Attorney Brian Hanis was named one of Washington State’s Rising Stars in the field of Bankruptcy Law by Law & Politics Magazine for the 5th year in a row. The honor recognizes him for his professional achievements in his field as selected by his peers.
HIP congratulates Attorney / Partner Brian Hanis on being selected to the 2014 Washington Rising Stars List by Super Lawyers. Super Lawyers is a rating service of outstanding lawyers who have attained a high-degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. The selection process is multi-phased and includes independent research, peer nominations and peer evaluations.
Brian focuses his practice in the areas of Bankruptcy, Landlord / Tenant and Real Estate.
This is Brian’s fourth year in a row receiving this award.
June 16, 2014 – A common cause for people to file for bankruptcy relief is garnishment. It is hard to have 25% of your net paycheck taken! This typically results in a snowball effect; short to pay for utilities, mortgage, rent, food, etc. Once this happens, people think that the funds are gone and there is nothing you can do. That is not correct!
How a wage garnishment works is that an order from a court is given to your employer requiring it to withhold 25% of your net paycheck. This will go on for a period of 60 days. At the end of the 60 days the creditor must then get an order directing the employer to turn the funds over. At that point, the creditor has the funds (quick side note, it does not always work this way but the end result is typically the same)
How bankruptcy helps is that it can stop the garnishment while it is pending. As an added bonus, it can even reverse a garnishment that has already been completed.
How it stops a bankruptcy is simple: The day you file for bankruptcy relief the creditor can no longer take any action to collect. That means it has to stop any pending garnishment. The funds held by your employer (or sometimes by the creditor) must be turned back over to you.
How it reverses a completed garnishment is a little more time sensitive. In bankruptcy, one is presumed insolvent the 90 days prior to filing for relief. Basically, this means that any payments to creditors during that time (whether voluntary or involuntary) is a preference and can be reversed. Garnishments are involuntary payments.
For a garnishment, if it is completed in that 90 day period it can be reversed. In other words, if the day the order is issued directing your employer to pay the funds to the creditor is in the 90 day period, it can be reversed. For example, one is garnished from November 1 to January 1. The creditor then gets an order on January 2 to turn over the funds. If the debtor files for bankruptcy relief by April 1 (within 90 days of January 2), the employer must give those funds back to the debtor.
There are other factors that may play a part of this. So, if you are facing a garnishment talk with an expert who can help you with understanding what you are facing.
For more information contact Brian Hanis, Bankruptcy Attorney, Hanis Irvine Prothero, PLLC.
Bankruptcy, although the big bad word when it comes to finances, can and does help people every day. One very big way it can help is by potentially allowing someone to keep their home.
In today’s world, people are finding themselves falling behind on mortgage payments for any number of reasons. Foreclosure is started leaving the owners with having to come up with large amounts of money to catch up the arrears on their home, in order to keep it, which one does not have. The owner then attempts other ways to try to save the home including trying to qualify for a loan modification or refinance of the property. However, this does not always work, leaving the owner in a tough spot. This is where bankruptcy can help.
In a chapter 13 bankruptcy, one creates a plan payment. The plan typically last for 60 months. How the plan helps is it takes your arrears and spreads the amount over the 60 months of the plan. An added bonus, the bankruptcy stops ongoing interest or penalties on the arrears from accruing.
Something that is important to understand about this though is that the owner must keep the house mortgage payment current during this time period. The first question one would need to ask then: can I continue to make the current payment on time? The bankruptcy will not change the interest rate or the monthly payment or any other terms, with a few exceptions, it will simply allow you a way to catch your payment up over 60 months.
For example, your current payment is $1,500.00 per month and you are behind $6,000.00. Under the plan your payment would be $1,600.00 per month ($1,500.00 for the ongoing and $100.00 for the arrears). By the end of the 60 months you have kept your ongoing payment current and caught up on the arrears.
Now, it is not always clear cut as this example provides. Other factors come into play in figuring your plan payment as well, such as income, court cost, fees, and other debts. Regardless, it may be worth your time to talk with a bankruptcy attorney if you are facing a foreclosure to see if bankruptcy can help. This avenue may just allow you to keep your home.