Currently the maximum debt limits for Chapter 13 are $1,010,650 in secured debt, and $336,900 in unsecured debt. On April 1, 2010, those debt limits will likely increase to $1,081,500 for secured debt, and $360,525 in secured debt. While these increases are not exactly exponential, these days every little bit helps.
Steps to Take Before Filing A Bankruptcy In Oregon or Washington
- Do your best to limit the the amount of purchase activity in the ninety days prior to the actual filing of your case.
- Stop using all of your credit cards today.
- If you have made big purchases, executed balance transfers or taken cash advances in the last year, try and make sure that there have been at least three payments on each relevant credit account. If not, you may want to make such payments until your case is filed.
- Get your state and federal tax records for the last year that you filed.
- Make copies of all pay-stubs for the last seven months and continue to collect them up until the filing date of your case. Get copies of any paperwork that would document any other income such as social security, unemployment and the like for the same period.
- Do not transfer any bank accounts, real estate or valuables out of your name without speaking to your Oregon or Washington Bankruptcy Attorney. If you must do so, make sure that the sale does not involve a friend or family member.
- Do not–I repeat, do not– make any repayments on debts to friends and family members prior to filing.
- If you already have a judgment against you, do not tell a creditor that you are going to file bankruptcy. It may provide motivation for them to seize assets while they can.
- Continue to make payments to secured creditors for property that you want to keep. This is very important if you want to keep your car and house.
- Perform a title search on your home to make sure there are no unknown liens.
- Disclose all property that you may have an interest in to your attorney. This includes bank accounts held with parents as cosigners, potential legal claims, personal injury cases, and any debts that are owed to you.
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Clients often worry about whether they will be able to open or even keep bank accounts while their bankruptcy is pending, or even after their bankruptcy is closed. In both Washington and Oregon, there are no bankruptcy laws that would prevent you from opening or keeping a bank account. There may, however, be some issues to resolve
If you are in the process of getting your case ready for filing and have a bank account with a bank or credit union that has also loaned you money, you may want to open an account at an institution to which you are not in debt. This is so because banks and credit unions generally have the right to set off the money you are holding in your account against the debt that you owe them. Even if you are current, the money in your account may be used as collateral for the debt. Granted not all institutions follow this practice, but it is often impossible to determine which ones will. In Both Washington and Oregon, credit unions are the lenders most likely seize funds held in accounts. Credit unions will often seize funds deposited after filing so watch out.
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A credit card lender may assert that the debtor committed fraud in either in applying for the card itself or in the way the debtor used the credit card. If the credit card lender can prove that debtor falsified information on the initial credit card application, the ensuing credit card balance may not be discharged in the bankruptcy. Similarly, a credit card lender may claim that the debtor ran up charges on card with no intention to repay the resulting debt. A rebuttable presumption of fraud arises where cash advances are taken out in the three months prior to a bankruptcy filing. Likewise, a rebuttable presumption of fraud also arises where luxury services or goods are incurred in the three months prior to the filing of a bankruptcy case.
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In both Oregon and Washington, a bankruptcy filing discharges any homeowner’s fees that accrued before the bankruptcy case is filed. The discharge does not release the homeowner for fees for months after the case is filed, for so long as the debtor owns or occupies the condo. Because the homeowner is liable for post-file fees, it may make sense to file a given bankruptcy case close to an actual foreclosure sale date in order to discharge as much of the potential HOA fees as possible.portland, tigard, gresham, bankruptcy, hillsboro, vancouver, longview, chehalis, beaverton