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Law Offices of Christopher A. Benson, PLLC

Informational Blogs

  • By: Christopher Benson
  • Published: February 20, 2015

Fortunately and unfortunately at the same time, the Internet is a big place. Today, our firm received 2 phone calls from 2 different people in 2 different States presenting the following fact pattern: Apparently someone is randomly calling people and claiming to be attorney "Christopher Benson." The caller tells the recipient that a relative has been arrested. The caller tells…Read More

  • By: Christopher Benson
  • Published: February 18, 2015

Whether you should file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy or a Chapter 13 bankrupcy depends on a lot of things: your income level, the type of debt you owe, how much property you own, and if you are at risk of losing vital services, like power, shelter, or transportation. Chapter 7 bankruptcy is total liquidation bankruptcy. That means you give up…Read More

  • By: Christopher Benson
  • Published: February 15, 2015

A discharge is a court order that eliminates debt. When you receive a discharge after filing a bankruptcy case, that means that the debts that you brought to the court have been eliminated. Either the court has liquidated all your non-exempt assets to pay them off, your debt was reorganized into a payment plan and paid off, or you were…Read More

  • By: Christopher Benson
  • Published: February 8, 2015

When you file for bankruptcy, creditors are prohibited from calling you or pursuing collection activities such as repossession or foreclosure thanks to something called the “automatic stay.” The automatic stay is a kind of legal pause button while you go through the bankruptcy process. It’s needed because in bankruptcy, the bankruptcy trustee needs time to prioritize your creditors and your…Read More

  • By: Christopher Benson
  • Published: February 5, 2015

The 2005 Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act (BACPA) changed many aspects of how bankruptcy works. It created the means test, tax-based proof of income requirements, credit and debt counseling requirements, and curtailed some of the powers of the automatic stay. The Means Test is a calculation of income based on household income and household size. If your income is…Read More

  • By: Christopher Benson
  • Published: February 3, 2015

You decide to buy your first car with your first real paycheck out of college, because that’s what people do, right? You meet all the requirements, except you don’t have much credit history, so you beg your dad to co-sign for you. After all, it’s just a formality, right? Fast-forward three years later: You’re barely staying afloat paying off school…Read More

  • By: Christopher Benson
  • Published: January 23, 2015

There are Five main factors that influence whether an individual can or should file Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy: Are you getting your wages or bank account garnished, your income level, the type of debt you owe, how much property you own, and if you are at risk of losing vital services, like power, shelter, or transportation. First, your…Read More

  • By: Christopher Benson
  • Published: January 17, 2015

In bankruptcy, you can make good on a secured debt by surrendering the property. Surrendering the property means that you notify the court of your intent to return the item to the creditor. When you surrender the property, a few things happen. Surrendering property means that the creditor no longer has a lien against you for the item, and the…Read More

  • By: Christopher Benson
  • Published: January 15, 2015

The short answer is typically "Yes." However, there are some unique rules. If you contributed to the IRA or 401K, and the amount is reasonable to support you and your dependents and you have not made any "unusual" contribution of sums prior to bankruptcy, then you are probably fine. Consult with a bankruptcy attorney prior to making any decisions. But,…Read More

  • By: Christopher Benson
  • Published: January 9, 2015

In Washington State, a creditor can garnish 25% of your Gross wages when they are granted a judgment against you. When you file for bankruptcy, you receive a protection from creditors called the automatic stay. The automatic stay protects you from collection activities, including phone calls, repossession, foreclosure, and wage garnishment, through the conclusion of the bankruptcy process. However, two…Read More

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