Protecting Your Assets During Bankruptcy: How We Can Help

Legal bankruptcy documents from attorney explaining to their client how to protect your assets during bankruptcy in OR | OlsenDaines

Dealing with the possibility of bankruptcy or actually going through the process can be an extremely overwhelming situation for anyone. It is not uncommon for people to feel lost, anxious, stressed, and ashamed of their financial situation. 

At OlsenDaines, we understand how important it is for our clients to not only receive relief from their overwhelming debt but also to protect their hard-earned assets. That’s why we are here to assist you in navigating the complexities of how to protect your assets during bankruptcy.

Understanding Bankruptcy and Asset Protection

Most people file for bankruptcy due to job loss, medical debt, or divorce. Whatever the reason, our team of bankruptcy attorneys can help you navigate through this process and make sure that your assets are protected. One of the most significant concerns clients have is whether or not they will lose their assets if they file for bankruptcy. The answer is no, in almost all cases. We will work with you to protect your home, cars, retirement accounts, and other personal property. We are here to ensure that you keep the assets you value the most.

How to Stop Creditor Harassment

Another frequently asked question is whether bankruptcy will stop creditors from harassing and suing them. Again, the answer is yes. Once you file for bankruptcy, creditors are immediately notified through the federal court system and must immediately stop harassment, lawsuits, and any other form of collection of debts. We understand that the constant harassment can be troubling, and protecting our clients from continued harassment is a top priority for us.

Property Listing and Exemptions

As part of the bankruptcy process, you must list all of your property, both real and personal. This includes your home, vehicles, retirement accounts, and household goods and belongings. But there’s no need to worry – there are specific exemptions under state or federal law that protect your property throughout the bankruptcy process. We understand the nuances of federal bankruptcy law and will walk you through each step so that you understand how assets are protected and how a fresh start can help rebuild your life.

How to Rebuild Credit After Bankruptcy

Another question we commonly receive is whether or not filing for bankruptcy will affect future credit. While it is true that bankruptcy does affect credit scores, there are strategies we can use to mitigate any harm that may negatively impact your credit record. We can help you rebuild your credit score after bankruptcy and get back on track to a healthy financial future.

Contact Us for Help Protecting Your Assets During Bankruptcy  

The legal process of filing for bankruptcy and protecting your assets can be confusing and overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be. At OlsenDaines, our experienced bankruptcy attorneys can help. We will provide you with the guidance you need to protect your assets and navigate through the process of filing for bankruptcy. We are here to help you receive a fresh start and rebuild your financial future. We believe that everyone deserves the chance to move past their debts and have a bright financial future.

Contact us today to schedule a free consultation and get started on the path to financial freedom.

Steps To Hiring a Lawyer For Student Loan Forgiveness

Woman looking at computer in OR | Olsen Daines

For many people in the United States, student loans are a source of overwhelming financial stress. If you are struggling to repay your debt, a student loan attorney can help you – from reaching student loan forgiveness to lowering your monthly payments, a lawyer has the expertise needed to significantly reduce your financial burden.

However, if you are already struggling to make payments on your debt, the idea of spending even more money on a lawyer may feel overwhelming. To help you determine whether a student loan lawyer is right for you, here’s what you need to know about the costs (and savings) associated with student debt attorneys.

Why Hire a Student Loan Lawyer?

A student loan lawyer is a legal professional who specializes in the laws and regulations pertaining to student debt. They can provide guidance and representation to borrowers who are overwhelmed with their payments, facing predatory lending practices, or dealing with other debt-related problems. Student loan lawyers can help by:

