- Free Initial Consultation
- Low Flat Rates
- Flexible Payment Plans
Attorney Morgan G. Ziegler
Attorney Steven P. Weinberg, retired
Do you need financial relief? Do you need a bankruptcy lawyer in Olympia?
Your Bankruptcy Lawyer for Thurston, Pierce, Mason, Grays Harbor and Lewis County
Call us to get started at (360) 943-6200
We assist people with Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 personal and business bankruptcy filings
Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 are both personal bankruptcy proceedings. In many cases, a person who owns and operates a business as a corporation or limited liability company can file for bankruptcy protection under a Chapter 7 or 13 bankruptcy proceeding. We would like to help you, give us a call. We can help you find financial relief through a bankruptcy filing. When you need an Olympia bankruptcy lawyer, call us at (360) 943-6200
We are here to give you sound legal advice so you can protect yourself and get your financial house in order! We know this is a stressful time and we will be with you through the process. Be careful about debt consolidation offers. There is no automatic stay or debt discharge protection with debt consolidation. Bankruptcy is your legal right.
Download our questionnaire and start working on it. You can bring it with you to the initial consultation with any questions you have about the questionnaire. Call us if you need help with the questionnaire.
We want to help you get your financial house back in order.
Go the Downloads Page to begin downloading the questionnaire.
BEFORE YOUR BANKRUPTCY CASE IS FILED:
Complete the questionnaire. Check with your bankruptcy lawyer to avoid costly mistakes. List everything you own and everybody you owe. List all sources of income. Disclose all assets and transactions through the questionnaire and speak with your attorney about any assets or transactions that you are concerned about so that we can help you avoid problems with your bankruptcy.
Property Values For Bankruptcy:
We need to have accurate values on large and valuable possessions such as cars, land, homes for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 Bankruptcy.
You can often get a value on real estate from Zillow.com. The tax-assessed value is helpful, but may not reflect the real value of your home. You may also want to contact a realtor for a current market analysis to determine the fair market value of your property.
MOTIONS FOR RELIEF FROM AUTOMATIC STAY
When you file for bankruptcy, an automatic order of stay goes into effect that will stop collection activity against you. A creditor may file a motion for relief with the bankruptcy court after the case is filed to resume collection activity. Click here for information about Motions for Relief from Automatic Stay.
SURRENDERING A CAR, BOAT
OR TITLED PERSONAL PROPERTY
When you surrender a vehicle you will want to report the transfer to Department of Licensing to reduce the chance that anyone will come back later and attempt to collect towing, storage or other fees and costs from you.
The vehicle transfer can normally be done online with the Department of Licensing at the DOL website. Department of Licensing call this a report of sale, but it can also be used to report that you have surrendered your interest in the vehicle back to the lien-holder. For more information about abandoned vehicles and title issues, take a look at the DOL information at this DOL website.
SHORT SALES ON REAL PROPERTY
If you believe a short sale on real estate can be completed and will be to your benefit, we will need to have you or your agent work with us to get the Court’s approval of the short sale. All secured creditors will need to accept the terms of the short sale. The process to get the Court’s approval for the short sale is not a normal part of a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Attorney fees for this extra service are negotiated on a case by case basis.
If you are considering a short sale in order to avoid having a foreclosure sale in your credit history, you may be able to arrange a voluntary surrender and a deed in lieu of foreclosure that will allow the mortgage holder to work with the Trustee and other interested parties to complete the sale without running up unnecessary legal expense for you.
FORECLOSURE AND SURRENDERED
PROPERTY IN BANKRUPTCY
If you decide to surrender property, a house, a car or other significant titled property in the bankruptcy the property will continue to show up in your name until the creditor takes steps to transfer the title. The title transfer can be done through foreclosure sale, deed in lieu of foreclosure or re-titling of personal property such as cars, boats and trailers through State license and title procedures. As long as your name remains on the title, you may receive notices of unpaid taxes and other billings.
Certain kinds of debts including homeowner association dues continue to be owed by the person on the title and are generally treated as post-petition debt that is not discharged by the bankruptcy. The surrender of property in a bankruptcy is complicated. You should call and speak with your attorney about your specific questions. It often makes sense to send the creditor a letter through your attorney or with copy to your attorney indicating that you have surrendered interest in property and indicating your interest in releasing title to the creditor and preventing new fees or issues from arising from surrendered property.
You can also contact a mortgage creditor to see if they have a “cash for keys” program in place.
There is a way to get relief:
STATE MEDIAN INCOME AND
THE BANKRUPTCY MEANS TEST
The bankruptcy process includes a complex means test that compares a Debtor’s income with State median income. A person whose income is over the State median income level is presumed to be ineligible for Chapter 7 Fresh Start bankruptcy protection and would be expected to file Chapter 13 Wage Earner bankruptcy protection. You can review your income against State median income by going to this website.
If you are over the State median income level, it may still be possible to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. In this case, your eligibility for Chapter 7 bankruptcy is made through complex financial calculation processes that are built in to the means test.
You can find out more about the means test at this website. We do not recommend that you attempt to calculate disposable monthly income for yourself. The means test process is complicated and the rules are not easy to understand. Our lawfirm will provide highly-skilled help with the means test and that might mean a lower payment if you have to file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy or it might mean that you might be eligible to file under Chapter 7 instead of Chapter 13.
We are located at 324 West Bay Drive NW, Suite 201
Olympia, Washington 98502
You can reach us by telephone at (360) 943-6200
Our fax number is (360) 943-4827
We are a debt relief agency.