Questions about Bankruptcy? Find the Answers in the FAQs! Then Call Us in Tacoma, WA!


What are the filing fees?

Debtors, including corporate debtors, must pay filing fees by money order or cashier's check. Personal checks are not accepted from debtors. The filing fee for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy is $335. The filing fee for a Chapter 13 bankruptcy is $310. Attorney's fees will be discussed and agreed to in meetings before filing.

What is a bankruptcy discharge?

The bankruptcy discharge varies depending on the type of case a debtor files: Chapter 7, 11, 12, or 13.

What is a Section 341 meeting of creditors?

11 U.S.C. 341 requires every debtor to personally attend a meeting of creditors and to submit to an examination under oath. The bankruptcy trustee presides at the meeting. No later than seven days prior to the 341 Meeting, all Chapter 7 or 13 debtors must provide the trustee with certain documents or the case may be dismissed. Debtors are required to bring two pieces of identification with them to the 341 Meeting. At the 341 Meeting, creditors may question the debtor under oath. Creditors are not required to attend the meeting.

What is the automatic stay?

Generally, the filing of the bankruptcy case automatically stops or enjoins certain collection and other actions against the debtor and the debtor's property. There are some exceptions provided for in the Bankruptcy Code, 11 U.S.C. 362. If a creditor attempts to collect a debt or take other action in violation of the Bankruptcy Code, the creditor may be penalized.

What is the Bankruptcy Code?

The Bankruptcy Code is the informal name for the statutes governing bankruptcy found at Title 11 of the United States Code. The Bankruptcy Code contains various chapters that provide legal procedures for individuals and businesses to deal with debt problems.

What is the difference between chapters?

USCourts.gov's Bankruptcy Basics provides basic information to debtors, creditors, court personnel, the media, and the general public on different aspects of the federal bankruptcy laws. It also provides individuals who may be considering bankruptcy with a basic explanation of the different chapters under which a bankruptcy case may be filed and to answer some of the most commonly asked questions about the bankruptcy process.

What is the function of the U.S. Trustee and where is that office located?

The Office of the United States Trustee is an Executive Branch agency within the Department of Justice. The United States Trustee office is charged with overseeing the administration of bankruptcy cases. The U.S. Trustee establishes and supervises the Trustees appointed to administer bankruptcy cases. The U.S. Trustee also monitors bankruptcy cases for possible crimes which may be reported to the United States Attorney.

Where does a debtor file?

Where a debtor files depends on where the debtor resides or has its principal place of business or principal assets. The counties and filing locations for the Western District of Washington are the following:

Cases filed in Seattle: Clallam, Island, Jefferson, King, Kitsap, San Juan, Skagit, Snohomish, and Whatcom counties

Cases filed in Tacoma: Clark, Cowlitz, Grays Harbor, Lewis, Mason, Pacific, Pierce, Skamania, Thurston, and Wahkiakum counties

Where is the Section 341 meeting of creditors held?

The Clerk's Office sends a notice to the debtor and to all the creditors that provides the date, time, and location of the section 341 meeting of creditors. The location of the meeting depends on the county where the debtor resides or has its principal place of business or assets on the date it files the petition.

Pierce, Lewis, Mason, Thurston, and Grays Harbor (Chapter 7 and Chapter 13)
U.S. Courthouse
Union Station
1717 Pacific Ave., Courtroom G or J
Tacoma, WA 98402

Clark, Cowlitz, Pacific, Skamania, and Wahkiakum (Chapter 7 and Chapter 13)
Vancouver Federal Building
500 W 12th, Second Floor
Vancouver, WA 98660

How do I remove inaccurate information from my credit report?

Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, both the credit reporting agency and the creditor are required to correct inaccurate or incomplete information on a credit report. You can view a summary of your rights under the Fair Credit Reporting Act at http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/menus/consumer/credit/rights.shtm. Additional information is available on the Federal Trade Commission website, Facts for Consumers.

Contact the credit reporting agencies at:

Equifax Information Service Center
Attn: Consumer Dept.
PO Box 740241
Atlanta, GA 30374
1-888-909-7304
www.equifax.com

TransUnion Corporation
National Consumer Disclosure Center
PO Box 7000
North Olmstead, OH 44070
312-408-1400
www.transunion.com

Experian
Consumer Assistance
PO Box 2350
Chatsworth, CA 91313-2350
1-888-397-3742
www.experian.com

The Federal Trade Commission, Bureau of Consumer Protection, has publications and an education program to help consumers.

How long does a bankruptcy remain on my credit report?

In most cases, the Fair Credit Reporting Act limits credit reporting agencies from reporting negative information that is more than seven (7) years old or bankruptcies that are more than ten (10) years old. For a summary of your rights under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, see http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/menus/consumer/credit/rights.shtm.