If you're experiencing severe financial difficulties, bankruptcy can provide a path to debt relief and help you get a fresh start. Whether you are just starting to consider bankruptcy or have already filed, getting a bankruptcy lawyer involved can help you maximize the benefits afforded to you by the United States Bankruptcy Code.
We've assembled a list of trusted local lawyers that you can use to find the right Bellingham bankruptcy attorney to help you stop wage garnishment, prevent creditor harassment, get debt relief, and protect your property.
Types of Bankruptcy
A bankruptcy attorney can help you determine if the process is right for you or if other debt relief options are better suited to your needs. If bankruptcy is appropriate for your situation, your lawyer will help you decide whether Chapter 7 bankruptcy (often used by individuals or small business owners), Chapter 13 bankruptcy (where debt repayment plans are established to help you get back on track), Chapter 11 (business reorganization) or some other form of Washington-specific bankruptcy process is best for you.
Why File For Bankruptcy?
People wind up filing for bankruptcy for many reasons, often involving outside forces or unforeseen expenses: Medical debt and unexpected health care costs can quickly spiral out of control, credit card debt can accrue due to business expenses or needing to use a credit card during periods of unemployment and low cash flow, investments in the stock market, real estate or other financial vehicles might suffer due to a financial crisis, or a supply chain shutdown can cause debt to cascade in times of pandemic (such as the coronavirus/COVID-19 outbreak) or due to oil price fluctuations. In any of these situations, a bankruptcy attorney can help you find the best course of action.
Not sure what to ask a bankruptcy lawyer? Here are a few sample questions to get you started:
How long have you been in practice?
How many bankruptcy cases have you handled?
How much does a bankruptcy filing cost? How much of that cost is attorney fees vs. filing fees?
Where is your office in Bellingham located?
What are the next steps?
It is always a good idea to research your bankruptcy lawyer prior to hiring. Every state has a disciplinary organization that monitors attorneys, their licenses, and consumer complaints. By researching lawyer discipline you can:
Ensure the attorney is currently licensed to practice in your state
Gain an understanding of his or her historical disciplinary record, if any.
Determine the seriousness of complaints/issues which could range from late bar fees to more serious issues requiring disciplinary action.