Frequently Asked Questions

Common Bankruptcy Law Questions

Q: If I file Bankruptcy, will I be able to keep my house?

A: Yes, if the equity in your house does not exceed your available exemption and if you have made your house payments on time, if any are due.

If you are behind in your payments or if you equity exceeds your exemption, then you may still be able to keep your home in a chapter 13 Bankruptcy. (Speak to an attorney for procedures and limits.)

Q: If I file for Bankruptcy chapter 7, can I keep my car? What about two cars for a married couple filing jointly?

A: Yes, and yes, if your equity in your car(s) does not exceed your available exemption and if you have made your car payments, if you have a car loan.

If you are behind in your payments or if you equity exceeds your exemption, then you may still be able to keep your cars anyway in a chapter 13 Bankruptcy. (Speak to an attorney for procedures and limits.)

Discussion: Exemptions for cars are limited to about $2,500 up to $3,000 and one to a filer. However, there is quite a bit of flexibility in Federal Exemptions if you do not own very much real estate. These Federal exemptions are available to all long time Washington residents.

Q: I filed for Bankruptcy many years ago and received a discharge. Now I have too many medical bills, can I file again?

A: Yes, if it has been 8 years for a chapter 7 discharge; or 2, 4 or 6 years under special circumstances. You can file under chapter 13 four years after filing under chapter 7 or two years after filing under chapter 13.

Q: Can I have a job and still file under Chapter 7?

A: Yes, you can have a job and file for chapter 7 Bankruptcy. There are income limits. If you are a single individual and have income other than social security of more than about $51,000, then the presumption of abuse arises. For two person households, it's about $64,000. For three persons, its about $69,000 and etc. There are some other details, but this is the general rule.