Sometimes it is easy to determine which bankruptcy option is better for you – chapter 7 bankruptcy, or
chapter 13 bankruptcy. Other times it is a more difficult call to make. For instance, are you behind on your mortgage and want an opportunity to catch up on missed payments? If so, a chapter 13 bankruptcy could provide that opportunity. Do you owe taxes for older tax years that were all filed on time? In this case a chapter 7 bankruptcy may be the better option. But if you owe payroll taxes or filed your taxes late, then a chapter 13 bankruptcy might work better for you. Bankruptcy is a complex area of the law, and you need experienced guidance so you don’t do the wrong thing. We have years of experience with both simple and complex bankruptcies. Let us use our experience to help you.
There are income qualifications regarding who may file a chapter 7 bankruptcy. And depending on what you earn, your expenses, and the number of dependents you have, you may qualify to file a chapter 7 bankruptcy and discharge your debts. However, even if you earn too much to file a chapter 7, you may still qualify to file a chapter 13 bankruptcy. We are happy to discuss your options with you.
It can be a very upsetting experience to be served with a lawsuit. Creditors do have a right to sue on a valid debt, but bankruptcy stops the process. Even if you have a judgment against you, or are currently being garnished, bankruptcy can end that nightmare. If the debt isn’t yours, or was already paid or settled, or if you have been harassed by a third party debt collector, let us know. You may have options other than bankruptcy.
There are a number of bankruptcy courts in Oregon. If you live in, or near, Portland Oregon, you will file in that court and have your meeting of creditors there, as well. Otherwise your bankruptcy will be filed in the district appropriate in which you live and attend your Meeting of Creditors in that district.
Filing a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy can prevent repossession and give you a chance to catch up on back payments. If your car has already been repossessed, we may still be able to help you get it back depending on how recently it was taken. Even if you can’t get the car back, or don’t want to, that debt can still typically be discharged in a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy.
Debts incurred after filing will not be discharged in your bankruptcy. Additionally, if you owe money on a secured debt, such as a car loan, but don’t make payments as agreed after the bankruptcy, then that creditor does have a right to contact you. However, sometimes creditors and debt collectors will try to collect on a debt even after it has been legally discharged in a bankruptcy. This collection activity is in violation of the Bankruptcy Code.

Call or write to the creditor and supply them with your filing number and the date that you filed. If they still try to collect, or otherwise threaten or harass you, let us know. We file law suits against creditors who break the law and continue to try to collect debts that have been legally discharged.

Yes. Bankruptcy filing stops garnishment. It can also stop repossession of a vehicle.
Every individual’s situation is different. Bankruptcy may not be the best option for you, depending on various factors. If this is the case in your situation, we will let you know and discuss this with you. We also negotiate debts settlements with creditors and debt collectors on behalf of clients. For some individuals this is a better option than filing a bankruptcy. Call us for a consultation so we can help you explore your alternatives and enable you to make intelligent choices.
The Bankruptcy Trustee is the individual appointed to administer your bankruptcy case under federal law and ensure that your creditors are treated fairly and have the opportunity to receive compensation from your bankruptcy estate if any compensation is available.
In every chapter 7 and chapter 13 bankruptcy case, the debtor meets with the Bankruptcy Trustee approximately a month after the case has been filed, in the “First Meeting of Creditors.” This meeting is also called the 341(a) hearing because it is required by section 341(a) of the United States Bankruptcy Code. The Bankruptcy Trustee will review your bankruptcy Petition and Schedules with you and may ask some additional questions. This meeting is mandatory and without it you will not receive a discharge of debt. In a chapter 7 bankruptcy you can expect to receive a discharge within approximately two to four months after your 341(a) hearing. In a chapter 13 bankruptcy you will receive a discharge within three to five years depending on your situation.
No. Filing a bankruptcy, chapter 7 or chapter 13, should not hinder the loan modification process. And in some cases, we may be able to help you obtain a loan modification through a chapter 13 bankruptcy.
Yes, filing a bankruptcy will stop a foreclosure in the vast majority of cases. Additionally, chapter 13 bankruptcy may give you the opportunity to catch up on payments you have missed so you once again are current on your payments. In some cases we may also be able to help you obtain a loan modification through the chapter 13 bankruptcy process. A chapter 7 bankruptcy will also temporarily stop foreclosure in most cases, but does not enable an individual to catch up on missed mortgage payments.
Many individuals worry that if they have equity in their home, it will be taken during bankruptcy proceedings. Oregon bankruptcy exemptions can protect the equity in your home (called homestead exemptions) up to certain dollar amounts. And even if you are the more rare individual with excess equity in your home, there are still actions that can be taken to protect that equity. Feel free to call us if this is a concern that you have.
Tax debt may be dischargeable through bankruptcy in certain cases, depending on what type of taxes are owed, when the taxes were due, and when the tax returns were filed. Even when tax debt is not dischargeable in bankruptcy, we may still be able to eliminate the penalties that have accrued, which in some cases may be a substantial portion of the debt. There are complex rules regarding handling tax debts, which apply to both federal and state taxes. This is an area of focus in our practice. We can discuss your options for discharging tax debt in bankruptcy, or using some other method to help you eliminate or get a handle on your tax situation if bankruptcy is not your best option.
We file cases in Portland, and across the state. Many bankruptcy firms do not file the type of complex cases that we have become known for. In order to better help our clients we are prepared to file in multiple venues.