Everett Bankruptcy Attorneys and Bankruptcy Protection expert lawyers since 2003. Serving clients throughout Washington State.
Frequently Asked Questions
Many people are embarrassed to ask questions when it comes to bankruptcy, but there is no reason that somebody should go into making a decision about their financial future blindly. We have compiled here our most common FAQ’s. Click Here to see videos and more.
What Happens In A Bankruptcy Consultation?
My consultations are probably a little bit different than most attorneys. I offer a free one-hour consultation. I recommend that you bring as much information on your paycheck stubs and what you owe and your monthly budget. We'll go over that when you call in and we'll figure out what you need to bring with you.
We sit down and we talk about what the problem is and what your goals are for filing bankruptcy and then we go through your income and your expenses. We go over what you owe...
How Soon Can I Start Building My Credit?
Basically, in a chapter seven bankruptcy, the day after you file bankruptcy it goes back to that "18 Again." You can start building credit as soon as possible. You will absolutely get credit card offers in the mail the same week that you're going to your court date with me. I typically recommend that you be responsible.
If you want to start rebuilding slowly, you do things like get a gas card and pay it off every month. We also enroll all of our chapter seven clients in a program...
How is bankruptcy a fresh start?
A lot of people ask if bankruptcy will fix my credit (that's my favorite question). Bankruptcy doesn't fix your credit per se, but it does give you that fresh start because it stops collections. I used to call it the "18 Again Effect." Your credit starts back where it is when you file bankruptcy (like you're 18 again), but you are able to rebuild it going forward.
So the creditors that you owed before can't continue to report that negative collection on there anymore. So it starts...
How Did Susan Skelton Get Started In Law And Why?
"I went to law school for not necessarily the noblest of reasons at first. I wanted to make sure that I would not be poor—that I wouldn't have to depend on anyone else as far as making money—that I could always have an education and go. It went back to the way I was raised.
I had a stay at home mom and my mom didn't necessarily have the confidence to do much else besides be a mom. And when my dad got sick they recognized that she didn't have a driver's license. She didn't know how...
Can I Keep My Car Through Bankruptcy?
You can. A lot of people call me asking that question and sometimes they want to get rid of their car, and that is possible. It can definitely get included in the bankruptcy. If you're current on your car in a chapter seven, it is safe. We do obviously have to make sure that you don't have too much equity in your car. Equity is when your car is worth $10,000, for example, and you only owe $2,000 on it. In this hypothetical scenario, you would have $8,000 of equity in it. There are...
Can I Do A No Money Down Bankruptcy?
That's always a complicated question. There are ways that we can work it out so that you can do a no money down bankruptcy. I typically try not to do them that way. The number one question is how much does bankruptcy cost? Most people ask that and it's important—we know how much a shirt costs when we go into a store. We want to know how much it costs to file a bankruptcy.
Anybody can look up the filing fees. Chapter 7 bankruptcy is $335 and a chapter 13 is $310. That's how much the...
Can Bankruptcy Stop a Garnishment?
Bankruptcy can stop a garnishment. A lot of times in Washington you will get a judgment against you and you won't even realize it. They do not have to take you to court per se. They send you documents that start the lawsuit process and you might not recognize that you've just been sued.
If you don't respond to that, they take out what's called a default judgment against you and they start a garnishment process where they go into your employer and they show this judgment and they say,...
What is the difference between Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 Bankruptcy?
Chapter seven is what most people think of is bankruptcy; when you list your debts, credit card debts, medical bills, collections, that type of thing—and you ask the government to forgive them and to erase them from your credit. It does not get rid of most taxes or student loans, but it will get rid of all of your other unsecured debt (things that you owe).
Typically, how you qualify for that is based on your income and on what you own. There are assets that we can protect with what...
Are There Exemptions In A Bankruptcy?
Exemptions: When you file for bankruptcy, you are allowed to protect a certain amount of “stuff” from liquidation under a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, or from being counted as an asset available to pay back creditors in a Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Washington allows you to choose from either the federal or state exemptions. Always speak with an attorney regarding the best choice for claiming exemptions in a bankruptcy.
What Is Chapter 12 Bankruptcy?
Chapter 12: Family Farmer or Fisherman. This section of the Code allows family farmers and fishermen to enter into a repayment plan similar to a Chapter 13 Wage Earner Plan.
We specialize in areas of law that pertain to financial matters when it matters most to you. When it comes to finding a good bankruptcy attorney who can also help you with your overall estate planning, trusts, wills, and Power of Attorneys, go no further.
