The most popular type of bankruptcy that is filed in Washington State and elsewhere is a Chapter 7. This chapter of the federal law provides for discharge of all unsecured debt and, in theory, for liquidation of assets and applying the proceeds to paying creditors. In the vast majority of bankruptcy cases, however, filers do not lose their assets due to state and federal exemption provisions.
A Chapter 7 bankruptcy filed in Washington state forgives all unsecured debt, and there is no payment plan. It is filed and discharged typically within three to four months. The record of a Chapter 7 bankruptcy can stay on one's credit record for up to 10 years. However, the individual debts that are discharged are removed after seven years.
In Washington and elsewhere, when the economy is relatively healthy and credit somewhat easy to obtain, people tend to get carried away with credit card charges. Indeed, the pressures of intensive product marketing have a great influence in encouraging people to continually buy consumer products. These societal factors play a key role in keeping unsecured debt burdens skyrocketing among many consumers. It is only after the financial abilities of the consumer to repay become depleted that the creditor takes on a new face, a much more demanding and fearful face. This sets the stage for many persons to select bankruptcy as the best way to resolve the problem and start over.
When an individual or married couple residing in the state of Washington are contemplating filing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, they usually have many questions about important issues that will affect their lives. The best place for answers is in the office of an experienced consumer bankruptcy attorney. The initial consultation is usually free and the bankruptcy attorney is in effect at the consumers' disposal to answer all their questions.
A bankruptcy discharge in Washington state is a great relief to persons who have been struggling with overwhelming unsecured debt pressures for years. The debt is erased, a new start is assured, and the stifling, fear-generating calls from bill collectors are banished. The only drawback that some people fear is the difficulty in getting credit in the future with a bankruptcy on one's credit report.
About 500,000 persons file bankruptcy in the United States annually, and Washington state gets its proportionate share of those filings. The main drawback that most observers attribute to bankruptcy is its dismal effect on one's credit rating and scores. The negative impact on credit scores does occur, but the other side of that coin is that credit repair after bankruptcy is possible and attainable with some focused effort.
It appears that many women who own and operate home-based businesses selling Lularoe apparel and accessories are seeking bankruptcy protection. A review of 24 Chapter 7 bankruptcy cases in which the company was named found that many women experienced a steep decline in sales over recent years. That has left some with little option but to seek aggressive debt relief. For those in Washington who own and operate their own online retail venture, this story may serve as a cautionary tale.
Some consumers in Washington might say that the worst part of having overwhelming debts is the constant harassment of creditors who call at all hours. They may not realize that filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy can put an immediate end to those calls. Under the bankruptcy law, an automatic stay comes into effect that prohibits creditors from asking for payments. Consumers may also find comfort in learning that it is a myth that they will lose their homes and cars when they file for personal bankruptcy.
Many Washington residents will encounter a period of financial strain. Whether that span of time lasts for a few weeks or a few years, it can be incredibly stressful to deal with mounting bills and expenses while income and savings dwindle. Personal bankruptcy is a tool that can help individuals and families regain their financial footing and work toward a more stable future. However, it is important to avoid errors in the paperwork surrounding a bankruptcy case; failure to do so can result in accusations of bankruptcy fraud.
At one point or another, virtually every Washington resident will encounter some level of financial strain. When that happens, bills tend to go unpaid, and credit card debt mounts. Knowing how to respond to mounting credit card debt during a financial shortfall can have a big impact on how things will ultimately be resolved.