Bankruptcy Articles

What You Need to File for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

Filing for bankruptcy can seem overwhelming. For most filers, the list of documents needed and the bankruptcy paperwork itself can seem daunting. With an experienced bankruptcy attorney assisting you, you can rest assured that nothing is missed and that you will have a smooth filing.

Before filing for bankruptcy, it is best to meet with an attorney who can help you assess if filing for bankruptcy is the right option. There are many options aside from filing for bankruptcy to help with debt, including:

- Loan Modifications

- Short Sales

- Debt Settlements

- Repayment Plans

If, after meeting with an attorney and assessing your finances, you believe that filing for bankruptcy is the right option, then you would work with your attorney in providing the documents requested so that your bankruptcy paperwork can be prepared.

Most attorneys will have a checklist of items you need to compile and provide them. This will usually include:

- Paystubs

- Bank Statements

- Tax Returns

- Copies of creditor statements

- Any court orders regarding a divorce or child support

- Various documents related to your income and expenses

In addition to the documents, you are also required to complete a pre-filing credit counseling course. The counseling course can usually be completed over the phone or online, and must be completed with an accredited agency.

Once you have turned in the documents to your attorney and have completed credit counseling, you will then meet with your attorney to review and sign the bankruptcy petition. Once the case is filed, all collection activity from creditors will cease. About 30 days after filing, you'll then have a creditors' meeting (also known as a 341 meeting). This meeting is where the trustee will ask you questions about your bankruptcy petition.

Before your bankruptcy is complete, you will complete a second counseling course, known as the debtor education course. After you complete your debtor education course and file the certificate, your debt will be discharged (usually about 60 days after your creditors' meeting).

If you need any assistance with filing for bankruptcy, or if you need help in evaluating if bankruptcy is the right option for you, please contact our office at (206) 408-1688, or by email at: Darcel@dallawfirm.com


How to Get Help to Avoid Foreclosure

If you or someone you know may be facing foreclosure, there are various options available to assist to avoid foreclosure, one of which may be a loan modification. A loan modification is a process of negotiation with your mortgage lender to revise the terms of your loan and save your home. While a loan modification may be the best option for you, at your initial consultation, we will assess your options and advise you on the best option based upon your financial goals.

In a loan modification, our goal is to stop any pending foreclosure activity, reduce your monthly payment, and bring you back to a current status with your lender. There are various options available in modifying your loan, and we will work with you and your lender to reach a resolution for you. Loan modifications are very helpful for homeowners who are facing financial difficulties, as a loan modification may:

  • Reduce your interest rate
  • Provide a fixed interest rate instead of variable interest rate "arm"
  • Reduce some of your principal balance
  • Reduce late fees and penalties

Once you're hired DAL Law to represent you in your modification, you can direct all phone calls and correspondence from your mortgage lender to our office, and we will speak with them on your behalf so you don't have to. We have helped many homeowners save their home with a loan modification, and we would be happy to assist you as well.

If you are in default on your mortgage or facing foreclosure, give our DAL Law Firm a call at (206) 408-8158. We can help.

"Darcel was so fantastic. she explained the whole process to me and made me feel very comfortable in moving forward. Any questions I had she answered by email of phone in a very timely manner. I felt so relieved. She was totally professional however I felt I had made a new friend when the process was complete. I would highly recommend her to anyone."


Are There Alternatives to Bankruptcy?

For many clients we meet with regarding debt, one of the many questions is whether or not there are options aside from Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy. The good news is that yes, there are other options aside from Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy. At your initial consultation with attorney Darcel Lobo, she will evaluate your finances are help you determine what other options may be available to you.

Unfortunately, many law firms will focus on one option in particular, and try to push a client into the option that they want the client to pick. But that's not what we do here at DAL Law Firm. Our goal is to get our clients into their best financial position; and this can mean an array of different options. Our office is experienced in not just Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, but also many alternatives to bankruptcy, including:

  • Loan Modifications
  • Debt Settlements
  • Foreclosure non-retention options, such as Deed in Lieu of Foreclosure or Short Sale
  • Repayment Agreements
  • Debt defense

For some clients, after evaluating all of their options, filing for bankruptcy makes the most financial sense for them. And our clients can be assured that we've helped them make the best decision for them and their family.

If you have financial concerns, and would like to evaluate your options, contact our office today at (206) 408-1688 or Darcel@dallawfirm.com. We're happy to speak with you to help you regain control of your finances and have a fresh start.

"My wife and I paid all our bills on time and had near-perfect credit for years, and then we didn't. We needed to make a complicated decision about our financial future. Darcel helped my wife and I make the decide that a Chapter 7 was the best approach for us. Over a period nearly a year in length, Darcel answered all our questions and helped us clearly understand all the ramifications about decisions, and the timeline of our case. And she was there with us in court. We're on the road again now. Thanks again for your professional, courteous support, Darcel!"