  • Combatting predatory lenders: If you suspect you are the victim of predatory lending practices, an attorney can help hold your lender accountable. They know the ins and outs of consumer protection laws and can pursue remediation from unfair or illegal lending situations.
  • Negotiating settlements: An attorney can work with your lenders to make your debt more manageable. They may help lower interest rates, map out an achievable payment plan, and find other ways to help relieve the burden of your debt. 
  • Defending against lawsuits: In some circumstances, a private lender may take legal action against you. A student loan lawyer can help you navigate the situation and defend you in court for a more favorable outcome.
  • Navigating forgiveness programs: Many people don’t realize that they may qualify for a student loan forgiveness program. An attorney can examine your situation to help you find and qualify for student debt forgiveness.
  • Discharging student loans through bankruptcy: Depending on your situation, you may be able to discharge your student debt through bankruptcy. Thanks to new policy updates by the Department of Education, student loan forgiveness is more accessible using this approach than ever before.
  • Dealing with debt collectors: Debt collection agencies can be incredibly difficult to deal with. A lawyer will not only protect you against collector misconduct, but they can also handle communications to make your situation less stressful.

How Much Does it Cost to Hire a Student Loan Lawyer?

The cost of a student loan lawyer can vary significantly, often ranging between a few hundred dollars to a few thousand. How much you will pay typically depends on which fee structure the lawyer uses. The most common fee structures include:

  • Hourly rates: When you pay the lawyer an hourly rate, it can be challenging to predict exactly how much their services will cost in total.
  • Flat fees: This is when you pay the lawyer a set amount for their services, which can be helpful if you want to know exactly how much their services will cost before starting.
  • Contingencies: This is where the lawyer is only paid if they reach a desired result. It is most commonly used for class action lawsuits.
  • Hybrid plans: A lawyer may charge both a flat fee and a contingency. Similar to a regular contingency, this is most common in class action lawsuits.

Can Hiring a Student Loan Lawyer Save Me Money?

Though hiring a student loan lawyer may seem costly, doing so could save you thousands of dollars in the long run. By relieving some – or all – of your student loans, they can drastically lower your monthly payments, help you combat wage garnishment, and overall make your debt more manageable. The money you invest in a student loan attorney today can certainly save you a lot in the future.

Get a Free Legal Consultation

Considering investing in a student loan lawyer, but want to learn more about the process or costs? Get a free legal consultation from the experts at OlsenDaines! For over 40 years, we’ve been representing residents in Oregon with the goal of educating, informing, and empowering our clients. Your financial recovery is our top priority, which is why we offer affordable rates and disclose all of our fees from the very beginning. If you’re ready to learn more or get started, call us today to schedule your consultation.

How to Hire the Best Student Loan Lawyer for You

Graduate holding a dollar bill in one hand and a piggy bank in the other

Did you know that the total student loan debt in the United States has surpassed $1.7 trillion? This massive debt burden weighs on the shoulders of millions of individuals trying to secure a better future through higher education. If you’re one of them, you know that student loan debt is more than just a strain on your checking account. It’s a daily source of stress and confusion, too – and that’s if everything is going according to plan. If complexities arise, you may find yourself in need of a lawyer to help navigate through the red tape and explain all of your options to you. But how are you supposed to know how to hire the best student loan lawyer for you?

In this blog, we’ll discuss some of the factors you should consider when looking for a student loan lawyer. Our mission is to provide you with the right information to help make an informed decision.

What Can a Student Loan Lawyer Do for You?

Student loan debt can feel insurmountable. Finding the right student loan lawyer can feel like a beacon of hope and relief. So, what can a student loan attorney do for you?

First and foremost, a student loan lawyer will fight for you and advocate for your rights and best interests. They have the expertise to review your loans, determine if there are any violations or predatory practices, and create a legal strategy to move forward. Frequently, student loan lawyers will negotiate on your behalf with lenders to secure more favorable terms or lower interest rates. They can also represent you in legal proceedings if the need arises. They will pursue any and all options to have the debt dismissed or forgiven, if those are possibilities.

A student loan lawyer is a powerful ally who will relentlessly champion your cause and work towards relieving the burden of your student loans.

What Do Student Loan Lawyers Specialize In?

Student loan lawyers possess a wealth of knowledge in how to navigate the intricate landscape of student loan laws and regulations. Of course, each lawyer you speak with will have their own areas of specialization, so it’s crucial to find one whose expertise aligns with your specific needs and goals.