What is Probate? Probate is the legal process that determines how property, assets, and debt are allocated after the passing of a family member. This process is typically initiated by the executor of the estate, who is either designated in the will, appointed by the close family of the deceased or is appointed by the probate court.
Another important document that is oftentimes overlooked is the Durable Power of Attorney (POA). There are two types of POA’s—a financial power of attorney and a healthcare power of attorney. If you become disabled or otherwise...
We specialize in setting up wills and trusts in Washington State. Do you have a Will? Preparing for death, or for a time when you may not be able to take care of all of your affairs, is not something people want to do; it is definitely not what...
We have been helping clients with bankruptcy protection since 2003. If you are considering (or fearing) bankruptcy in Everett, WA or the surrounding area, then you need a specialist who can help you navigate the...
Skelton Law Firm has been helping clients with bankruptcy law and estate planning since 2003. Founded by Susan Skelton, attorney at law, the team members at Skelton Law have a passion for helping people in difficult financial times. As Susan’s clients like to describe her, Susan Skelton is: “A Lawyer you can talk to.”
Our dedicated professionals are here to help you with your bankruptcy and estate planning needs. The Skelton family has worked with many individuals struggling financially, and make it a mission to give back to their community.
We specialize in Bankruptcy Law, Estate Planning, Trusts, Wills, Probate and Power of Attorney. Many times, these are interrelated areas of practice, as life is often full of complex situations that all have legal ramifications.
We specialize in the process of bankruptcy protection. There are four chapters under which a Debtor may seek bankruptcy protection; Chapter 7, 11, 12, and 13. A good bankruptcy attorney serving Everett, Snohomish, and the surrounding areas should be a key player on your team.
Why Choose Us
When choosing someone to help you with a potential bankruptcy filing or any financial crisis that needs legal help, it is important to consider all of the facts of your individual situation. Everyone has different particulars when it comes to financial solvency, as well as estate planning in general. We at Skelton Law are Debt Relief Agents, and we assist people in filing for Bankruptcy Relief under the Bankruptcy Code, as well as help with credit repair and the aftermath of a bankruptcy filing.
We treat your case very seriously. We always strive for careful and persistent work and effort toward getting the resolution that best meets your individual needs. When you are under pressure, we...
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What People Say About Us
You don’t have to take our word for it. We have hundreds of happy clients. Even people that were able to avoid bankruptcy have plenty of positive words they are willing to share about their experience.
I have dealt with a few attorneys in the past, and they generally live up to their stereotypes. Sue Skelton has changed my mind about that. She and her associates make you feel that your problems are genuine, and communication is excellent. You are treated with the utmost respect, and never feel intimidated, and you are made to feel comfortable. I cannot recommend this law firm highly enough. It was such a non-stressful experience that I almost wish I had more work for her. I will ask her advice in the future for other areas of law, as needed.
Our team has extensive experience handling bankruptcy cases in Washington state, as well as bankruptcy protection and have counseled people from all walks of life.
Steve Skelton has been assisting and managing law firms since 2003. He has extensive experience in consulting and provides excellent service to clients.
Steve SkeltonOffice Manager
Susan E. Skelton “A Lawyer you can talk to.”
Practicing Law in Everett and Snohomish, WA
I graduated law school in 2003 in St. Louis, MO and opened my own firm, where I focused on personal bankruptcy (Chapters 7 and 13), debtor defense/consumer law, and estate planning, including wills, trusts, durable power of attorneys and probate matters. I had a very successful law firm for over 10 years in St. Louis, prior to moving to Washington.
My family and I moved to Snohomish in September 2013. For several years, I stayed at home with my young children and was extremely active in non-profit work and volunteering in the community. My husband and I run a community dinner twice a month through our church and I am involved with our church’s free clothing closet and as well as the church’s teen drop-in center.
Although I plan to continue to volunteer in the community, now that my children are older and are now in school full time, I have begun practicing law again in the areas of personal bankruptcy (Chapters 7 and 13), and estate planning, including wills, trusts, durable power of attorneys, and probate matters. I am very passionate about helping families take care of important legal issues and I work very hard to keep my fees affordable.
I offer a free conversation with anyone that may have questions about the areas of law I practice and work on a flat fee basis, so you know up front what your costs will be. Feel free to call me at (360) 822-7224 to discuss your legal issue.
Juris Doctorate · Law, Saint Louis University, 2003
Bachelor of Science, University of Evansville, Indiana, 2000
Washington State Bar, #47154
United States Western District of Washington, Bankruptcy Court
Missouri State Bar, #55027
United States Eastern District of Missouri, Bankruptcy Court
Contact Susan For A Free Consultation
She will go over your complete situation and offer advice, at no charge to you.