- Satisfied Client


IRS Debt? Read this Blog!

We've heard from many clients that they think that their debt to the IRS can't be discharged in bankruptcy. Well, we are here to tell you that the IRS can be discharged, and we have helped many clients eliminate tax debt through bankruptcy. If you are facing tax debt and are thinking about bankruptcy, give you office a call for a free consultation so we can discuss your specific matter.

While this is not an all-inclusive list, below are the general parameters for eliminating your tax debt in bankruptcy:

  • A tax payer must have filed a return for the year in which the debt was created;
  • The tax return must have been filed at least two years prior to filing for bankruptcy;
  • The tax return must have been due at least three years before filing for bankruptcy; and
  • The IRS has not assessed the liability within 240 days of the bankruptcy filing date.

If you meet the above requirements, then you may be able to eliminate your tax debt through bankruptcy, a Chapter 7 or 13. Even if you cannot discharge your tax debt through bankruptcy, a bankruptcy filing may provide you some relief if the IRS is attempting to collect from you, and is garnishing your wages, bank accounts, or other assets.

Call our office today for your free bankruptcy consultation to see if we can help you. We can be contacted at (206) 408-1688.

"The professionalism and respect that I received was beyond what I could have expected. She (Attorney) made the whole process pain free and with the million questions I had she was always there with help and support. I would most definitely recommend her to others."

- Satisfied client


What Is The Process of Filing For Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?

This overview of the Chapter 7 Bankruptcy process is general in nature, and each case may vary slightly. If you are considering filing for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, attorney Darcel Lobo offers a free initial consultation to help you evaluate your options, and determine if Chapter 7 Bankruptcy may be the best option for you.

At the free initial consultation, we will discuss your concerns, and help you decide if bankruptcy is the right option for you. If it is, you will be provided with a bankruptcy packet, which contains information that we need to prepare the actual bankruptcy petition which will be filed with the Court. In addition to completing the bankruptcy packet, you will also need to complete a credit counseling course, which may be completed online or over the phone, at your convenience. The course takes about an hour to complete.

Once we have prepared the bankruptcy petition, you will meet with the attorney to review and sign the documents. We will review these together and once you have signed them, the case can be filed.

Once your case is filed, you immediately receive protection from the Bankruptcy Court, known as an "Automatic Stay." This protection will stop all collection activity: the phone calls, any lawsuits, garnishments, and/or foreclosures.

Approximately 30 days after your case is filed, there will be one court hearing to attend. The attorney will be there will you at the hearing. The hearing is held by the Bankruptcy Trustee, whose job it is to verify the information filed with the Court by asking you 8-10 routine questions. The hearings usually do not last for more than five minutes.

After the hearing is completed, there is a 60 day waiting period. During this time, you will need to complete a second credit counseling course. Just as with the first course, this second course may be completed over the phone or online, and also takes only about an hour to complete.

Once the 60 days have lapsed, you will obtain your discharge order from the Bankruptcy Court. Our office will receive an electronic copy, and a hard copy will be mailed to you. The bankruptcy is complete, and you can move forward knowing that the debt is behind you.

Our office provides free consultations for potential clients who are considering bankruptcy. Give our office a call at (206) 408-1688, or free to email attorney Darcel Lobo at: Darcel@dallawfirm.com. We look forward to being able to help you.


Are There Any Alternatives to Bankruptcy?

For many clients we meet with regarding debts, one of the many questions is whether or not there are options aside from Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy. The good news is that yes, there are other options aside from Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy. At your initial consultation with attorney Darcel Lobo, she will evaluate your finances are help you determine what other options may be available to you.

Unfortunately, many law firms will focus on one particular option, and try to push a client into that option that they want the client to pick. But that's not what we do here at DAL Law Firm. Our goal is to get our clients into their best financial position; and this can mean an array of different options. Our office is experienced in not just Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, but also many alternatives to bankruptcy, including:

  • Loan Modifications
  • Debt Settlements
  • Foreclosure non-retention options, such as Deed in Lieu of Foreclosure or Short Sale
  • Repayment Agreements
  • Debt defense

For some clients, after evaluating all of their options, filing for bankruptcy makes the most financial sense for them. And our clients can be assured that we've helped them make the best decision for them and their family.

If you have financial concerns, and would like to evaluate all of your options, contact our office today at (206) 408-1688 or Darcel@dallawfirm.com. We're happy to speak with you to help you regain control of your finances and have a fresh start.