Here are some of the legal service areas that student loan lawyers excel in:

  • Loan Forgiveness: Student loan lawyers can help you explore and pursue various loan forgiveness programs and explore options for getting your debt dismissed.
  • Loan Repayment Plans: Repayment plans can be complicated. A good student loan lawyer can navigate the complexities and help you understand and select the most suitable option for your financial circumstances.
  • Loan Disputes: If you’re having problems with your loan servicer, such as misapplied payments, billing errors, or incorrect loan balances, a student loan lawyer can advocate on your behalf and resolve these disputes.
  • Debt Collection Harassment: Student loan lawyers protect your rights and defend you against aggressive debt collection tactics.
  • Administrative Hearings and Appeals: Wage garnishments and tax refund offsets are frequently leveraged against borrowers. A student loan lawyer can represent you in hearings and appeals processes.
  • Bankruptcy and Student Loans: Student loan lawyers can offer guidance on bankruptcy proceedings, exploring options like undue hardship discharge, or developing a repayment plan within a bankruptcy framework.

When Should You Hire a Student Loan Lawyer?

Student loan debt should not interfere with your life or make your personal finances untenable. If it does, you should consider hiring a student loan lawyer. By enlisting their expertise, you gain an advocate who will fight for your rights, provide you with comprehensive legal advice, and equip you with the tools needed to overcome the challenges that student loans pose. At the very least, they can give you a better idea of the options available.

Am I Eligible for Student Loan Forgiveness Programs?

Eligibility for student loan forgiveness programs can vary depending on factors such as your profession, income, loan type, and repayment history. Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF), Teacher Loan Forgiveness, and Income-Driven Repayment (IDR) plans are just a few examples of the options out there. 

To truly understand if you qualify for any of these programs, it’s highly recommended to consult with a knowledgeable student loan lawyer. They can assess your unique situation and guide you towards the best course of action.

How Much Does a Student Loan Lawyer Cost?

The fees charged by student loan lawyers will depend on several factors, including the complexity of your case, the services required, and the attorney’s experience and reputation. Setting up a consultation with an attorney can give you a more concrete answer. 

During the consultation, we will take the time to understand your needs, evaluate the intricacies of your case, and provide you with a clear understanding of the potential costs involved. Our goal is to be transparent and work with you to find a solution that aligns with your budget and provides the dedicated legal support you deserve.

The Path to Financial Freedom Starts Here

In the quest to free yourself from the burdens of student loans, finding the best student loan lawyer can be key to unlocking a brighter future. At OlsenDaines, we pride ourselves on being tireless advocates who are committed to fighting for your rights.

Call us today to schedule a consultation and let us show you firsthand how our unwavering commitment to your cause can make all the difference. 

Is Any Property Exempt When I File a Chapter 7 Liquidation?

A Chapter 7 bankruptcy is a liquidation bankruptcy. As the name would suggest, if you file for this type of bankruptcy, you might be required to turn your property over to a bankruptcy trustee. The trustee will liquidate the property and the proceeds would be used to pay back your debts. Some types of debts are considered to be priority debts so these would be paid first. Child support and alimony are two of the priority debts.

There are bankruptcy exemptions, so you don’t necessarily have to give everything that you own to the trustee. The exact nature of the exemptions will vary state-by-state, and there are also federal bankruptcy exemptions. We have bankruptcy law offices in Portland, Eugene, Salem, Medford, and several other cities in the state of Oregon. You have the option of choosing the federal exemptions, or the Oregon State exemptions. However, you cannot mix and match to suit your purposes – it’s either one or the other.

If you use the Oregon exemptions, $40,000 worth of equity in property that is eligible for a homestead exemption will exempt for bankruptcy purposes ($50,000 for a married couple). If have received compensation because you have been a victim of a crime, the funds would be exempt, and up to $10,000 in bodily injury damages can be retained. If you have tools or equipment that you use to make a living, the exemption is $5,000.

