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“Almost every client I talk to initially feels as if their financial problems will never go away. Now most of them are debt free and many are already receiving credit card offers because their credit is already improving.” – Dianna Caley, PLLC
Dianna Caley, is an attorney who has been practicing for more than 20 years working with businesses and individuals. She also represent individual creditors so that they can maximize their recovery on claims or assisting then when a bankruptcy trustee is seeking the return of money paid to them by the debtor prior to filing bankruptcy. Dianna has helped hundreds of people file bankruptcy where that is an appropriate strategy. She assists people with tax problems either through negotiating a smaller payment amount or sometimes a bankruptcy filing can be used to discharge older tax debt with little or no payment. She assists divorcing couples who are seeking to wipe the slate clean of community debt, as well as married couples who need to separate their financial lives in order to shelter one spouse from the debts of the other. She has assisted clients who need to stop litigation or a foreclosure.
Dianna Caley, PLLC is a designated debt relief agency under federal law and provides legal assistance to consumers under the Bankruptcy Code.
Considering bankruptcy? See these FAQs or contact us online or at 731-434-2662 for a free 15 minute consultation.
*This Chapter 7 Bankruptcy FAQ is provided for informational purposes related to filing chapter 7 bankruptcy and should not be taken as actual legal advice.
Q: If I decide to retain Dianna Caley, PLLC in a chapter 7 Bankruptcy what does my fee cover?
A: Dianna Caley will prepare and file your bankruptcy petition with the court, answer your questions and attend your 341 trustee meeting with you. The trustee meeting is most likely the only time you have to go to court.
Q: What does it cost to file for a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?
A: A flat fee will be quoted to you during your free initial consultation depending on the facts of your case. There is a court filing fee of $335, credit counseling fee of $25-$50, a $25-$50 fee for a financial education class, and a credit report fee of $36-$72 which is an additional cost to the flat fee legal fee that we quote you. The legal and credit report fees are due prior to your case being filed, however the court filing fee may be paid in installments with the bankruptcy court post filing. When you retain and make payments this will stop creditors from harassing you, however your case will not be filed until the full fee is paid.
Q: Who qualifies for a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?
A: Whether or not you qualify for a chapter 7 bankruptcy depends on whether your household income is below the state Washington state median income for your household size, and whether you have filed bankruptcy in the last 8 years. There may be other factors to consider which we can be discussed your free consultation.
Q: Which debts are dischargeable?
A: The most common debts such as credit cards, medical bills, and payday loans are dischargeable. Student Loans, taxes within the last three years, alimony, child support, debts from illegal activity, and any account in which you charged $600 or more in the last 90 days prior to filing are all not dischargeable in bankruptcy. There are additional debts that may not be dischargeable, and you can review that during your initial consultation.
Q: How much of my personal belongings can I keep when I file Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?
A: In most cases you will be allowed to retain all of your personal goods including vehicles and a personal residence. Dianna Caley will assess your situation and determine whether the federal or state bankruptcy exemptions should be applied to your case.
Q: When and where do I have to go to court?
A: In most cases you will only be required to go to court one time to meet with a trustee who will question you about your bankruptcy petition. This meeting usually occurs in about 5 weeks from your bankruptcy filing date. The meeting will be held in the jurisdiction for which you live. In Seattle, the bankruptcy court is located at 700 Stewart St., Seattle, WA 98101.
Q: Can I file my Chapter 7 Bankruptcy case in Washington State?
A: You may file your chapter 7 bankruptcy case in Washington State if you have lived in Washington state for the greater part of the last 180 days.
Q: How long until my debts are completely discharged after filing bankruptcy?
A: Generally the entire chapter 7 bankruptcy process takes about 4 months from the date of filing. You will be notified by mail of your discharge. After you file your case you will have the protection of the automatic stay which forbids creditors from collecting on debts without court approval.
Q: If my wages are being garnished, can a chapter 7 bankruptcy stop the garnishment?
A: Yes, a chapter 7 bankruptcy will stop your garnishment after a bankruptcy lawyer files your case and notifies your employer.
Q: Will a chapter 7 bankruptcy stop a foreclosure on my home?
A: Filing chapter 7 may only delay the foreclosure process and in most cases does not allow a debtor to catch up on arrears. A secured creditor may file a motion for relief from stay and continue the foreclosure action when the motion is approved or after you have received your discharge.
Q: How often can a person file a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?
A: A debtor may file for chapter 7 bankruptcy every 8 years. A chapter 13 may be filed after 4 years from the filing date of a chapter 7 bankruptcy.
Q: Is there a minimum debt that I should have to file a chapter 7 bankruptcy?
A: There is no set amount that a debtor must have in order to file bankruptcy, however this office likes to see at least $10,000 in debt in order to avoid any bankruptcy abuse actions from the trustees office. If you feel that you can repay your debt in the future then it is possible that debt settlement may be a better route for you.
Q: Can I keep my bank accounts or credit account that I like open?
A: In chapter 7 bankruptcy you cannot choose which debts you would like to include, and which debts you would not like to include. You must include all debt or no debt, there is no in between. Whether a bank or credit card company wishes to keep you as a customer is up to them. You will need to call them to find out what will happen if you file bankruptcy.
Q: How long does a bankruptcy stay on my credit report?
A: A chapter 7 bankruptcy will stay on your credit report for a period of 10 years. After you file bankruptcy you may immediately start rebuilding your credit through obtaining higher interest rate credit cards and prepaid credit cards.
Q: What is the bankruptcy means test?
A: The means test in a chapter 7 bankruptcy comes into play when a household is above the median income for the state in which they are filing in. If a debtor can justify that they truly have no excess income in which to put into a chapter 13 repayment plan, then the means test may come into play to help qualify the debtor for a chapter 7 bankruptcy.