Disclosure: At your 341 meeting, you will be asked while under oath if you have listed all of your debts and all of your assets. Failure to list all assets could be considered bankruptcy fraud punishable by 5 years in prison or $500,000 fine. Robert J. Reynolds P.S. can help you get everything properly listed in your Washington bankruptcy schedules.

Washington State Community Property laws: If one spouse chooses to file bankruptcy without the other spouse, all community property is still subject to the Washington bankruptcy regardless of which spouse’s name is actually on the title. Robert J. Reynolds P.S. is experienced in making sure all assets are properly listed on the schedules and exempted.

Inheritances: Any assets which are inherited within 6 months after your Washington bankruptcy filing date will need to be surrendered to the Trustee or exempted if possible.

Preferences: The Washington bankruptcy laws do not allow you to repay debts to relatives shortly before filing bankruptcy. The Trustee can retrieve payments made to relatives within the previous year and payments made to other creditors within the previous 90 days. The Trustee will then disburse that money to all creditors pro rata.

Washington State Judicial Liens: A Washington Superior Court judgment becomes a lien against any real estate that you own. The judgment creditor cannot sue you after you file bankruptcy, but they can collect the judgment from your property when you sell or refinance. Robert J. Reynolds P.S. can help you file a lien avoidance action when appropriate and prevent this from happening.

Debtor Education: You must obtain a Credit Counseling Certificate before you file and a Debtor Education Certificate after you file but before the case is closed (usually 60 days after the 341 meeting with the Trustee). Failure to do so will mean loss of your discharge. Contact Us for information on obtaining a certificate.

Second Mortgages: You must continue to pay both your first and your second mortgage after you file for a Washington bankruptcy if you wish to keep your residence. Many people have a line of credit but are uncertain whether or not it is secured by their residence. For this reason, you must be very careful to determine whether or not a loan is secured by your residence.

Reaffirmation Agreements: If you sign a reaffirmation agreement with respect to a particular debt, you give up the benefits of a Washington bankruptcy discharge with respect to that particular debt. You should be very careful to protect your fresh start by getting rid of as much debt as possible. We recommend that you surrender rather than reaffirm the following: a) jewelry, b)appliances or furniture, c) vehicles where you owe substantially more than the vehicle is worth. A reaffirmation agreement usually only benefits the creditor. Robert J. Reynolds P.S. can help you decide if a reaffirmation agreement would benefit you if you live in the State of Washington.

Filing Requirements: The Washington Bankruptcy Code lists the documents and information which must be provided in order to receive a discharge. Failure to provide all documents and information will delay the filing of your case. If you have any questions, please ask. View our Washington Bankruptcy Filing Requirements here.

Credit Reports: After you receive your discharge, your credit report should indicate that each debt was “discharged in bankruptcy.” Frequently a creditor will neglect to inform the credit bureau of the discharge and a credit report may continue to show it as owing. Robert J. Reynolds P.S. does not participate in correcting such mistakes, but we will give you information on how that can be accomplished.

Fraudulent Credit Card Charges: The Bankruptcy Code presumes that you know you are going to file bankruptcy 90 days before you actually do so. (It makes no difference whether this is actually true or not.) Thus any charge of more than $600 or cash advance within 90 days prior to filing is presumed to be fraudulent and the creditor can force you to pay that amount regardless of the bankruptcy. (This is why you cannot pay our fees with a credit card.) You must be careful to review all of your credit card statements to see if this condition exists.

I am very grateful to Mr. Reynolds. He worked hard on my bankruptcy process, and he got me a fair repayment plan so that I could keep my house and my car. His secretary was always polite and made sure that Mr. Reynolds received my calls, and returned them as quickly as he could. I would recommend Mr. Reynolds to other people who are struggling with debt or about to lose their home or vehicles.

Jeanette K.

Moxee, WA