In addition to our locations in Oregon, we have an office that serves the Tri-Cities in the state of Washington, and we have a Vancouver location as well. The state exemptions are quite a bit different in Washington. The home equity exemption is $125,000, which is a big improvement over Oregon. You can see a complete list of the exemptions on the Washington State Legislature website.

We are here for you if you would like to discuss a potential bankruptcy filing with a licensed attorney. Our firm offers free, no obligation case evaluations, and you can request an appointment if you send us a message through this page: free bankruptcy consultation.

Do I Keep My Property in a Chapter 7?

A Chapter 7 bankruptcy is a liquidation bankruptcy. Speaking in a very general sense, this means that your property is turned over to a trustee when you file for this type of bankruptcy. The trustee is required to liquidate the property and the proceeds will be used to pay back as much of your debt as possible. This may sound like a rather unfavorable arrangement, but it is not as bad as it sounds, because most or all of your property is considered to be exempt. This means that you won’t have to surrender this property to the bankruptcy trustee.

If you own your own home, it is probably your most important possession. We practice law in the state of Oregon, with offices in Portland, Eugene, Salem, Medford, and several other cities. In Oregon, up to $50,000 in equity in your home including a mobile home is exempt when you file for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy.  We also have offices in the state of Washington serving Vancouver and Tri-Cities residents.  In Washington, the exemption for homeowners is $125,000.

Your home is not the only type of property that will be exempt when you file for Chapter 7 in Oregon.  Money you received from alimony and child support payments, social security or pensions is all exempt. There are additional exemptions if you receive a settlement for a bodily injury claim.  In addition, if you receive compensation to account for a loss of future earnings, you will not be required to surrender it to the trustee. There are additional exemptions for cars, furniture, personal items, guns and other items.  If a person does not need to use the State homestead exemption (see above), then Federal exemptions can be used which include a “wildcard” exemption in the amount of $13,100 which can be used to protect any asset.

Discreet, Confidential Legal Counsel

We understand the fact that it can be disconcerting to speak about sensitive financial matters with an attorney that you just met. The members of our team have been assisting people for many years, and we chose this area of the law because we sincerely want to help others. When you engage our services, you will speak with a friendly, down to earth bankruptcy attorney who will answer all of your questions and help you make the right decisions. If you would like to set up a complimentary case evaluation, send us a message through the following link:  bankruptcy lawyer.

Are All Debts Discharged in Chapter 7?

A Chapter 7 bankruptcy can be a good choice for people who are looking for a fresh start. Many debts can be discharged through a Chapter 7 filing, but there are some types of debts that are not dischargeable. Before we get into the distinctions, we should explain a bit about Chapter 7 eligibility. To be able to file for this type of bankruptcy a person needs to pass a means test.

We have offices in Medford, Eugene, Portland, and numerous other cities in Oregon. If you live in the Beaver State, and your income is less than the median, you will pass this means test, and you would be able to qualify for a Chapter 7 filing. Even if you do not pass the test on this level, you may still be able to qualify if you have very limited disposable income after to your essential responsibilities are met.

Secured debts are debts that have a lien on property that was purchased with credit.  If a person wants to keep collateral during a chapter 7, that person needs to stay current on the payments or the lender will be able to repossess the collateral. Other debts that survive bankruptcy are spousal support and child support, student loans and most taxes.  Some taxes can be eliminate in bankruptcy and an experienced bankruptcy attorney can analyze a person’s taxes to determine if they can be discharged.

Debts that can be discharged include, but are not limited to, unsecured debts like credit card balances, health care bills, accounts that have been turned over to collection agencies, personal loans, utility bills that are overdue, and checks written on insufficient funds (assuming there was no criminal intent) and business debts.

Schedule a Free Case Evaluation Right Now!

If you would like to discuss your financial situation with a licensed attorney, we would be more than glad to help. We offer free, no obligation case evaluations, and we assure you that you will feel completely comfortable from the first moment that you walk through our doors. To request an appointment, click this link and follow the simple instructions: Portland, OR bankruptcy lawyer.