"My wife and I paid all our bills on time and had near-perfect credit for years, and then we didn't. We needed to make a complicated decision about our financial future. Darcel helped my wife and I make the decide that a Chapter 7 was the best approach for us. Over a period nearly a year in length, Darcel answered all our questions and helped us clearly understand all the ramifications about decisions, and the timeline of our case. And she was there with us in court. We're on the road again now. Thanks again for your professional, courteous support, Darcel!"

- Satisfied Client




How DAL Law Firm Can Assist You in Your Uncontested Divorce

If you and your spouse are contemplating a divorce, and you both can agree on the divorce, DAL Law Firm can assist you in ensuring that you divorce is affordable, legally enforceable, and is completed in a timely and efficient manner.

An uncontested divorce is a process which allows both spouses the opportunity to end their marriage by agreement. It is also known as an "amicable divorce." You and your spouse will decide all items which are pertinent to the divorce, including: the division of assets and debts, as well as a residential schedule for your children.

In most cases, neither you nor your spouse will have to make any court appearances; our office handles that for you in our representation. It is our mission to make this process as simple as possible for everyone involved in a cost-effective manner.

The benefits to an uncontested divorce are great: you and your spouse can decide what is a fair division of assets and debts instead of a judge; you can avoid expensive attorneys' fees in litigation; you can obtain a divorce relatively quickly so that all parties can move forward; and you can reduce the emotional stresses that accompany a drawn-out divorce.

Contact us today at (206) 408-1688 or email Attorney Darcel Lobo at Darcel@dallawfirm.com for assistance with your uncontested divorce.

"The professionalism and respect that I received was beyond what I could have expected. She made the whole process pain free and with the million questions I had, she was always there with help and support. I would definitely recommend her to others. Thanks again for all of your help"

- Satisfied Client




Are You Being Garnished? Not Only Can We Stop The Garnishment, We May Also Be Able To Get Your Money Back For You!

Many times are clients come to attorney Darcel Lobo for a bankruptcy when they are already being garnished by a creditor. Depending upon the type of garnishment, up to 25% of your wages can be garnished. Clients come to our office to stop that garnishment from happening again.

But at DAL Law Firm, not only do we stop the garnishment, but we can recover any past garnishments which have occurred in the past 90 days, if the amount garnished exceeds more than $600. For clients that have ongoing garnishments, being able to recover 90 days' worth of garnishments can make a huge difference for them and their household budget. Shortly after filing the bankruptcy, we work with the creditor and/or their attorney directly and get a refund check made out to you for the full amount that you've been garnished in the last 90 days.

If you are having a financial hardship, having a garnishment come out of your paycheck before you even see your paycheck only makes matters worse. Unfortunately, it leaves people having to decide which utility bill to pay, whether or not they can pay their rent or mortgage, and many other difficult choices that they shouldn't have to make.

So if your wages or bank accounts are being garnished, call DAL Law Firm today. We can't do anything to recover garnishments that have happened more than 90 days ago. The sooner you contact us, the sooner we can determine your options and decide if bankruptcy is right for you. If it is, then we move forward quickly so that we can stop the garnishment and get a refund check into your hands.

Give us a call today so we can assist you in recovering your money (206) 408-1688.

Please note that the information provided in general in nature and may not apply to all individuals. We are a debt relief agency. We help people file for bankruptcy under the bankruptcy code





Do I Need a Prenuptial Agreement?

If you are considering marriage or a domestic partnership, and have either been married before or are bringing substantial assets into the relationship, a prenuptial, postnuptial, or cohabitation agreement can give you peace of mind. Such agreement can protect the assets you may have acquired prior to the marriage and can ensure that they remain you separate property. Creating this type of relationship agreement assures you that your assets are protected and is also a step towards creating a financial plan and estate plan for your future. Darcel Lobo has helped many clients with their prenuptial agreements and would be happy to assist you as well.

At the DAL Law Firm, we work with you to ensure that we understand your concerns and that those concerns are addressed with the appropriate agreement. We provide comprehensive counsel to individuals and couples throughout Washington State and would be pleased to represent you. We can answer any questions you may have about a relationship agreement and how it can serve your interests.

We provide advice to clients and prepare agreements for those who are considering marriage or cohabitation and have concerns about asset protection. We will discuss all matters related to the execution of an enforceable prenuptial, postnuptial or other relationship agreement. We will help you identify and characterize your assets, and draft an agreement that clearly sets forth your intent. We will explain the difference between your separate property and community property.

What can be as equally as important, if not more important, is the protection of one's assets if their soon-to-be spouse may have debts. We will help you to minimize the risk of your assets, and will structure the agreement accordingly. All matters will be done with the strictest confidentiality, and your privacy is always protected. For more information, please contact our office.

Contact our office by phone at (206) 408-1688 or by email at Darcel@dallawfirm.com for a confidential consultation regarding a relationship agreement.