation bankruptcy, aims to discharge debts entirely. It is for individuals having difficulties meeting their monthly debt obligations. Under Chapter 7, a trustee appointed by the court sells off assets, converting them into cash. Those assets are distributed among creditors. Certain assets, such as a car or household furnishings, may be exempt from liquidation. Upon completing Chapter 7, the individual is relieved of responsibility for the debts included in the bankruptcy case.

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

Chapter 13 bankruptcy is like a payment plan approved by the court that lasts for three to five years. Once you finish making the payments as agreed, you can be free from some of your debts. It might let you keep stuff, like your home, that you might lose in Chapter 7 bankruptcy. But remember, you have to keep up with your mortgage payments during the Chapter 13 plan.

What are the Five Signs I Need Bankruptcy Lawyers in Washington?

Declaring bankruptcy offers a means to find relief from overwhelming debt. But maneuvering through the bankruptcy process yourself can prove challenging due to legalities. While it’s possible to file without legal representation (proceeding pro se), it’s generally advisable to seek legal help.

Here are the five signs you need a bankruptcy lawyer in Washington: 

Carrying a Significant Credit Card Balance

Utilizing credit cards for short-term financial needs can be convenient. But it’s easy to fall into a cycle of making only minimum payments, leading to escalating balances. When you can’t see a way to pay off your credit card debt, it’s a good idea to talk to a lawyer. They can help you understand your options. Sometimes, if you file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you might not have to pay back your credit card debt.

Carrying a Significant Credit Card Balance

Utilizing credit cards for short-term financial needs can be convenient. But it’s easy to fall into a cycle of making only minimum payments, leading to escalating balances. It’s a good idea to talk to a lawyer when you can’t see a way to pay off your credit card debt. They can help you understand your options. If you file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you might not have to pay back your credit card debt.

Overwhelming Unsecured Debt

Unmanageable debt burdens are financial obligations that have become overwhelming and unsustainable for someone to handle. These burdens often stem from various sources. Those include unsecured debt, such as credit card debt, medical bills, mortgage payments, and car loans.

Exploring bankruptcy options becomes necessary when faced with a large unsecured debt load. Chapter 7 bankruptcy presents an opportunity to wipe out unsecured debts and start anew.

A bankruptcy lawyer can help determine if Chapter 7 bankruptcy is the right choice.

Tapping Into Retirement Funds

Drawing from retirement savings to address dischargeable debts is ill-advised. Preserving retirement funds (often protected in bankruptcy) holds greater long-term value than repaying debts that could be discharged. Direct efforts toward saving for the future instead.

Seeking legal guidance can help you figure out what to do next. A bankruptcy lawyer can advise you on how to protect your money and plan for the future. 

Impending Foreclosure or Repossession

Foreclosure is a legal process lenders start to seize property ownership when the borrower defaults on their mortgage payments.

Repossession is the process by which lenders reclaim possession of financed assets (eg vehicles) from borrowers who have defaulted on loan payments. 

Facing the prospect of losing one’s home to foreclosure or having a vehicle repossessed necessitates prompt action. Upon filing a bankruptcy petition, these legal proceedings are halted by an automatic stay. 

Exploring Chapter 13 bankruptcy may also present avenues to keep one’s home while addressing delinquent mortgage payments. 

A bankruptcy lawyer can also help explain these things and tell you what you can do to stop these from happening. 

Enduring Creditor Harassment

Creditor harassment tactics are aggressive or abusive behaviors employed by creditors or debt collectors attempting to collect debts from individuals. These tactics often violate consumer protection laws. They can also cause significant distress to debtors. Here are some common examples of creditor harassment:

  • Excessive Phone Calls and Messages: Creditors may repeatedly call debtors, sometimes multiple times a day. They also leave voicemails or send text messages demanding payment.
  • Threats and Intimidation: Some creditors resort to threats of legal action, wage garnishment, or even arrest if the debtor fails to make immediate payment. Such threats are often illegal and designed to intimidate the debtor into paying.
  • Harassment at Work or Home: Debt collectors may contact debtors at their workplace, despite knowing it’s prohibited. They might also show up at their home unannounced, causing embarrassment and discomfort.
  • False Statements or Misrepresentation: Some creditors may make false statements about the consequences of not paying the debt, misrepresent the amount owed, or claim to be affiliated with law enforcement or government agencies.
  • Contacting Third Parties: Debt collectors may contact friends, family members, or employers of the debtor. They disclose sensitive information about the debt, damaging relationships and violating privacy rights.
  • Ignoring Requests to Stop Communication: Despite a debtor’s request to stop communication or to communicate only through written correspondence, some creditors persist in contacting them via phone calls or other means.
  • Reporting Inaccurate Information to Credit Bureaus: Some creditors may inaccurately report debts to credit bureaus or threaten to do so. Those actions damage the debtor’s credit score and financial reputation.

Initiating bankruptcy proceedings can stop creditor harassment. The automatic stay triggered by bankruptcy filings prohibits creditors from engaging in collection activities. Seeking legal counsel can also help ease the stress and harassment due to overwhelming debts.

Reach Out To Our Bankruptcy Lawyers in Washington Today!

Recognizing the signs indicating the need for a bankruptcy lawyer in Washington is essential for individuals facing overwhelming financial challenges. Whether burdened by unmanageable debt, enduring creditor harassment, or facing the threat of foreclosure or repossession, seeking legal help can provide crucial guidance and support.

If you’re experiencing these five signs, it’s time to reach out for help. At McBurney Law, our team of Washington bankruptcy lawyers knows how tough debt can be. We’ll look at all the choices available, explain the legal steps, and do our best to get the best result for you.

You’re not in this alone. Contact McBurney Law now, and together, we’ll find a way to get you back on track, feeling more secure, and heading towards a better financial future.