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Understanding Bankruptcy Filing in Your State

03rd May 2011
By OrlandoM in Bankruptcy Law
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Filing for bankruptcy involves taking care of numerous details – from selecting under the right chapter to submitting the necessary documents. Moreover, this step comes with essential legal and financial consequences. It is, therefore, a wise decision to get help from bankruptcy lawyers practicing in your vicinity.

Before you consult a legal practitioner to file, here are a few common points regarding this matter.

Under what chapter do you file? Your lawyer is best suited to answer this. These are the options you have:

Chapter 7 (available for individuals, partnerships and corporations): involves liquidation of non-exempt assets under the supervision of a court-appointed trustee.

Chapter 11 (available mostly for businesses): provides a business the chance to reorganize and pay off its debts according to a plan.

Chapter 12 (available for family farmers, and partnerships and corporations farming operations): involves repayment plan under the supervision of the trustee.

Chapter 13 (available for individuals with maximum $336,900.00 unsecured and $1,010,650.00 secured debts): involves creating a repayment plan over a period under court supervision.

Which legal statues apply? Apart from the US Bankruptcy Code (11 U.S.C. Section 101), the Local Rules applicable in Washington come into play in these filings.

What documents do you need to submit? The essential documents for all filings would include Voluntary Petition, Exhibit D, Schedules, Statement of Financial Affairs, Disclosure of Compensation to Attorney (Paid/Promised), Creditor Names and Addresses List, Means Test Document, and many others as per the chapter.

How do you ensure privacy of these documents? Public Access to Court Electronic Records makes it possible to avail all records in this regard. Therefore, it is important to keep in mind –

  • To put in only the last four digits of your Social Security Number

  • To put in only the last four digits of your financial account numbers

  • To put in the birth year only (and initials in case of minors)

  • Where do you get the necessary forms? These are available from the court website. However, you would need the help of Seattle bankruptcy lawyers to fill these out properly.

    Where do you file it? All residents of Clallam, Jefferson, Snohomish, Island, King, San Juan, Kitsap, Skagit and Whatcom counties need to file in the Seattle Bankruptcy Court Clerk’s Office.

    How much would it cost? The filing fees in Washington are as follows:

    •Chapter 7: $ 299
    •Chapter 11: $1039
    •Chapter 12: $ 239
    •Chapter 13: $ 274

    If you are unable to pay it all at a time, you may apply for payment in installments. If you are unable to pay it at all, you may apply for a waiver, which the court decides whether to grant or not.

    Author Bio: Orlando Matsota, a legal services consultant, offers helpful tips regarding legal matters concerning bankruptcy laws. If you are looking for Seattle Bankruptcy Lawyers, he suggests you to visit

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