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Taking the bankruptcy plunge: a lawyer can help

The decision to file a petition in the federal Bankruptcy Court can be very troubling. People in Vancouver worry about the impact on their credit rating and, in some cases, on their social standing. Moreover, the process can be complex and confusing. Can anything be done to ameliorate the anxiety?

Yes. Retaining an experienced bankruptcy lawyer can make the bankruptcy process understandable and beneficial. The first step is choosing the most helpful type of proceeding. Chapter 7 of the bankruptcy code is intended to lift a load of unaffordable debt for both individuals and corporations by collecting the debtor's assets, selling them and using the proceeds to pay current obligations. Any debts that cannot be paid are discharged and the debtor has no further liability. Unfortunately, Chapter 7 is not open to everyone. Individuals whose monthly income exceeds the specified limit for Washington must choose either Chapter 11 or Chapter 13.

For individuals, the two Chapters are similar. The debtor must disclose all of his or her assets and then provide a plan for paying the debts over time. In a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, the reorganization plan is often tied to the debtor's monthly income, and hence, Chapter 13 plans are often referred to as wage-earner plans.

Bankruptcy is intended to allow individuals to shed suffocating debt and to gain a fresh start. The bankruptcy attorneys at Beaty Hatch have had many years of experience in guiding Vancouver residents through all kinds of bankruptcies. The lawyers at Beaty Hatch are adept at helping clients choose the bankruptcy proceeding that will maximize debt reduction and preserve as many assets as possible. The firm can be contacted in person, by phone or by using its website.