Chapter 7 Bankruptcy


A Chapter 7 Bankruptcy is designed to give the debtor a fresh start by discharging all eligible debts. The right to a discharge is not absolute, and some types of debts cannot be discharged. Specifically, a bankruptcy discharge does not extinguish a lien on property. The Bankruptcy Code will allow the debtor to keep certain “exempt” property; and well over 90% of our clients receive a discharge and keep all of their property. Any non-exempt property is liquidated by the Trustee, or paid into a Chapter 13 Plan.

What items can I keep, if any?

Over 95% of the cases we file allow our clients to keep 100% of their assets. At Brixius Law Firm in Tacoma, our chapter 7 bankruptcy attorneys carefully prepare your case to protect your assets and obtain maximum debt relief for you. Thousands of our clients are able to keep their home, vehicle, bank account, and personal assets. Items that are exempt from bankruptcy liquidation include:

  • Cash (up to a certain amount)
  • Household goods
  • Clothing
  • Equity in a home (up to a certain amount)
  • Vehicles (up to a certain amount)
  • Retirement accounts (containing qualified funds)
  • “Tools of the trade” that allow you to keep working (any work related computer, etc.)

If you are unsure if a certain item is eligible for exemption please contact us for your free case review where we will address any questions or concerns you may have.

How long will a bankruptcy stay on my record?

The bankruptcy will remain on your credit reports for 10 years. However, the bankruptcy will not continue to negatively impact your credit. You can begin to rebuild your credit immediately after your case is discharged.

What is a 341 Hearing and what do I do?

A 341 Hearing is a creditor’s meeting that is conducted by the Trustee appointed to the case. The debtor must attend the hearing and answer the Trustee’s questions, for example:

  • How long have you lived in Washington?
  • Did you list all your assets?
  • Did you list all your debts?
  • Do you owe anyone domestic support (child support and/or spousal maintenance)?

You must answer these questions truthfully or your case will be dismissed or in extreme cases it is possible to be charged with perjury (the serious criminal offense of making false statements under oath). Creditors have the right to question you about the assets involved with your bankruptcy case, however, their attendance at the 341 Hearing is optional. Creditors do not waive their rights by declining to attend the creditor’s meeting.

I have inheritance money, what will happen with that?

Inheritance will be a part of your bankruptcy estate if you have been entitled to it before filing or within 180 days after your filing date. If this is the case for you, the inheritance funds can be used to pay your debts. The important date is when your right to the inheritance is fixed, which is typically on the date of a person’s death. It is possible that you may not receive property or money from someone’s estate for many months after that date.

Can I change from Chapter 7 to Chapter 13 bankruptcy?

Generally, yes. You can convert a case to any chapter of bankruptcy you are eligible for, but it is important to consider all aspects of switching chapters while filing bankruptcy; our experienced attorneys will help you in choosing the correct type of bankruptcy for your needs.


Our chapter 7 bankruptcy attorneys in Tacoma are here to help you understand your rights and advise you in choosing the correct bankruptcy chapter for your situation. Get started today in taking back control of your life. Call us at 1-888-966-7934 to get started with your case. We will confidentially and sensitively discuss your situation and offer a payment plan for our attorney fees to make this process affordable for you. We are here to help.