Advantages to a Washington Chapter 7 filing:
- You receive a complete fresh start. After the bankruptcy is discharged the only debts you owe will be for secured assets on which you choose to sign a "Reaffirmation Agreement."
- You have immediate protection against creditor's collection efforts and wage garnishment on the date of filing.
- Wages you earn and property you acquire (except for inheritances) after the bankruptcy filing date are yours, not the creditors or bankruptcy court.
- There is no minimum amount of debt required.
- Your case is often over and completely discharged in about 3-6 months.
Disadvantages to a Washington Chapter 7 filing:
- You lose your non-exempt property which is sold by the trustee. If you want to keep a secured asset, such as a car or home, and it is not completely covered by your Washington bankruptcy exemptions then Chapter 7 is not an option.
- If facing foreclosure on your home, the automatic stay created by your Chapter 7 filing only serves as a temporary defense against foreclosure.
- Co-signors of a loan can be stuck with your debt unless they also file for bankruptcy protection.
- You can file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy once every six years.
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