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Seattle Bankruptcy Law Blog

Stop wage garnishment by creditors

If you don't pay your loan payments and other bills, and when you get significantly behind financially, your creditors may file a lawsuit to garnish your wages as a way of getting paid for the money you owe. In many situations, a Washington court will grant the request to garnish your wages.

Wage garnishment can take your bad financial situation and turn it into a nightmare. If you thought it was difficult to keep on top of your family's living expenses now, just wait until your credits start siphoning money off your paychecks before you can even receive them. Fortunately, there's a way to put a stop to wage garnishment by filing for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy.

Want to get out of credit card debt? Stop doing this

Some King County residents spend their entire lives chasing after their credit card debt. It's a problem that many Americans are facing as our nation's credit card debt remains exorbitantly high. In fact, can you believe that the average American family holds credit card debt amounting to over $8,377?

If you ever hope to climb out of debt on your own, without applying for bankruptcy, here are a few things you should stop doing right now:

The status of student loan debts in the United States

If you've been reading the news lately, it appears that out-of-control student loan debt is the dirge of American society. In fact, many are worried that unpaid student loans in default could bring down the American economy in a way that's much worse than the real estate market collapse of 2008.

How much student debt do Americans have on average?

The rights of your creditors in a bankruptcy case

Debtors have rights, and creditors do too. It's the responsibility of the bankruptcy trustee to administer your bankruptcy in a way that ensures that your creditors get paid back as much money as possible for their legitimate claims. This must be achieved before your remaining debts get discharged.

During your bankruptcy proceedings, all creditors that comes forward have the right to have their claims heard. Each creditor will be given the chance to argue why it should receive part of the liquidated proceeds from a Chapter 7 bankruptcy or part of the structured payments from a Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Furthermore, creditors have the ability to argue against a debtor's right to receive a discharge.

What's the most predominant reason for bankruptcy filings?

If you're facing the threat of bankruptcy, you might be curious how you got into your current debt circumstances, or you might know exactly the reason why. Interestingly, the predominant reason why Americans end up filing for bankruptcy is due to medical debt. The fact is, when faced with a life-threatening medical condition, the decision to go into debt is easy to make when it's a question of life and death.

The more serious problem, however, is the fact that many Americans avoid or delay much-needed medical care because they're afraid of getting into debt. This can result in a worsening of medical conditions -- even to the point that a treatable condition becomes fatal.

Bankruptcy and your car: Will you get to keep it?

We love our possessions, and when it comes to many of them, we have a practical need to keep them. It's due to the fear of needing to liquidate all of one's property that a lot of Washington residents will avoid the bankruptcy process until the last possible moment. However, the longer you wait, the deeper into debt you may get and the more difficult and time consuming your bankruptcy process can become.

Washington residents who are afraid of losing their possessions, should be encouraged by the fact that many of their assets will not be subject to liquidation. Bankruptcy does not seek to strip Washington residents of all their personal possessions. In fact, the goal of bankruptcy is to simplify your financial life by resolving debt and supporting you in keeping the various personal assets that you require to continue with your daily life.

Having a hard time controlling your debt? You're not alone

The amount of debt held by U.S. residents has soared, reaching the same record levels experienced at the brink of the recession that began in 2008. However, rather than home mortgage debt, this time the debt largely relates to vehicle loans and educational loans.

At the close of the first court in 2017, debt levels were up to $12.73 trillion. This is a $473 billion increase from this time last year. Indebtedness is currently 14 percent higher than it was in 2013. The last peak of debt in 2008 reached $12.68, which is lower than current debt levels.

3 tricks for responsible credit card use

Now that you're well on your way to resolving your credit card debt, it's time to start considering strategies that will help you never get into this problem again. This article will cover three simple things you can do to stay financially responsible and avoid spending money that you don't have.

Three strategies for avoiding credit card debt problems:

A 3-step process to getting out of credit card debt

We all want to get out of credit card debt, but the idea can seem daunting. There are some things that you can do, however, which will help you get out of debt over time. The following three-step process can work, if you have a steady income, if you're diligent and if you stick to the process without wavering over time.

The first step involves using cash or your debit card instead of credit cards. You can even try using PayPal if you need to buy something online. Prepaid cards are also useful for this purpose. The cash-only system will help you not rack up any additional credit card debt. To ensure this is realistic, you need to build up some savings for emergency expenses.

How will I benefit from Chapter 13 bankruptcy?

If you have a steady income, you might be a candidate for Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Chapter 13 bankruptcy involves the consolidation of outstanding debt. It also involves the consolidation of monthly payment obligations into one single bill. All of this is done in accordance with a court-approved Chapter 13 repayment plan that is designed to make your debt more manageable, while resolving any debt that remains following the term of the repayment plan.

A Chapter 13 payment plan is specifically tailored to your income and debt limitations. The bankruptcy court will take into consideration how much money you make each month and determine what you can reasonably afford to pay on a monthly basis over a period of three to five years. After that three- to five-year period, if you make your monthly payments religiously and on time, the bankruptcy court will dissolve the remaining debts that are covered under the bankruptcy.

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